Fat Free Raw Vegan Cabbage Slaw – Costa Rican Style

by on January 20, 2012

Fat Free Oil Free Raw Vegan Costa Rican Cabbage Slaw Salad

Raw Vegan Cabbage Slaw Costa Rican Style

This is a really easy and fast recipe that happens to be oil free, fat free and raw vegan. When we lived in Costa Rica we would eat this salad a lot and it’s a staple dish because cabbage is so abundant there. Most of the tender lettuces don’t last very long in the humidity down there even in the fridge, but cabbage never had a problem. So we ate a lot of cabbage while we were there. The Costa Ricans use VERY SIMPLE seasonings to flavour their dishes, this one only has a balance of lime juice and salt. You don’t have to add the salt, but it’s used to help wilt the cabbage and to cut the acidity of the lime and make it tangy. The tomato adds some juiciness to the recipe as well, so make sure you use a good tomato.

If you get store bought coleslaw mix you can have this salad ready in minutes and then put it in the fridge while you prep your main dish.

I’ve served this to raw foodies and non raw eaters and both love it as a tangy topping to latin style dishes. Typically this Costa Rican cabbage salad would be eaten with seasoned rice and black beans which is also called gallo pinto.

Cabbage has a very nice flavour and does not require any oil. Please don’t drown your healthy cabbage in olive oil or creamy dressing! Oil free coleslaw recipes are delicious.

Fat Free Raw Vegan Cabbage Slaw Costa Rican Style

Serves 4 as a side dish


5 cups green cabbage, sliced (or slaw mix)
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 -1 1/2 large limes, juiced
1/2 tsp herbamare or salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste


1. Place cabbage or slaw mix into a bowl. Add tomatoes and onions and seasonings. Roughly squeeze and massage the cabbage to wilt it and make the tomatoes release their juices.

2. Taste test and add more lime or salt if desired.

3. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to soften before serving.

4. Serve with raw entrees or as a topping for vegan tacos or rice and beans.


You can also add some chopped raw cilantro (coriander) or parsley if desired. Julienned carrot or celery, red cabbage, or jicama can be used to mix it up as well for more raw salad creations.

What do you think of this recipe? What did you serve it with?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandra February 5, 2014 at 3:39 AM

I made this recipe with what I had on hand- red cabbage and napa cabbage. With the red from the tomatoes, and the dark green from the cilantro this salad very colorful and appealing to the eye. It was delicious and terrific on the black bean and corn tacos. This recipe is a definite keeper! Thank you Veronica.


2 Rebekah January 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Hey Veronica,

Its Freespirit here from LFRV :). I haven’t been doing so well with my eating in the last while, I was also in VERY remote regions recently and I struggled! So I am getting back into things and like a combo of raw and cooked for now. I just wanted to ask if you could do more meals like combine the two nicely like this you could have the salad with rice and beans or what about starches with raw sauce? Also I wonder why you are using proccesed starches like white rice and white four! They are not whole foods and white flour is really not a health food. Otherwise I really like your approuch.
Thanks for everthing. X


3 Veronica January 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Some people want to add raw food to their diet, and other’s just want to add more vegan food to their diet, so I am trying to offer a wide array of recipes. I post some easy basics on the blog, but my best recipes I’m saving for recipe eBooks. Right now I’m working on oil free vegan recipes, as I already did all raw recipes with Savory Raw Dinner Recipes.

There’s nothing wrong with eating white rice. People all over the world eat white rice daily and can stay trim. They get most of their nutrition from vegetables and other plant foods. The reason people in Asia prefer white rice is because traditionally only the poor ate unrefined brown rice, and the wealthier could afford refined white rice.

Dr. John McDougall’s Opinion On White Rice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAesmS2jCVU

White flour I use only occasionally. Most people who come to my site are not vegan or eating only a whole foods diet, including my extended family. So I share recipes that are comforting to them while making them vegan like in pancakes or muffins. I see nothing wrong with eating these once in a while either.

When you eat a plant based diet you’re not going to get deficient just by eating some white flour or white rice in additions to lots of fruits, vegetables and legumes.

I can also help more people this way by offering more familiar and transitional recipes along with stricter raw and lightly seasoned recipes.

As for sauce on starches, Fred usually likes to add salsa to potatoes, which you can of course do. But otherwise we don’t put raw sauces onto starches, it’s usually cooked unless it’s a salad or slaw like coleslaw.


4 Karmyn January 23, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Made this for dinner and it was a HIT! Andrew loved it so much this is what he said to me: “Mommy I want you to make this for me EVERYDAY!.” He also wants me to make it for him for breakfast tomorrow.


5 Veronica January 23, 2012 at 6:38 AM

lol Andrew wants to eat cabbage for breakfast? He’s hilarious!


6 Joanne January 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Yummy Veronica! Such a beautiful site. Easy on the eyes. Easy to find my way around. I know I’ll be back alot in the future.

I for one want to say thanks for variety of low fat/ raw/ vegan recipes. It always makes the journey to 100% raw (if one chooses 110% raw) alot easier to have practical, simple ideas.

I for one live in rural Manitoba and, like others have expressed, being 100% is a HUGE challenge! So pshhh on the critics, you have lots of fans and allies already 😉

Working with what I had access to, I took def liberty with this recipe~

* pre-bought organic broccoli-slaw
* cilantro
* Mrs Dash (I understand there are some issues with her, but thats what we got here)
* juice and pulp of one orange and lemon
* hemp hearts on top

Pretty dandy if I do say so myself!!
And soooo nice to not have to drain a bunch of oil off when you are serving up!!

Bravo! And welcome to the web.


7 Veronica January 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Thanks for the feedback Joanne I appreciate it. Yep you can use the broccoli slaw as well. Definitely try the cabbage slaw as well. It’s great with tacos or rice and beans. 🙂


8 Amanda Fallin January 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Excited to try your recipe with the collard greens. Growing up in the South this means a lot to me! Love the 80-10-10!!! I had to adopt this method years ago when I first started to learn about raw foods because I could tell my body temp. would drop in the winter months with only raw and I HAD to add some cooked to keep from freezing! Plus , only raw made me want to eat more and it was like I was never satisfied. I feel ‘balanced’ now. I also learned, or should I say accepted, that everyones body needs are different. Loved Fredricks video on Raw Foodist! I laughed at myself, a lot!
Hey, Did he ever get his Mom to make him that smoothie?! Thumbs up to you both for that video!


9 Frannie January 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Veronica! Like Magi, I was craving cabbage, and this is the perfect recipe to satisfy it. Most of the raw cabbage recipes I know are too high in fat. I am really happy you and Frederic are pushing the low fat raw vegan envelope, but in a way that enables others to make adjustments in their own food choices without having to be dogmatic about things. You guys are a breath of fresh air in raw 🙂 And I just got your DVDs 🙂 I haven’t browsed through all of them but I look forward to doing so soon 🙂


10 Magi January 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

to funny, Ihave been craving cabbage salad all week so I bought a nice organic one today . now there you are sharing my craving THANKS . oh ya i also spent some time in beautiful Costa Rica ,


11 Lynn January 21, 2012 at 12:30 AM

I think you are wonderful Veronica. I’m so sorry if anything I said hurt your feelings. I did not intend to do that. I think the world of you. I particularly appreciate your very kind attitude towards everyone – no matter what they eat.

I was just curious because you and Frederic are known for your wonderful work with raw food. But you are right, making low fat vegan food is new for many people. Your recipes are great.

I wish you all the best always. Lynn


12 Veronica January 21, 2012 at 2:43 AM

Thanks Lynn. It wasnt you. I had a few angry hate notes sent to me from 80/10/10ers lol


13 carmelo January 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM

In one recent study, short-cooked and raw cabbage were the only types of cabbage to show cancer-preventive benefits.


14 audrey carlson January 20, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Love the recipe…. try thinly sliced fennel with lemon and drizzle of oil to add a twist of flavor……. yummy


15 Veronica January 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Thanks for visiting. My job is to provide oil free recipes though. So i dont use oil in daily recipes 🙂 its a refined food that i yry to get people to reduce or eliminate from their diet to lose weight and cure diabetes and heart disease


16 ann January 20, 2012 at 9:30 PM

we make a similar cabbage salad in Greece using very finely sliced white cabbage massaged a little – then salt, lemon juice and a little olive oil is added


17 Marina January 20, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Sounds great! U r doing a great job V! :)))))

Regards from Serbia


18 Agui January 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Thank you so much for all those recipes.
I find it so pleasant to have both cooked and raw recipes because it’s so hard for me to eat just raw. I live in Montreal and it’s hard to eat only raw during the long winter.
Feels good also not to feel guilty to mix raw and cooked food.
I’m also a fan of low fat 80 10 10 diet.
Is it possible to send you a check or a money order (mandat poste in french) to buy your book. I have no credit card.

Thank’s again and good luck with all your projects,



19 Veronica January 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Thank you so much for telling me this Agui. I’ve had a few raw foodists very angry at me for making cooked recipes. Im just trying to share my passion for oil free vegan recipes and help people learn how to eat better through healthy recipes. Thanks for checking out my website


20 Isabella February 15, 2012 at 4:07 AM

Agui, are you able to buy a pre-paid Visa or credit card where you live? They’re sold here in the Post Office, supermarkets and larger department stores. The card come in pre-set amounts ($50, $100, $200, etc) or you can load them with whatever amount you’d like. Then you can buy online or over the phone, up to the limit you have on the card.


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2011-2013 Low Fat Vegan Chef by Veronica Grace. All rights reserved.