Picnic Cole Slaw

Are you starting to feel like summer is almost over? Sports practices are gearing up, school supplies are filling the stores, the days are getting shorter, and mornings and evenings are sometimes (blessedly!) a little cooler. It can feel a bit sad to watch summer wind down, but take heart! There is plenty of time left for a few more picnics and barbecues, and they’ll even be a bit more pleasant if the heat index drops a bit!

When you plan your menu, you may instinctively include cole slaw. It makes frequent appearances at barbecues and picnics and can seem like a healthy choice, given that it’s just vegetables in a bowl, right? I mean, it’s practically SALAD! But the truth is that cole slaw can be a nutritional nightmare. Most varieties sold in delis or served in restaurants are laden with full-fat mayonnaise and can really wreak havoc on your daily calorie tally. For example, a small order of cole slaw at Chick-Fil-A has more calories and fat (360 cal/31 g!) than a small order of waffle fries (290 cal/16 g). This is for cabbage and carrots, people!

Now, unless you are REALLY a fan of coleslaw, there is no way that a teensy dish of it is worth that kind of calorie and fat hit. But there is an alternative…making your own version with a delicious, cool, slightly tangy dressing. I like this one, adapted from the Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide
. With my modifications, a serving is less than 100 calories and 5 g of fat! Now that’s more like it, right? Happy picnicking!

Picnic Cole Slaw

serves 6

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. low fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 head green cabbage, “shredded” (sliced very thin)*
1/2 head red cabbage, “shredded” (sliced very thin)*
3 large carrots, julienned
1/3 c. pickled jalapenos
** See note below

Whisk all the wet ingredients plus salt and pepper in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots and jalapenos. Add dressing and toss to evenly coat vegetables.

Chill and serve.

*If you’ve never shredded cabbage, here’s a link to a quick tutorial. And if you REALLY want to make this easy, you could even buy a bag of slaw mix!

**If you like your slaw a bit sweeter, you can add a packet of stevia sweetener to the dressing ingredients.

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