Smothered Cabbage + Three Delicious Variations

This March, I discovered this Smothered Cabbage recipe on Food52 and it’s not just good, but really really good. Like, I’m kinda dreaming about the next time I’m going to make it good. 

What? Delicious cabbage?! Yes! Delicious cabbage! Cabbage so good you want to share it with people! (Or not because it’s so good you want to nom it all yourself. It’s okay. I’ve provided three recipes to help you do just that.)

Why I love it: cabbage is a very affordable raw ingredient that keeps for a while in the fridge, cabbage is so often overlooked as a boring ingredient that smells weird but when it gets cooked for a long time it has an unbeatable flavor, and making one giant batch of smothered cabbage equals not one but THREE possible additional meals.

I would estimate that making your initial batch of smothered cabbage is a low to medium spoons recipe depending on if you purchase chopped cabbage or chop it yourself + it takes an hour to cook but you don’t really have to spend a lot of time around the stove, just a stir every ten minutes or so. However! It’s totally worth making a big batch because it freezes extremely well and have I mentioned that as a leftover, you have THREE additional meals at your fingertips?

I’m marking this recipe as vegan/dairy free and gluten free, though I’m including variations that include dairy and pasta as well. You can do whatever makes you and your tummy and your food friends happy!

Your Basic Smothered Cabbage Recipe:

  • 1 head of cabbage, thinly sliced (if you can get your hands on cole slaw mix or pre-shredded cabbage, you’re golden — however, chopping things is nice and methodical and I enjoy it, but to each’s own)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • at least a teaspoon of salt and several dashes of pepper
  • a few drops of white (or apple cider) vinegar

The process is very easy. Toss all the ingredients in a big big pot with olive oil (or butter if you like it), stir it all up so things are mixed, and let cook over medium-low heat for about an hour. Stir every 10 minutes or so so nothing sticks and if it seems like it’s getting dry and sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon or two of water. This cooking method — the letting it hang out in the pot and cook down — allows the cabbage to cook from its own steam and also browns because of the oil. You’ll know it’s done when it starts smelling sweet and everything turns soft and melty and a bit brown and caramel-y colored. If you taste it, it’ll taste like magically confusing cabbage. Yes! It’s cabbage! I swear! And you can eat it all on its own like this as a meal (maybe with rice or pasta or quinoa or potatoes if you want) or as a side dish to a more proteiny main dish.

Now, my favorite part: the variations. Smothered cabbage is delicious on its own, but it also makes for a great base ingredient for these three recipes. If you’re making a big batch and freezing it, I recommend portioning it out in about one cup servings, and that will make your next three recipes even easier. (If you’re going from frozen to any of these recipes, you don’t have to spend a lot of time defrosting because the frozen cabbage is going to melt away in the tasty liquids!)

Smothered Cabbage Turned Curry:

Take a cup of Smothered Cabbage and add one can of coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, some cumin, and some curry powder to a pot. Bring to a simmer, allowing all the flavors to combine, and then add a cup of frozen green peas right at the last minute. Serve on its own or with rice.

Smothered Cabbage Turned Minestrone:

Take a cup of Smothered Cabbage and add one can of drained white beans, one can of diced tomatoes, and at least two cups of water. Bring to a simmer, add 1/2 cup of your favorite small pasta shapes and cook until tender. If you’re into it, you can top it with some parmesan cheese or croutons.

Smothered Cabbage Turned Risotto:

Take a cup of Smothered Cabbage and add three cups of your favorite broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup white rice and cook until tender and lightly soupy. Serve in your favorite bowl, topping with more pepper and parmesan if you want!

I’m excited to introduce another guest blogger! Followers, meet Cameron! He will be writing a column called “Shoestring Soup” about shopping on a budget and kitchen basics. 

Cameron, 22, just finished his BA in English Language and Literature at King’s College London. He is a poet, part of the Barbican Young Poets and Burn After Reading collective, as well as an academic mentor. He’s spent all of his life below the poverty, but has been determined to eat healthily nonetheless. By this, he means meeting your basic nutritional requirements. As a boxer and recovering bulimic, he has had a difficult relationship with food, and so he does his best to eat sensibly and on a budget. 

Click here to read about more of our guest bloggers!


8 vegetables that you can regrow again and again.


You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room.


When garlic begins to sprout, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a mild flavor than garlic and can be added to salads, pasta and other dishes.

Bok Choy

Bok choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks , you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head.


Put carrot tops in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit room or a window sill.  You’ll have carrot tops to use in salads. 


Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant.


Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a saucer or shallow bowl of warm water in the sun. Leaves will begin to thicken and grow in the middle of the base, then transfer the celery to soil. 

Romaine Lettuce

Put romaine lettuce stumps in a 1/2 inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at 1/2 inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil.


The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, plant them in a pot in a well-lit room. You will have a full plant in a few months.

(via prince-of-nettles)

Hashbrown Casserole



  • 1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

  • 1/2 cup melted butter

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) cancondensed cream of chicken soup (can be made vegetarian by using cream of mushroom soup)

  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions

  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chopped onion, Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Place mixture in a 3 quart casserole dish.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute cornflakes in 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole.
  4. Bake covered in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Simple budget pasta

This is pretty much all I ate when I was living on a £5 weekly food budget, as you can get everything here cheaply in large enough quantities to last at least a week, it’s pretty filling, and it involves plenty of veggies.  To change it up you can swap sliced boiled potatoes for the pasta to make a hash.  

  • 2 handfuls pasta shapes or a bundle of spaghetti about an inch in diameter per person
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic and herb cheese spread
  • Vegetables - all optional but I tend to use
  • 1 handful each frozen sweetcorn and peas
  • 1/2 small onion, very finely chopped
  • a handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • Optional - 1-2 sausage links, sliced into chunks, or 1-2 rashers of bacon, chopped into pieces
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Boil pasta according to instructions.  A couple of minutes before it’s ready, add the frozen vegetables.
  2. While pasta is boiling, in separate large frying pan, fry onions gently until they are translucent (3-4 minutes), then add meat if you’re using it and mushrooms.  Fry for another 5-6 minutes.  
  3. Drain pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water, then tip the pasta and water into the frying pan along with the soft cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted and coated everything, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.  

skelletonclique: Any chance you could add a "low spoons" tag? I know a lot of disabled folks who would love to make their own food but it's hard to find stuff to do on really low spoons. So like, stuff that requires very, very little effort?

our dorm cooking and no chopping tags were created with that in mind! i haven’t created a specific tag for low spoons since the entirety of the recipes on this blog are supposed to be low spoons/effort, and because i know tons of people would check off the low spoons tag without understand its meaning, and the tag would get clogged up with stuff that’s not supposed to be in it. 

i know it’s not a perfect scenario, but it’s the most efficiently i could come up with. i know about those low spoons days where you need something super, super simple. i’ll try to come up with a master list of our best low spoons recipes and post that! that’s the best compromise i think i can come up with. 

thanks for the ask!

Quick & Easy “Fried” Rice

This is my go-to meal. It in no way tastes like real fried rice, but it’s pretty nutritious, takes only about 5-10 minutes to make, and is very filling! Also, you can make this whole meal in the microwave, which I do at work a lot. It’s not fried that way but it’s still pretty good. Just substitute the protein for either packaged tuna fish or cold tofu!


  • 1 container of Ready-to-Serve Rice (I use the Minute Rice Brown Rice bowls but any will do!)
  • 1 Cup of frozen veggies
  • 1 serving of protein, cubed (I usually use firm sprouted tofu because you can chop it easily and it cooks quickly, but I would imagine you could use whatever type of meat you want)
  • 1 TBS of oil
  • Whichever spices you want, for taste (chili flakes, a tiny bit of garlic salt, and ginger powder go great with this)
  1. Cook rice in microwave according to package.
  2. While rice is cooking in microwave, heat oil in skillet and add your protein. Stir occasionally. 
  3. Once rice is done cooking, put your frozen veggies into a microwave safe container with 3 TBS of water and heat them on high for 1-2 minutes, or until no longer frozen. 
  4. Add rice and veggies to the pan with the protein and stir for about 1 more minute. Add whatever seasonings you want and eat up!!

knjensen: Hello! I follow your blog on Feedly and starting just recently I only see the first line of the entry followed by a "...". Is this to push traffic to your actual Tumblr page instead of just being able to read the entire post through a blog reader? I know you've been making changes to the blog; it's just something that annoys me when I come across it in my blog reader and I wonder if there are people who have already unfollowed because of it. Love the blog, though. :)

I just edited the theme, so it’s likely it reverted to truncating the RSS feed. I’ll go check on the settings.

Avocado Grilled Cheese w Sriracha Mayo

It sounds fancy, I know, but this is actually a super easy and cheap recipe that only takes about 10 min. (I’m not sure how much avocados cost in most places, but here in California you can usually get them for less than a dollar each.) You can skip the sriracha mayo if you’re low on spoons/don’t like spicy things, but it’s super delicious (and makes extra so you can do what I do and put it on literally every food item you consume). 

Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich + leftover mayo):

For the mayo:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • sriracha
  • 1/2 lime

For the sandwich:

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • cheese (I used shredded Mexican blend, but you can use whatever sliced/shredded kind your heart desires)
  • baby spinach (optional, but a great way to get some extra vegetables in your life)
  • butter/oil for the pan


  • stove (you could probably also use a toaster oven in a pinch)
  • small frying pan
  • spatula
  • small mixing bowl

To make the mayo, combine the garlic, mayonnaise, and lime juice in your mixing bowl, then add sriracha to taste until it’s as spicy as you like.

To make the sandwich, spread a layer of sriracha mayo on one slice of bread. Add a layer of avocado slices, then cheese, then a layer of baby spinach. Top it off with the other slice of bread.

Heat a small dollop of butter/oil in a pan over medium-low heat, then add your sandwich. I stuck a plate on top of the sandwich for a kind of pressed/panini effect, so do that if you like. When the bottom of the sandwich is golden brown and crispy (2-3 min), flip and grill the other side for another minute or two. Then enjoy the best grilled cheese sandwich you’ve ever had!

Tomato Artichoke Chicken

This is one of the first full meals I learned to cook!  It’s something my mom invented and doesn’t require spices or things like that, so it’s really good when you’re starting out or you want something simple!  It also makes a TON, so you can make it on the weekend and feed yourself for a while.  It does use meat and artichoke hearts, but it stretches them pretty well so it’s decently affordable!


  • Some kind of vegetable oil (olive oil would be nicest but use whatever’s on hand)
  • ~2 medium-size chicken breasts (you could probably use other cuts here)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 bell pepper 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can whole artichoke hearts (not the kind in oil, these are in water - in Canada you can get the Unico brand, they should be near the pickles?)

Other things that would probably be nice in this but I have never tried:  chickpeas, olives, basil or oregano.

NOTE:  If you have pre-chopped onion and pepper mix, you can totally use those to cut down on the chopping!


  1. Cut up the chicken into small pieces (I usually go for about an inch in diameter).
  2. Dice the onion and bell pepper.
  3. Put a large pot (like a soup pot or a high-walled skillet) on medium heat.  
  4. When hot, pour the oil in, and add the onions a few minutes later (if you have mixed pre-chopped onion and pepper, just add the mix).  Cook until they’re translucent.
  5. Next add the chicken pieces and the bell pepper.  Cook until the chicken is done through.
  6. While the chicken is going, drain the artichoke hearts and roughly chop them.
  7. When the chicken is done, add the artichoke hearts and the canned tomatoes, plus their liquid (you can drain off a little if you like).
  8. Cook for a couple of minutes to let the flavours mix, then dig in!

Eat with: I go for brown rice, but any kind of rice would be great!  Pasta would probably work too.  I also usually have a veggie alongside, like broccoli or salad, and it is a great meal!

Makes ~6 servings