As I reported in our recent article Organic Supermarket Trends—Flavor Focus: Vanilla, vanilla is still America’s favorite flavor, and top chefs are incorporating it into innovative main dishes.

“I try to bring two ingredients together that you originally kept separate,” says Chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie in Houston, Texas.

According to the flavor experts at spice maker McCormick & Company, combining sweet and savory ingredients in spicy foods creates a “more palatable offering, as the sweet chaser balances the hot notes for a smooth, robust flavor, pleasing even the most timid taste buds.”

Their Sweet & Sassy Vanilla Slaw is very different from your grandmother’s old-fashioned coleslaw recipe. Vanilla, ginger, red pepper and black pepper add heat to the crisp crunch of the cabbage. Serve it as a refreshing side dish at a moment’s notice, as it takes only 15 minutes to prepare.

Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.

Sweet & Sassy Vanilla Slaw

Makes 8 servings

1 medium head Napa or Chinese cabbage, shredded (about 5 cups)
1 16-oz. package broccoli slaw

Dressing
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Mix cabbage and broccoli slaw mix in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and remaining ingredients. Stir until well blended.
  3. Just before serving, pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Toss gently.