Apple-Dill Coleslaw

I hope the New Year is going well for you so far. I have a few days left in Indiana, then I head back to Texas to begin my Ph.D. program. Therefore I'm feeling a mixture of anticipation, anxiety, and sadness (could not think of a synonym for sadness, so my attempt at alliteration was ruined...). I'm sad to leave my family but excited to explore the new town I  moved to. I guess all those emotions could best be summed up by the word "bittersweet." I have enjoyed cooking for my family while I was home, now it will be back to just cooking for me and any other new wayfaring friend who chances upon my apartment. It's funny to me because not only do I look forward to just having the companionship of new friends, I really look forward to feeding people!

One of the newest ways of cooking I have chanced upon is freezer cooking, which is supposed to save time and money. Basically, you take one day and cook a lot of stuff and freeze it for a whole week or even a month. Now, I can't see myself taking a whole Saturday afternoon cooking a week's worth of meals because, while I love cooking, I simply do not have the patience for something like that. What I do want to start doing is making more than I can eat of a particular recipe and freezing a few or even individual portions. Some foods, such as stews and chili, are difficult to prepare for one person because you're left eating it for days and days. I can avoid that by freezing excess. Another great thing about having frozen portions of food is that I don't have the excuse of saying to myself "I don't have anything in this apartment to eat!" All I'll have to do is check out the freezer. This will probably reduce my urges to get take-out, which can be unhealthy and seems to cost more per portion compared to homemade food.

I've been writing some freezer-friendly recipes to try. The funny thing is, I find myself re-making old standbys into healthier recipes. I think when people are trying to eat in a healthful way, they miss those old favorites like macaroni and cheese and enchiladas, which happen to be foods that freeze well. With a little thought, these recipes can be easily adapted by adding leaner ingredients plus a lot of flavor agents. Please stay tuned for my series of "lightened up" freezer-friendly foods as well as tips on how to prepare foods for freezing.

Switching gears, here's a recipe I made yesterday to go with some simple turkey burgers. This meal looks like summer, 4th of July food, though it is January. The coleslaw idea came from a lunch I had at Stream Cliff Farm Winery last summer. We shared a side of their delicious dill coleslaw, which had apple in it as well. I have re-created that salad, and here's my lighter version.

Apple-Dill Coleslaw
Printable Recipe

6 tbsp light Miracle Whip
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
sugar or sugar substitute to taste
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 Granny Smith apple
3 tbsp minced fresh dill
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Blend the Miracle Whip, vinegar, sugar or sugar substitute, and a little salt and pepper to taste.
2. To julienne the apple, cut thin slices off the "cheeks" of the apple, then stack the slices up and make thin cuts perpendicular to the cutting surface to produce batons.

3. Toss the cabbage, apple, and dill in the dressing. Allow the coleslaw to sit in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

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