Balance… oh, and Broccoli Slaw

I recently spent 11 weeks participating in the Raw Food Rehab’s Raw Balance initiative. The idea was to eat a high raw diet, and find my balance with food (and in life). A tall order for 11 weeks. But, I like a good challenge.

On the plus side, I lost a few pounds and I developed a love of green smoothies. Okay, a like. Okay, I kind of crave them (sometimes) but only when they’re full of banana and nut butter and other good stuff.

On the downside, in terms of balance, I felt a little like this guy, most of the time

Original photo credit to The Rachel Maddow Show

Original photo credit to The Rachel Maddow Show

High raw in the winter in Wisconsin? Not the right trail for me.

But that’s okay, because as my wonderful friend, Monya, says, “I am an experiment of one.” And from every failed experiment, we learn something new. I’m still a work in progress. And, it’s important to me to be open to different ideas and approaches to finding balance in my eating and in my life.

Balanced Healthy and Gluten Free If you are still a work in progress, there’s a great new site for you – The Balanced Platter (TBP). TBP is a one-stop shop for balanced, healthy gluten-free living. They’ll have different perspectives about living well on a gluten-free diet from top bloggers in the gluten-free arena – encompassing recipes, tips, how-to’s, and product reviews.

The site was founded by Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten-free and Maggie Savage of She Let Them Eat Cake. And you may even see me guest-posting once in a while. Thanks, Amy and Maggie! What a great resource for all of us in our quest to find balance.

But that’s not all. Throughout the month of January, gluten-free bloggers will be posting about balance and offering up healthy recipes to start your year out right. You can get all the updates at The Balanced Platter, or by liking TBP on Facebook or by following @balancedplatter on Twitter. And, then on February 1st, TBP will be hosting a baking gift pack giveaway!

For me, I’ve found that cooked food is definitely needed to keep me in balance. But raw food? Well, it rawks, too. So, in celebration of the launch of The Balanced Platter, I’m offering up 2 takes on Broccoli Slaw – one raw, and one cooked. Both are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and can be nut-free. They’re also both extremely quick and very healthy – perfect for January, when we are all just a bit sick of spending lots of time in the kitchen.

For me, I eat the raw one all summer long. But, in the winter, I eat the cooked version. Which one balances you?

Cooked Broccoli Slaw - vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free

Cooked Asian Broccoli Slaw - vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free

Asian Broccoli Slaw 2 Ways

1 onion (omit for raw version)
1 small clove garlic (minced for cooked version, mashed for raw)
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. low-sodium GF Tamari Sauce (for paleo or soy-free, use coconut aminos)
1 t. grated ginger or 1/2 t. dried ginger (dried ginger is considered more warming, if you need to build warmth)
6 ounces (1/2 package) packaged broccoli slaw (available at Trader Joe’s or at most large grocery stores)
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/3 cup nuts (I typically use peanuts in the cooked version and raw cashews in the raw. For a nut-free version, use sesame or pumpkin seeds.)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Raw Version

Stir together garlic, ginger, sesame oil, tamari and lime juice. Pour over slaw. Let rest for 30 minutes. Top with nuts and cilantro.

Cooked Version

Warm the sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until onions are soft. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 more seconds. Add the slaw and the tamari. (The slaw will release liquid, but if it’s too dry as you’re starting, add 1 T. water to help it get started.) Cook, stirring constantly, until slaw softens. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Top with nuts and cilantro.

This entry was posted in Asian, broccoli, grain-free, main dish, nightshade-free, nuts, raw, salads, side dish, vegan and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Balance… oh, and Broccoli Slaw

  1. Kathryn says:

    Love this post! This morning I was thinking about balance, healthier eating and how to quantify my goals for this year. Resolutions aren’t for me – small steps towards healthier living work better. Raw does rawk (you’re too funny) but a balance of raw and cooked works best for me and my family, too. The cooked broccoli slaw will be on our table soon.

    The Balanced Platter looks very interesting and I’ll be spending more time there. Congratulations on kicking off their Balanced, Healthy and Gluten Free in 2012!

    • Deanna says:

      Yep, resolutions don’t work that well for me, either. It’s more about experimenting and trying to figure out what works when. And, it seems to be a constantly moving target. But, if I listen to my body, it usually knows what it needs. Mostly, I need to learn to get out of the way and let my body lead me on the right path to health.

      Let me know if you try the slaw. I’d love to hear your reactions.

  2. I can’t wait to try this Deanna (I think I’ll try both versions)! Mmmm! I love an asian slaw. I am with you on the warm foods in the Winter. I can’t imagine how 100% raw foodies do it! I need my warm comfort foods (hello curry!). Thank you SO much for such a great post for TBP’s first event. You totally set the bar high and we’re so grateful. Have a fantastic 2012 Deanna.

  3. Go you for giving high raw a try! Nothing wrong with trying a new diet and taking some aspects of it to heart while realizing all of it won’t work. I’m trying to incorporate a few more raw things into my diet–made a raw collard salad that was okay, but it’s definitely not going on a favorites list any time soon.

    • Deanna says:

      Yep, I definitely am loving the infusion of lots more fruits and veggies in my diet that came out of doing the 11 weeks high raw. I happen to be in Arizona this week – sunshine and warmth and fresh fruits and veggies galore – and had a beautiful bowl of strawberries, cinnamon and almonds for breakfast. So delicious!

      Collards are okay as wraps, in my book. But, a whole salad of them? Um..yah, I’m thinking that would be firmly in the “just okay” category for me. 🙂

  4. I hear ya on the cooked-food-in-the-Midwestern-winter cravings. I’m eating a bowl of hot oatmeal as we speak 🙂

    Congrats on completing the 11-week initiative! And your slaw looks and sounds great.

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks! I’m managing to avoid going back to cooked grains (I do better without them). But, my body is so much happier with the cooked veggies right now. Maybe in the summer I’ll go more raw again.

  5. I love broccoli slaw, so I’m sure I’d like either version of this, raw or cooked.

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks, Pat. I love that it’s a convenience food that’s actually good for me. Fridge to table in so few minutes! (That’s also good for maintaining balance for me.)

  6. Cara says:

    What a great post, Deanna! I feel similarly about eating raw. I like it in moderation with cooked foods. I’m just not the type of person who could eat raw 100% but more power to those who can! And I cannot wait to check of The Balanced Platter–what a fun find! 🙂

  7. Hi Deanna!

    I love broccoli stalks – I eat them raw, pickle them, throw them in salads. You slaw sounds delicious (both versions!) and your photos are outstanding.

    I’m also with you on the cooked vs. raw debate – I love them both. I couldn’t imagine only eating raw but I do love raw foods. Balance is a good thing.

    Thank you so much for your support of TBP! We are so excited about the new site and can’t wait to see how it unfolds this year.

    Big hugs,

    • Deanna says:

      Yep, love both cooked and raw, and balance is very, very good. 🙂

      I love broccoli stalks in soup, too. So yummy. I think they’re almost sweet.

  8. eva @VegucatingMyKid says:

    i am part of the RFR community as well–but have yet to join a challenge–so i commend you : )
    i don’t think i can be 100% raw ever, but i am usually 40% raw and 59% cooked, whole foods, non-processed vegan with a 1% fish (salmon, or a tin of sardines)…i feel amazing with raw foods in my diet everyday in the form of 2 green smoothies/day and one ‘heavy duty’ juice…

    • Deanna says:

      Thanks, Eva. It was challenging, for sure. But, also a good incentive to learn more about raw foods. And, I was definitely not 100% raw, though there were days that were 100% raw. I’ll still be hanging out at the hab from time to time. Hope to see you over there!

  9. Love this! There is not just one diet, way of eating, lifestyle that works for me. I am in the midst of finding what works for best for my body. It is ever changing, raw, Paleo, vegan, and always, GF, DF, EF… Not sure why the changes, but have learned to fully listen and when I comply… Everything stays in balance. I am so excited about the launch TBP! Looking forward to following long this year! And this Broccoli… Rawks!!

    • Deanna says:

      Exactly, Shelly. I know I’ll be GF & DF & soy-free. The rest is up for grabs, and changeable depending on the season and my overall health.

      Thanks for your support!

  10. Alta says:

    I’m with you on raw food in the winter. I’m okay with a bit of it here and there, but I couldn’t eat high raw when it’s freezing outside! I think a balance is key – do what your body tells you to do! Both versions of this slaw look divine.

  11. Amber says:

    Hi There Deanna,

    Great kick-off post! Well done. Thanks for the great recipes.

    Happy New Year to you.

    Be Well,

  12. Deanna, you have been accomplishing some awesome stuff of late, my dear! No sugar … a lengthy raw challenge–wow! Eating raw certainly has its benefits and I do love my raw green smoothies (definitely addictive), but I also know that some of the nutritional benefits in some food is only “unlocked” when it’s cooked. Like you and others, I also need my warm or hot foods, too.

    I love this slaw and will be making it soon! I’ll go for onions in my raw version and walnuts versus peanuts in both. 😉

    Great job on the path to TBP!

    • Deanna says:

      Thank you, Shirley. Ah, you’re one of those folks that can eat raw onions, eh? Love ’em cooked, can’t abide them raw. Well, except in salsa where they’ve “cooked” in some sort of acid, preferably lime juice. But, if you can eat em raw, I’m sure they’d be good in the raw version, too.

      I’ve never tried walnuts. Hm…. I’ll have to give those a try.

  13. Nancy B. says:

    I made the cooked version for my lunch, using coconut aminos and roasted unsalted cashews. It was SO good. My only regret was that I didn’t double the recipe and use all the broccoli. Next time….

    • Deanna says:

      Wow! Thanks so much for coming back and telling me about your experience. I love it when people make my recipes and report back.

      It’s addictive stuff, isn’t it? I could eat it every day and not get bored with it.

  14. Sophie33 says:

    Your cooked version is a lot like my version of dinner this evening.
    My hubby & I love to use the combo of fresh ginger strips, honey, olive oil & soy sauce! We marinate our chicken strips in tgis marinade & wok it later with stir fry veggies.
    Your cooked verions, I am going to make in a few days! thanks for the lovely inspiration! 🙂

  15. Gigi says:


    Great recipe! I’ll enjoy this one BOTH ways, and sub the raw coconut aminos for soy sauce, sunflower kernels for nuts… It will be perfect!
    Hope your New Year is off to a fabulous start!
    Gigi 😉

  16. Great post — I’m just now catching up on TBP launch! I love the “balance” between these two recipes of yours. I definitely shift from predominantly raw in the summer to mostly cooked in the winter. That’s what my body wants, so I go with it.

  17. This looks delicious! And I was just starting to make a gluten-free dinner menu for one of our sitters this weekend. I found you through the SRC. Hooray!

  18. Pingback: Gluten-Free Diet Menu Plan for the Week of April 15, 2012 | Elegantly, Gluten-Free

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