Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

Adventures in Cabbage. No, Really.


Cabbages are rather like human brains. The shape, the weight, the veining, the general air of closely-packed things concealed within… it’s enough to make a zombie turn vegetarian.

But I suppose you’re going to tell me that you don’t like cabbage.

From this, I’d deduce that you aren’t a vegetarian zombie, and that you’ve probably never had cabbage cooked in a way that brought out its best qualities. Many of us grew up eating cabbage that had been sliced into strings and then boiled in water to within an inch of its life. Let me tell you, this is not the best way to cook it. If you don’t like watery masses of cellulose, barely improved by the addition of butter and salt – well, neither do I. But that’s not really cabbage. That’s the product of primitive particle analysis.

Cabbage cooked with carrot and potato and spices, on the other hand, is pretty darn fine.

Why should you eat cabbage? Phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, cancer-prevention, bone health; and it’s got Vitamin K, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s – so it’s good for your braaaainsss. And best of all, it’s delicious, when you cook it properly.

Here’s one way to cook it properly: make tikel gomen, Ethiopian cabbage and potatoes. The recipe I’m giving you here is based on this version on, but there are other versions of varying complexity all over the Internet, and in Ethiopian kitchens all over the world. This one is simple, fragrant, and delicious, and I hope you’ll give it a try.

Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes (Tikel Gomen)


3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes


1.ย  In a medium skillet heat the olive over medium heat; add the carrots and onion and cook in the hot oil about 5 minutes.
2.ย  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and cabbage and cook another 15 to 20 minutes.
3.ย  Stir in the potatoes; cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.


15 comments on “Adventures in Cabbage. No, Really.

  1. Alison
    March 26, 2013

    I bought some cabbage last week and have been looking for a good way to prepare it. Growing up, my mom always cooked it in a skillet with some oil and salt and pepper and I thought it was disgusting. She always made me eat a bite on New Year’s Day, insisting it was good luck. I figured there had to be a better way to prepare it, so maybe I’ll give this a try!

    • thinkreadcook
      March 26, 2013

      Hey, neat! Let me know how it turns out; it’s one of my favourite cabbage dishes, and I hope you’ll like it, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. judy
    March 28, 2013

    Doesn’t that mean the cabbage will be over-cooked? I hate brussel sprouts too.

    • thinkreadcook
      March 28, 2013

      You’d think it would overcook the cabbage, but it doesn’t. Give it a try and see! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Brussels sprouts. Ugh!)

  3. judy
    April 26, 2013

    Won’t the cabbage be over cooked? You can see by this how very busy i am!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 26, 2013

      The cabbage doesn’t get overcooked; comes out at a really nice texture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. judy
    April 26, 2013

    Oh looky.i repeated myself. I found a good recipe for brussels. Must find it.

    • thinkreadcook
      April 26, 2013

      Please feel free to share, if it turns out to be a good recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. AlcoholTourism
    April 29, 2013

    Steamed red cabbage has become a huge favourite of ours! Steam until soft, then toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Absolute heaven! Your recipe include potatoes, which is always a good addition in our mind!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 29, 2013

      Oh, yeah, they go well together! Another good thing is to simmer the cabbage in with a corned-beef brisket… the cabbage ends up corned-beef flavoured as well.

      Your blog’s a lot of fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you guys toured Canada yet? We produce award-winning wines, world-class craft beers and artisanal spirits, as well as “Canadian Club”.

      • AlcoholTourism
        April 29, 2013

        Thank you! We have not been to Canada, and have only really considered BC. Where would you recommend we go if we do embark on a northerly trip in the future?

      • thinkreadcook
        April 29, 2013

        For wine country, BC’s gorgeous Okanagan Valley, and in Ontario, the Niagara region and Prince Edward County are prime places. Prince Edward County also has some local beer and cider brewing, and at least one distillery making artisanal gin, scotch, vodka and bitters. For beer… well, I’m most familiar with the craft breweries in Ontario, but I assume there are many others throughout the country. There’s sake being brewed in Ontario as well. Hope to see you here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. AlcoholTourism
    April 29, 2013

    Awesome, thanks for the tips!

    • thinkreadcook
      April 29, 2013

      Any time! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • thinkreadcook
        April 29, 2013

        My cat does that too! His idea of bliss is when I have to stay home sick, because he can spend the whole day sitting on me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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