This grain bowl treats cabbage 'steaks like chicken or fish, coating them with a spice rub that roasts into their layers and puts a completely different twist on a vegan bowl. This dish is further proof that you can veganize anything to taste equally as good.

Cacao-Rubbed Cabbage with Citrus Salsa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Cooking Time



For the Cacao-Rubbed Cabbage:

  • Avocado oil, for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium red cabbage, cut into thick rings or 'steaks'

For the Citrus Salsa:

  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 2 grapefruits, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil

To Serve:

  • 4 cups cooked sorghum and/or wild rice
  • 1–2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin


  1. To make the cabbage, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°F. Grease a sheet pan with oil and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the coconut sugar, cacao, coriander, paprika, salt and cayenne. Note: 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne adds a definite kick, so if you prefer less heat, reduce that quantity. Rub the spice mixture on the cabbage steaks, then arrange on the baking sheet. Roast until the cabbage is crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. While the cabbage roasts, prepare the salsa.
  3. To make the citrus salsa, combine the shallot, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Zest the oranges. Cut off and discard the peels and white pith, then coarsely chop the fruit. Add the zest, chopped oranges, chopped grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, mint, parsley and oil to the shallot, and stir to combine.
  4. To serve, top the grains with the layers of roasted cabbage, raw fennel slices and a generous serving of citrus salsa.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 464 | Carbs: 81 g | Fat: 13 g | Protein: 11 g | Sodium: 82 mg | Sugar: 36 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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