This red cabbage salad has always been a big hit in our home and at potlucks. It is based off a recipe a friend passed onto me 15 years ago. I loved the salad but lost the recipe so this is what I created based on my memory of the salad. This recipe probably has very little in common with the original but I like it just as much.

My original recipe used soy sauce but when I quit eating any soy I used coconut aminos as a substitute. They were a perfect substitute for a while until I did a little more research and learned more about MSG and excitotoxins. In turns out the coconut aminos were not a great substitute so I eliminated this ingredient from the recipe entirely until I have time to do more research. It changes the flavor of the salad but not in a bad way. The salad remains crunchy and zesty and delicious.

I did find a recipe online from the GFCF Lady for a soy sauce substitute. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m intrigued. What I love about this red cabbage salad is how quick it is to make with ingredients you likely already have in the house. Making your own soy-sauce will add to the time and complexity so for now I will do without.

If you have seen my recipes before you know that I estimate amounts. I feel coming up with your own measurements for ingredients is one of the best ways to connect with food. It requires us to really think about the flavor and taste of an ingredient and then decide based on our experience and personal preference how much is the correct amount. This is why I cook and rarely bake. Baking requires a little more specificity and structure. I have approximated amounts below to help you get started.


  • One Red Cabbage
  • Sunflower Seeds (soaked/sprouted if you have them – approximately one cup)
  • Sesame Seeds (soaked/sprouted if you have them – approximately 1/2 – 1 cup)
  • Olive Oil (approximately 1/2 cup to start then add to personal taste)
  • Sesame Oil (approximately a tablespoon)
  • Vinegar – I use apple cider, basalmic or coconut vinegar (approximately 1/2 cup maybe a little more)
  • Sea Salt to taste


  • Grated Carrots (approximately 2 cups grated)
  • Grated Ginger (one tablespoon)
  • Chopped Apple (one apple)
  • Chopped Chicken
  • Chopped Green Cabbage (blend with red cabbage)
  • Cilantro
  • Nuts – peanuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts (soaked/sprouted)


  • Remove the outer leaves of the red cabbage

  • Chop red cabbage into small pieces. I prefer to chop the cabbage over grating it so that the salad remain crunchy
  • Add red cabbage to a salad bowl. Make sure the bowl is large enough so there is plenty of room to toss ingredients.
  • Lightly toast the sesame seeds. I soak/sprout and roast/dehydrate seeds in advance and keep them in the pantry. You can buy sprouted seeds or use unsprouted seeds. Soaking/sprouting seeds makes them more digestible by reducing the phytic acid.
  • Add all ingredients to red cabbage and toss.
  • Add any optional ingredients and toss.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.