I have some pretty vivid memories of coleslaw. I know that might sound like a weird thing to remember from childhood, but it was such an iconic side at the neighborhood block party. No matter what the occasion -Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Father’s Day – a bowl of my mom’s coleslaw was sure to make an appearance.
I still love her classic cabbage-mayonnaise-sugar slaw recipe. I make it all the time, but I’ve also been having a little bit of fun with coleslaw these days. The biggest eye-opener for me was a coleslaw I tasted that had Brussels sprouts as the main ingredient. I had no idea that you could make coleslaw without cabbage as the base! Now that I’ve tried this southwestern Brussels sprout coleslaw, it totally makes sense, but it was mind-blowing the first time I tried it.
If You Hate Brussels Sprouts, Read This First
Before you brush this recipe off because you hate Brussels sprouts, just bear with me for a moment. I get it – many of us have had that same terrible experience with Brussels sprouts growing up. I certainly did! So I don’t blame you if you don’t want to give this southwestern Brussels sprout coleslaw a chance, but I’m going to need you to trust me on this one.
I think that I didn’t like Brussels sprouts as a child because they used to cook them to death back in the day. Seriously – I remember soggy, bitter pieces of sprouts that were super huge. And oh man did they taste terrible!
Now that I’ve tried them as an adult a few different times, I know that they’re really quite delicious. They just have to be prepared properly. The best ways are to thinly shave them and serve them up raw, de-leaf them and saute them up with some bacon, or cut them in half and roast them until they’re caramelized.
Raw Brussels Sprouts…Really?
The reason that raw Brussels sprouts work so well in this southwestern Brussels sprout slaw is because they’re in the brassica family. That’s the same family as broccoli and (you guessed it) cabbage. If you can shred cabbage raw and eat it as the classic coleslaw, why not use shredded Brussels sprouts?
There is one secret to making them taste delicious when served raw. The key is to shave them or chop them very finely. If you have a mandoline, that works especially well at making super thin slices. If the shreds are too large, too much bitter flavor will pass through into the slaw and it will ruin the natural sweetness that the thin slices will bring.
Bringing Together the Southwestern Flavors
Then, it’s all about the sauce. Tangy lime juice, creamy avocado, smoky cumin, and spicy chili powder are rounded off with a hint of sweetness from the honey. I think that I would like anything coated in that amazing dressing! It will take the bitter edge off of the kale, making that superfood taste super delicious.
Then, in come the fun and funky flavors of this southwestern Brussels sprout slaw. Charred corn kernels are a nice addition, giving the slaw a bit of flair while also adding some great texture. Combine that with the popular pico de gallo ingredients (tomatoes, jalapenos, and red onion) and you have yourself a perfect fusion slaw!
Serve this slaw up as a side dish, or put it on a pulled pork sandwich to really add a twist to your backyard barbecue. No matter what you do, don’t tell people that it’s kale and Brussels sprouts until after they take a bite. Let us know if you made any brassica-loving converts at your last party!
Yields: 5 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 123 | Total Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 260mg | Carbohydrates: 19g | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Protein: 4g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts, shaved or finely chopped
- 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
- 1/2 cup charred corn kernels
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
- 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced small
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup avocado, mashed
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cuming
- 1 table spoon chili powder
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, kale, corn, onion, jalapeno, and tomatoes. Lightly toss.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make a sauce. Add to the Brussels sprouts mixture and toss until everything is coated in the avocado sauce. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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