Originally posted July 3, 2014. Updated June 2015.
Coleslaw was never the type of salad I craved. Not only did I find it hard to eat because the cabbage was sliced into a stringy mass, the dressing always seemed too sweet. I don’t remember eating coleslaw with a dressing I found appealing–they were always overly sweet or too creamy–two qualities that I only enjoy in the form of ice cream.
Recently, I was asked to prepare a sweet barbecue chicken sandwich recipe. The fully plated version called for the sandwich to be paired with coleslaw. When I read that detail, I think my facial muscles automatically contorted into a cringe as flashbacks of super-sweet and creamy coleslaw flooded my mind. From that moment on, I was on a mission to create a coleslaw recipe that I liked–whether I ate the slaw on its own or added it into a sandwich.
Trying my best to keep calories on the lower-end (I am a dietitian, after all!), I experimented with dressings containing both full-fat and light mayonnaise varieties and….Greek yogurt. This year, my dear RD colleague, Toby Amidor wrote a book entitled The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. It has a ton of amazing Greek yogurt recipes and her book inspired me to experiment with this ingredient in my dressing recipe. I discovered that the yogurt kept the creamy consistency I was shooting for while adding the tangy-flavor I liked. (Thanks Toby! My “Ma-yo” dressing title is in your honor.) I like how the additional ingredients, like earthy ground paprika, a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of brown sugar balance out the flavors nicely.
After experimenting with this recipe (several times!) with my family, I think I found the right combination. Now when I think of coleslaw, I think of this version…and I love it!
Tangy Coleslaw with Ma-yo Dressing
Time: 15 minutes
- 3 tablespoons lite mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon season salt
- 1/2-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1/8 (“a pinch”) brown sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups (about 1/2 head) cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (2-3 medium) carrots, grated
- In a large salad bowl, combine all dressing ingredients together and whisk. Set aside
- Add cabbage and carrots to the large bowl with the dressing. Use tongs to incorporate all ingredients together.
- Chill coleslaw in refrigerator and serve.
*Note: Garnish with lemon slices and freshly grated carrot. Can also add chopped cilantro or parsley for added color and flavor.