shaved brussels sprout salad 2I like to say that “Vegan is the highest common denominator” (at least in terms of food and eaters), because everyone eats plants. Then I was in Portland a year or two ago, and I said this to someone who came back with, “Actually, raw vegan is.” He’s obviously never traveled to India–eat raw food there see how your day goes.

But the fact is, raw food is a must, a minimum daily requirement. I’ve taken to blending salad for breakfast (a.k.a. “green juice”) and it’s freaking great. I still cook a lot of my food (I am a cook, after all), but my body loves raw food best. I can feel its gratitude every time I feed it raw food.

So I was thinking recently about how to eat a Brussels sprout raw (and enjoy it, of course), when it came to me: make it the primary ingredient in a cole slaw! I don’t know why I never thought of it before. It’s a cabbage, after all–in Mexico, where I grew up,  the name for it is col de bruselas (“cabbage of Brussels”). But my friendship with Brussels sprouts is still fairly young–I hated it as a kid–and I haven’t really spent a lot of time thinking up ways to use it.

For this slaw, I used a mandoline to get uniform, superthin slices of the Brussels sprouts and red cabbage. I added finely grated carrot and then fluffed the slaw to combine the three ingredients well. Then I made a creamy dressing with fresh lime juice, sherry vinegar, Udo’s Oil, raw cashew butter, mellow white miso, tamari, sriracha sauce, and grated ginger. I served it immediately after tossing in the dressing, when all the flavors and textures were at their peak of assertiveness.

I realized after I had written it all down, that I hadn’t used any onion–something I’d rarely left out of most salads, let alone a slaw–but the this was so pungent and spicy, it hadn’t occurred to me while I was eating it. It was bit paradoxical, really–the texture was very delicate, with just a little crunch, yet with an explosive overall effect. It was still good the next day, but nothing like that hot-sweet-sour-crunchy-creamy tangle I piled into bowls and ate just seconds after assembling. And the colors! Check out the colors!