Cabbage and Bows

When I was little, I HATED cabbage. That didn’t stop my mother from putting it in quite a few meals. We often ate kielbasa, cabbage, and potatoes on the grill in the summer. And then there was sauerkraut and pork (BLEH), and stuffed cabbage, or halupki as it was known in our house. I can remember the very smell of some of these dishes making me want to run for the hills. Sorry, mom!

I really can’t remember when I started to like it, but now I can’t get enough cabbage, pickled, in salads, coleslaws, braised, and all other forms. One of my favorite things about visiting Prague last winter was that there was cabbage with every meal.

The other night, still feeling awful and unable to cook or eat much, I returned to my childhood for a simple, comforting meal, cabbage and bows. I have included a real recipe at the end of the post, but I just winged it, remembering flavors over measurements.

I started with about half of a sweet Vidalia onion, chopping it into thin pieces. The onion should cook down quite a bit, so you can feel free to make it as small as you like.

Vidalia onion

My childhood cabbage and bows was made with green cabbage, but I had a purple cabbage on hand, so that is what I used.

purple cabbage

I roughly chopped up about a cup of cabbage for the pasta and ate about half a cup while chopping. Raw purple cabbage is so good!

purple cabbage

The chopped onion and cabbage get added to a generous amount of butter, Kerrygold for me, enough to coat the bottom of a frying pan. You could use something lower in fat like a butter substitute, but I wouldn’t. Butter gives this dish flavor, and it is comfort food after all!


Back in the day, cabbage and bows was made with bowtie pasta. I also didn’t have that stocked in the cabinet, but I did have some whole wheat rotini which worked just fine.


While the pasta cooked, I cooked the cabbage and onions down in the butter until they were nice and soft. I mixed the cabbage, onions, and butter with the finished pasta, added salt and pepper, and climbed under a pile of blankets to get some much-needed comfort.

cabbage and noodles

Do not, I repeat, do not get sick. I take pretty good care of myself, but I think I let some of the stress of all of the changes and wondering in my life right now get to me big time. 

The last time I left my house, other than to go to the doctor on Thursday, was last Tuesday. Help!

Do you have a food or foods from your childhood that you hated then and love now?

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Tags: butter, cabbage, childhood recipes, comfort food, cooking, Food, onions, pasta, recipes, vegetables, Vegetarian

  1. ashleigh’s avatar

    I love cabbage and that looks delish! I used to hate cottage cheese growing up but now I like it. I also never used to eat beans and now I eat beans practically every day. It’s funny how much our taste buds change over time.


  2. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle’s avatar

    I used to hate brussel sprouts when I was a kid, but now I can’t get enough of them, eat them all the time! It’s funny how your parents force you to eat things when you’re younger and you grow up to like them (although not true with everything…I didn’t like pork growing up and still don’t like it).


  3. Daisy’s avatar

    my Mom made purple cabbage for us growing up too! but i think it was in raw crunchy form as a salad and I always loved it. You reminded me I should ask her for her recipe.

    I can’t believe you are still suffering. feel better for dinner tomorrow pleaseeee. (sending healing thoughts your way!)


  4. A Boston Food Diary’s avatar

    Awwww I hope you feel better soon!! Terrible being sick- esp for that long!

    I love purple cabbage as well- and its SO pretty!


  5. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Could your timing be any more perfect? I have a purple cabbage in my fridge right now that I’ve been contemplating for over a week, not knowing what I wanted to do with it. I’m totally making this.


  6. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    This sounds like something I’d like. Thanks for the idea and I’m sorry you still aren’t feeling well.


  7. Michelle’s avatar

    I hope you feel better soon! I used to hate steak growing up but in the past few years, I’ve really grown to love it!


  8. Melissa’s avatar

    My mom never made cabbage when I was growing up, but I hated a lot of things she did make! I used to only eat broccoli it was hidden in a ton of hoisin sauce, and I refused to eat tomatoes until I was 21. Love them both now!
    If you’re still sick – one of my favorite “sick” foods is toast with butter and cinnamon sugar, cut in triangles. Childhood favorite!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Yum! Cinnamon toast is good sick food! I had to laugh at your comment about tomatoes. My older sister is still so repulsed by tomatoes that she can’t even have one on her plate!


    2. Megan’s avatar

      I was never a picky eater. The only things I’ve come to love later on in life that I thought I didn’t like were rosemary, sushi, and oysters… because my parents didn’t like them. I’ve since gotten my mother to discover she actually does love oysters too.


    3. alicia’s avatar

      MMM that looks so comforting!!
      When I was a little kid I hated raw tomatoes…..I’d eat tomato sauce and ketchup but never a raw ‘mater in a salad.

      Then my mom started a garden – and grew her own tomatoes. I can’t get enough!


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