We tried it and Liked it

November 9th, 2014 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Written by Kay Grant, Community Health Coordinator, CHI Health

I’m constantly in awe of the endless combinations of ingredients, tastes, smells and textures that make up “food.” Gillions of recipes online, bajillions of recipe books since the beginning of time, exotic ingredients, all inspire me to broaden my culinary horizons. I love to travel, letting my taste buds do the walking, but don’t get to do it often enough. And since I can’t travel the world every day, I’ll let the world’s foods come to me- jicama and all!

We limit ourselves quite often to those foods we “know”- the ones we’re comfortable eating, cooking and making for the kids. I think that’s why it’s so difficult to get kids to try new things. We all know those picky eaters, where if you can get them to eat corn, it’s an accomplishment, so we stick to the staples.   By introducing one small new thing every so often, we can all broaden our recipe repertoire. The produce section is filled with funky fruits and exotic veggies. I decided to try a cactus pear last week.   I kept an open mind and an open mouth. I tried it and I liked it. I might incorporate it into a colorful coleslaw in the spring.

Hmmm…coleslaw. Cabbage is another thing I’ve never been comfortable cooking with. Growing up, I always had it boiled or pickled. I never really enjoyed it, so that’s why it found its way out of my recipe books. But I found a recipe for Cranberry Walnut Coleslaw from my go-to site- CookingMatters.org, where all delicious, healthy recipes feed a family of four for under $10!!- that sounded totally do-able.


Cranberry Walnut Coleslaw

Serving Size

Serves 10, ¾ cup per serving


  • 1 (1-pound) head cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  • Box grater
  • Cutting board
  • Fork
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Sharp knife
  • Vegetable peeler


  1. Rinse cabbage and carrots. Thinly slice cabbage. Peel and grate carrots.
  2. Chop walnuts.
  3. In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, celery seed, and salt. Add cabbage, carrots, walnuts, and cranberries. Toss to mix well.

Chef’s Notes

  • If you buy a head of cabbage larger than 1 pound, slice up leftover cabbage to use in another meal. Try sautéing with sliced apples and seasoning with a little cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Serve with chicken or pork.
  • This coleslaw keeps well for up to 1 day.


I prepared it in 30 minutes (LOVE the easy stuff!) as an experiment during our Healthy Families classes. Healthy Families is a free 8-week nutrition and physical activity education class for families to work together toward healthy goals with the support of a dietitian, physical activity specialist, and behavioral health specialist. We often try new foods or foods we know prepared in a different way. Some things are hit or miss, but we have a “try one bite” strategy that we ask of the kids especially. More often than not, we win them over just be being enthusiastic about trying it ourselves, or asking them what they think the secret ingredients are.   Cranberry Walnut Coleslaw went over well. Kids like crunch! And the cabbage is very filling. We had some great suggestions about other ingredients you could add to it to make a complete meal- grilled chicken, sunflower seeds, and my thought- cactus pear?! Because of the cranberries, we also thought it might go well with Thanksgiving turkey!

Incorporating one small ingredient and really trying to make that the focus of a home-tasting with kids is a great way to see if it’s something that’s worth buying and preparing in the future. Let them pick it out at the grocery store, and help prepare it at home. They’re more likely to try it, and maybe even like it!

* * *

For more information about Healthy Families, visit http://www.chihealth.com/body.cfm?id=5211&action=detail&ref=257&category=Health%20and%20Wellness
Or http://livewellomahakids.org/programs-solutions/at-home/healthy-families/
Or call Kay Grant at 402-343-4691

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