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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the chunky coleslaw

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: N/A

serves: 4-6, makes 1 medium salad

short story here

From about the ages of 16-20, I went through a major mayo phase.

But not just any mayo, Subway's mayo, & only Subway's mayo. I can remember the order now: a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, as many veggies as possible, sometimes extra onions, but always extra mayo. Boy have times changed.

Quite honestly, I don't think I've had Subway since college. But I know for certain, the last day I had Subway was the last day I had mayo. Up until a few months ago, anyway.

Purple coleslaw in ceramic bowl

I've shared a bit about my relationship with food here & there, but if I could sum it up into one word, it'd be restriction. It was the name of the game, mostly to feel like I was in control of something(s) that scared me. I limited the amounts I "could have" of them, chose specific times & conditions in which I could eat them, & for others, removed them altogether - one of which was mayo. I feared it. Demonized it, in fact. And didn't think twice. Unfortunately, nutrition school didn't exactly help my relationship with it. I learned why & how processed foods can be quite harmful for us, mayo falling into this category. So something like coleslaw was out of the question.

But as time went on, I craved more freedom. Joy. Pleasure. Pushing food after food aside & watching your friends eat them without thinking twice about it, becomes very lonely, very quickly.

With a lot of work, that I'm still in the thick of, I've slowly come to expand the foods I eat. First, it was sourdough, then bits of dairy, a whole banana, sliced deli meat, & now, the wonderful mayo.

At the same time, I'll probably always have a Nutritionist's mindset, it's my nature to look for foods that won't create added stress on my body. It's tough. That's why I'm grateful for companies like Primal Kitchen who create products with this in mind. If you haven't tried their mayo, I highly recommend.

Anyway, here's the long-winded point: I believe that with any food, there are more nutritious options, & ones that are simply less. Then we have to address the other elephant in room... the same food can be more nutritious or less nutritious for two different people. I really believe it's not about foods being 'healthy' or not, good or bad. Instead, it's about the food's nourishment, which falls on a spectrum that looks very different for each of our individual bodies. I hope that offers some semblance of comfort when you need it. Ted talk over.

Let's get to the recipe that I have been proud to be eating (& thoroughly enjoying) after many years.

coleslaw considerations:

Mayo selection. As I mentioned, I prefer Primal Kitchen as they use avocado oil over canola; however, you could also make your own! There are many recipes out there that are quick & easy. If you have avocado or oil olive oil, a few eggs, & some vinegar, you're just about set.

Coconut aminos. This recipe is not traditional. Because this recipe has no added sugar, the coconut is a nice addition. It brings a hint of sweetness to round out the recipe.

Taste test. If you like acidity, go for 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in the dressing. If you'd like it a little sweeter, add ½ Tbsp honey.

Storing. This recipe will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge, tightly sealed.



1 small red cabbage

½ small red onion

¼ c pumpkin seeds

¼ c golden raisins

c parsley or cilantro, chopped & finely packed

optional add in's: shredded carrots, arugula


½ c avocado oil mayonnaise, I used Primal Kitchen

1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp coconut aminos

½ tsp ground celery seed

cracked pepper


Prepare the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar & mix together until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.

Prepare the salad. Begin by slicing the cabbage in half, down the stem. Place the cabbage cut-side down on your surface & cut across the cabbage in thin strips. Be sure to cut the cabbage as thinly as possible, then place the strips into a medium-sized bowl. Similarly, slice the red onion as thin as possible & place it into the same bowl. Begin massaging the two together with your hands. You should feel the cabbage start to soften, this will take about 2-5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients. Herbs, pumpkin seeds, raisins, & any additional add-ins to your coleslaw. Pour the dressing on top & thoroughly mix together.

Top with cracked pepper & serve!

Purple coleslaw in ceramic bowl

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