Make Dinner Quick with a Processed Plant-Based Hero

When I hit my plant-based wall, (you can read about that here), I HAD to learn some ways to cut time and energy from eating this plant-based thing.  (see ‘Three ways to beat burnout’). I realized the grocery store is full of convenience items that still keep all of their plant-based health-promoting goodness.

And since the science makes it obvious that

More plants = Less Weight & Less Disease


learning to prepare whole plant foods in fast delicious ways is a critical life skill!

Hello, busy people, meet one of your new friends – bagged coleslaw.   After you finish this 4-part series, you will never look at it the same again!

I’m not a fan of traditional coleslaw.

 Growing up, I was NOT even a fan of cabbage…. cooking cabbage really made the kitchen smell, well, like a bathroom.

Add on what I thought was gag-inducing mayo… no thanks.

So the first time I was served this beautiful concoction below, I barely recognized the sweet and spicy aroma wafting from my multi-colored plate. Maybe it was the exotic ambiance of actually being in India that made humble cabbage seem more glamorous, but anyway, this was the first time that I really, truly enjoyed it.

Not only does this simple dish tickle your taste buds, the cabbage is full of fiber and the spices are PACKED with disease-stomping, cancer-killing antioxidants.

How Would You Eat this?

 In India, this is the type of homey, simple dish that is served for any typical family meal.  It is so fast and easy, you’ll be done in less than 15 minutes – I’m serious.  It makes an awesome side to any American entrée, but in plant-based eating, the veggie side dish BECOMES THE ENTRÉE.

Serving suggestions for Homestyle Indian Cabbage:

  • With a cup of lentil soup and brown rice for an Indian-style meal
  • Over a baked sweet potato (that you baked last weekend! See HERE how to bake up some ‘taters easily!)
  • Layered over some beans in a veggie soft taco
  • Straight outta the pan!


Don’t be intimidated by the spices, they’re worth it.

These mild spices are standard fare in Indian cooking (which may explain their lower cancer rates).  Turmeric is constantly revealing more of its superpowers as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer substance.  (Some people, like pregnant women or those with gallstones or kidney stones should be careful with turmeric.  More information here on who shouldn’t have turmeric.)

The turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam masala (a traditional Indian spice blend containing cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, and other spices that is AH-mazing) in this dish can be picked up at most supermarkets.   Even cumin seeds are more widely available – look in the Hispanic spice aisle of your store.

By the way, you did not miss something – this version does not start with any oil.  Simply add a little water as the cooking goes to keep things from sticking.  There! You just dropped a few hundred calories from that pan!

I can’t wait to see how you like it! 

Let us know how it went in the comments below and post a picture.

Homestyle Indian Cabbage
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bag shredded coleslaw with carrots
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp sugar, maple syrup, or agave
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas or mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  1. In a nonstick pan over medium heat, dry-roast the cumin seeds, moving constantly to prevent burning. You will know they are done when they are wonderfully fragrant! Avoid burning as they will turn bitter and ruin the dish!

  2. Add 1½ cups frozen peas or peas & carrots to the pan with a small amount of water, cover the dish and steam for a few minutes until the vegetables are thawed.

  3. Add the bag of coleslaw to the pan.

  4. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin, and turmeric over the cabbage, then add ¼ cup of water. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until the cabbage becomes tender, probably around 5 minutes. If the cabbage completely dries out during this process, add a little more water and reduce your heat slightly.

  6. Sprinkle the salt, if using ,and sugar over the cabbage, stir and cover again. If there is still a lot of water in the pan, leave the lid ajar and continue to cook; you want this to be a relatively dry dish without any watery soup in the bottom.

  7. When cabbage reaches your desired tenderness (I like mine tender but not mushy – about 10 minutes), turn off the heat.
  8. Sprinkle on the garam masala and cayenne pepper if using, and stir. Taste and adjust your seasonings!

    If you find it bland, consider adding:

    • another pinch of garam masala

    • another pinch of sugar

    • another pinch of cayenne

    • a dash of lemon juice

  9. Garnish with cilantro, and you look like an ethnic cuisine BOSS!