Janet's Notebook
Go Crazy for Coleslaw!

Homemade Pepper Slaw

Ice cream aside, nothing cools down a steamy barbecue like creamy, crunchy coleslaw. Slaw has long been a favorite of this cookout loving gal, and I've eaten my way through many fabulous recipes. No matter how many variations I try, though, I still can't get enough.

In search of learning all things slaw, I took a quick spin around the library and found that while the term "coleslaw" comes from the Dutch term for "cabbage salad", it's still perfectly correct to toss other veggies in and still call it slaw.

Leah Stacey's Asian Slaw is a perfect example. Piled high atop her Blue Ribbon winning Thai Smile Burger, Leah's broccoli slaw starts with classic Thai flavor and ends in big smiles. Much of that traditional Thai flavor comes from the use of ingredients like rice wine vinegar, garlic, onion, soy, and ginger. Oh, and did I mention the salted peanuts?! The nuts add an unexpected sweetness and crunch that makes this recipe perfect as a condiment or as a stand-alone side dish.

If traditional cabbage slaw is more your bag, you simply must try Shirley Terhaar's Pepper Slaw. This inventive slaw has all the classic goodness of coleslaw, but with added vegetables and, get this, no mayo! Shirley's recipe is one of our go-to picnic recipes. It's a snap to prepare, features fresh cabbage, peppers, onions and carrots, and actually gets better as it sits out. With a simple dressing of vinegar, dry mustard, veggie oil and spices, it's easy to pull this one together in a pinch.

Got some less than enthusiastic cabbage eaters in your house? Shelene Wilhelm is a Wyoming mom with the answer.

"We came up with this recipe after eating pasta slaw at [a local restaurant]. Neither my husband nor the kids would really eat coleslaw until we tried this recipe. Now, it’s a family favorite that we make regularly!"

Combining the best of pasta salad and cabbage slaw, Shelene's Pasta Slaw recipe mixes up cooked ditalini pasta (the little tubes) with shredded cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, celery onion and peppers. Once bathed in her sweet and tangy sauce of vinegar and mayo, Shelene's slaw is a true family-friendly masterpiece.

"My father will even ask for a little of the dressing to put on his hamburger!" smiles Shelene.

Veggies are so wonderful served in their natural form, but even the belles of the ball enjoy dressing up from time to time. What's your slaw style?

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Karen MacLellan - Jun 24, 2013
I get the coleslaw ready made in the dole packages... and I like to add either sweet Vidalia dressing that I get from Sam's club OR Ranch Dressing to it. The kids have no clue it's coleslaw and love it!
Gypsy Brokenwings - Jun 18, 2013
I like to add vinegar and honey to my cold slaw. The bite and sweet go well together.