The cabbage family includes all of the cruciferous vegetables, which are believed to prevent certain types of cancer. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi. The name "cruciferous" comes from the cross-shaped blossoms common to all of these vegetables.

Cabbages come in many shapes, from almost flat to round, and the leaves range from curly to smooth. The word "cabbage" itself is derived from the French word "caboche," a colloquial term for head, and in this country the most frequently used cabbage is indeed a compact, round head. The waxy-textured, smooth leaves are tightly wrapped and range in color from almost white to green and red.When buying cabbage, look for a head that is heavy for its size with crisp, fresh-looking outer leaves. Cabbage is also a good source of vitamin C and contains some vitamin A. This delicious and colorful side dish provides a quick and easy way to include a cruciferous vegetable in your meal planning. It can be served hot or cold and keeps well, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for several days. You can substitute green cabbage in this recipe, but the red makes a more attractive dish. If you're really in a hurry, you can substitute cole-slaw mix for the cabbage leaves!

Dear Jeanne: This salad-dressing recipe is great for large group functions. I would appreciate it if you could revise it to a more manageable size for my family. Thanks so much.

- Mrs. B., Minnesota

Dear Mrs. B: Here is the "tamed" version of your huge recipe! It really is easy, quick and good. The only changes I made other than bringing the proportions down to 1/16th of the original, were to reduce the calories, cholesterol and fat by using a low-fat mayonnaise and slightly reducing the amounts of both sugar and salt.

The sodium in my revision is slightly higher than in the original, however, due to the sodium in the low-fat mayonnaise. If you are worried about your salt intake, you can adjust by reducing the added salt or using a low-sodium catsup.

Each serving contains approximately:

Original recipe: 151 calories; 11 mg cholesterol; 15 gm fat; 308 mg sodium; negligible protein; 5 gm carbohydrates.

Revised recipe: 60 calories; 7 mg cholesterol; 7 gm fat; 325 mg sodium; negligible protein; 5 gm carbohydrates.

Potatoes, contrary to popular opinion, are not fattening. They are nutritious, healthful and delicious and perfect for everyone trying to eat a light diet. Order my booklet, "Potatoes Are Not Fattening," for $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No.10 envelope from Potato, PO Box 5541, Riverton, NJ 08077-5541.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 30 cookbooks, most recently "Healthy Cooking for People Who Don't Have Time to Cook" (Rodale Press, $27.95).

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1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

21/2 cups packed red cabbage slices

1 bay leaf

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon caraway seed

2 tablespoons red wine

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 small apple, peeled, cored, and cut into matchstick-size pieces (1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon red currant jelly

11/2 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size, ovenproof skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they are a golden brown. Add the red cabbage, cover and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the bay leaf, cloves, pepper, salt, caraway seed, red wine, red-wine vinegar and vegetable stock. Mix well and cover the skillet.

Transfer the covered skillet to the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until the cabbage is completely wilted.

Add the sliced apple and red currant jelly and mix well. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

- Nutritional analysis: Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains approximately 55 calories; no cholesterol; negligible fat; 71 mg sodium; 1 gm protein; 10 gm carbohydrates.


1 gallon mayonnaise

1/2 gallon tomato ketchup

3 cups sweet pickle relish

1 cup grated onion

11/2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

11/2 tablespoons salt, or to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate to chill before serving and to allow flavors to marry. Makes about 11/2 gallons; 192 (2-tablespoon) servings.


1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon grated fresh onion

1/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Chill to blend flavors before serving. Makes about 11/2 cups; twelve 2-tablespoon servings.