Napa Cabbage Stew

By Wendy Monro

This week, my uncle, aunt and cousin came out here for the weekend. Last weekend, Daphne sang with an amazing group of musicians from a group called, “Raiding The Rock Vault”. This is a “super group” of musicians from different groups (Guns & Roses, Offspring, Asia, Badfinger, etc), who have come together to form a group that performs a show revealing the history of rock from the 1940’s until the present. Because Daphne sang with a few of these musicians, they invited her to come to their show. We thought that would be a great thing to do with our family. I called the manager and asked for tickets for all ten of us.

Saturday night, we all went out to see the show. It was amazing. I am a huge classic rock fan. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Rush, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Aerosmith. First, they sat us in the front row, which was amazing. I jokingly said to Claud, “They better not sweat or spit on me.” In reality, I was very happy with our seats, especially since my little cousin, Charlotte, had never been to a concert before. She is nine years old. Her mom kept leaning over to me telling me, “She is going to think that this is what all rock concerts are like.” She is going to think that whenever she goes to a concert, she will sit front row center and get all of the attention of the musicians. At the end of the show, the best guitarist handed her his signed guitar pick. She was in heaven.

The thing I loved most about the show is that it was a classic rock history, which took place in California. They had actors who spoke in between song sets telling us about what was going on in California and the rest of the country at the time. We heard about being a hippie, watching the first man land on the moon, Richard Nixon’s presidency, going to Vietnam, the beginning of MTV, living in the 80’s, and life in the 90’s with its grunge music. An actor played of the DJ’s at KLOS 95.5 in Los Angeles. This is the station I grew up listening to. I loved every minute of it. I sang every single song as loudly as I could.

These musicians were getting old. They looked amazing. I kept thinking I needed to really take care of myself so I can continue doing what I love far into the latter years of my life. What do they do to stay young? They definitely are not taking chances with their bodies. Believe me, I live two doors down to Vince Neil and he does not look as good as these guys do. Vince still parties pretty hard. Every time I run into him on the street, he looks very hungover. These men don’t have that same look. I think all of the men in this group are living clean and taking care of themselves. They looked like they were healthy and having the best time. One of them said, “I think we have more fun up here than you do. We should be paying you.” How lucky is that?

Before the concert, I went shopping and tried to figure out what to make us all for dinner. My aunt and uncle are both vegetarians, which was too bad for Claud. He was severely outnumbered at that point. As I looked around the produce section of the grocery store, I came across this huge Napa cabbage. Have you ever seen a whole Napa cabbage? They are really big! I didn’t know what I would do with it, but I needed to put this puppy into my cart and figure it out.

I took the Napa cabbage home and started looking up ways to cook with it. Apparently, we can use Napa cabbage for wraps, soups, and stir-fry. However, the most widely or popular use of Napa cabbage is probably for making kimchi. Kimchi is a fermentd spicy cabbage dish eaten in Korea. I love Kimchi. I didn’t want to go through the process of learning how to make kimchi. Instead, I decided to make it into a type of stew and to serve it over some brown rice. I also included a bunch of caraway seeds. Caraway seeds have many health benefiting nutrients, minerals and vitamins. They are a rich source of dietary fiber. Caraway spice is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. So, adding a few tablespoons of caraway seeds to you dish can give your meal a powerful nutrition punch.

I made this dish for everyone to eat just before we all went to the classic rock concert. I think it helped to give us the nutrients and energy to dance, sing and shout for a couple hours of our favorite rock songs. It definitely didn’t hurt any. You could easily substitute some chicken for the tofu if you prefer. It was really delicious. I wonder if the musicians in “Raiding the Rock Vault” eat healthy like this? They sure look like they do.