Basic Low-Fat Coleslaw

by on August 16, 2010
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Basic Low-Fat Coleslaw

There’s been a surprising development in the V family kitchen.  My daughter E has actually been asking for coleslaw, a food she used to have to be bribed to eat.  This phenomenon began after I stopped buying bagged coleslaw and starting using fresh heads of cabbage.  I could say that E likes the fresher taste of home-shredded cabbage, but that’s not it at all.  The truth is that there’s something about pushing a wedge of cabbage through the shredding blade of a food processor that she enjoys, so I let her have her fun.  It gets her eating more coleslaw and, with her help, makes preparing it almost as easy as buying it in bags.

VeggieAwardsBefore I get to the recipe,  I’d like to ask you for a favor.  FatFree Vegan Kitchen is nominated again this year for favorite blog in VegNews magazine’s Veggie Awards.  If the blog means a lot to you, it would mean a lot to me if you would give it your vote.  You have to fill out at least 50% of a long survey about vegan products and people in order for your vote to count, but at the end there’s a chance to enter into a drawing for some great prizes, including vacations and cookbooks.  There’s no prize for me if I win, just bragging rights for another year and a mention in the magazine, which to me would be like winning the jackpot.

On to the recipe!  This is the basic, no-frills way we make coleslaw when we need a side dish with a sandwich or a salad to take to a potluck or picnic.  Soy yogurt stands in for some of the mayo usually used in coleslaw, and agave nectar adds a hint of sweetness without a lot of sugar (though you can use a pinch of stevia to eliminate the sugar completely).  Lately I’ve been seasoning it with fresh dill weed, but you can use the other herbs listed below or add your favorite.

Basic Low-Fat Coleslaw

Basic Low-Fat Coleslaw

(printer-friendly version)

1/4 head green cabbage
1/4 head red cabbage
2 medium carrots
2 tablespoons vegan mayo (I used Nasoya Nayonaise)
2 tablespoons soy yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, caraway seed, or celery seed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Remove the hard core from the cabbage quarters. Shred each quarter using the slicing or shredding disk of a food processor or shred thinly by hand. Place into a large bowl. Shred carrot and add to cabbage.

Combine remaining ingredients and whisk well. Pour over cabbage and toss to coat. Best if allowed to chill for at least 30 minutes but can be eaten right away.

Servings: 5

Yield: about 4 cups

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 47 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 306.2mg sodium, 213mg potassium, 7.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 2.9g sugar, 1.1g protein, 0.7 points.  (Will vary depending on type of mayo and yogurt used. This analysis used Nayonaise and Wildwood plain soy yogurt.)

Nutrition analysis is approximate and will vary depending on exact ingredients used. Though MyPoints are calculated using a formula similar to Weight Watchers Points TM, this site has no affiliation with Weight Watchers and does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Connie August 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

Could you substitute lemon juice for the vinegar in this coleslaw. Sure looks yummy.


2 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

Sure, if you prefer lemon juice, then you can use it. Also, you can play with the amounts of the other ingredients to get it to taste the way you like.


3 Elli @ 16 and Losing It August 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

Your coleslaw looks beautiful! I have never had a problem eating cabbage, and I love all the healthy things it does for you! I can’t wait to try this!


4 moonwatcher August 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Hi Susan,

It’s been a summer of coleslaw and kale slaw for me, so this looks great, and I will add it to my repertoire. I might make it with all three of the seasonings! Nothing like fresh dill, though, which I have been blessed with in abundance in my garden this year. And right now there’s local red and green cabbage at our Farmer’s Market, so it’s all very sweet and fresh. And I can see why E likes running it through the processor–it’s that whiz of a machine thing. :)

Thanks for the recipe!



5 Sarah August 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I’m currently an omnivore, but leaning towards vegetarianism since it is so much easier to get local, organic produce than local, organic, humanely raised meat. At any rate, I love reading your site for new ideas to use the produce that I have been getting. Some ingredients are quite unfamiliar to me however – I don’t have agave nectar, and even though I’ve seen it in the store, I prefer to buy locally sourced products (I live in the NorthEastern US), so my preferred sweetners are maple syrup and honey. How would you convert between agave nectar and either of these sweetners (or even back to sugar)? Thanks!


6 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Sarah–just use a little more, maybe 2 teaspoons instead of 1 1/2. Agave nectar is a little sweeter than those other sweeteners.


7 Kat August 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

You might want to fix the tags. The recipe says low-fat but one of the tags is “higher-fat.”


8 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Kat, the “higher-fat” tag is for recipes that get more than 15% of their calories from fat. This one, though lower-fat than most coleslaw recipes, has 32% calories from fat.


9 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I wish there were some way to indicate that a recipe is higher-fat for this website, not by most people’s standards. :)


10 Robin August 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I totally voted for you!


11 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Thanks so much, Robin!


12 sylvia August 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

This recipe looks fantastic! I also prefer shredding my own veggies for coleslaw- especially broccoli stems.

A favorite coleslaw/cabbage recipe of mine is to lightly stir fry coleslaw size peices of cabbage and carrots with Asian inspired ingredients.

Thanks for the great recipe!


13 Marty August 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I’ve been making coleslaw with Farmer’s Market cabbage too this summer. My recipe is 1/3-1/2 C vegan mayo, 1/2 lemon juiced, 8-10 drops liquid stevia, 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 T curry powder, 1/2 tsp powdered Ginger; mixing together well and pouring over whatever slaw ingredients I’ve chosen. All ingredients to taste afterwards of course. I use 1/2 head sliced large cabbage, 1 grated cored apple, a few carrots, raisins and sometimes daikon radish grated, chopped Italian parsley or fresh cilantro. Obvioulsy the garden patch is the limit! Hmmm, grated zuchinni slaw? I’m sure there are plenty of zukes out there?

You’ve got my vote!


14 Diane August 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I cannot stand the taste of Nasoya. Does the rest of the ingredients hide or mask the nasy taste of the stuff? If so, I will try it but is there any other low fat sub. for the mayo in the dresssing that is not nasty tasting. Sorry for you Nasoya fans…I wish I could say I am one but I cannnnnnnot stand the taste. Unfortunately I have acquired a taste for the fatty Vegennaise…..Thanks for any advice you can throw my way….diane


15 Kim August 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I also can’t stand Nasoya. If you are concerned about fat content, maybe you could add more yogurt? Or you could just enjoy a little extra fat with your coleslaw :)


16 Courtney August 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I have already voted for you many times, Susan :-) I am not sure how many times you can fill out the survey, but I have done it at least 5 times, and voted for you each and every time. You deserve it!!



17 Anne-Marie August 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

This looks so good! Love the additional of soy yogurt. And I voted for you, Susan. Good luck!


18 Helen August 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm

It looks so pretty! I think the effort and energy you put forth in making it transfers to the food and maybe that’s another reason why your daughter likes it so much more that a store-bought version. It’s always special when it’s homemade!


19 Magda @ Be Nutritious August 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

I just started using agave in my dressing and to sweaten ice tea, I absolutely love it, just a little goes a long way, it’s so much more efficient than honey or maple syrup.


20 Joanne August 17, 2010 at 9:11 am

Great idea for coleslaw. I prefer yogurt in mine but certainly will give your recipe a try. It looks too good to pass up.


21 Heather August 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

I used to love putting cabbage through my mom’s food processor too!! I also used to like eating some of it raw, and if I helped I got to have some.
I love the idea of using dill, and I have plenty of it fresh in the garden right now.
I don’t like any of the vegan mayo products, so I use avocado as the base of my coleslaw dressing – it is fatty, but full of healthy fats from a whole food.
Thanks for reminding me to make some coleslaw!! :)


22 DeeDee August 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Just voted for you Susan, and rest assured that it is no effort at all to take whatever time necessary to vote for, hands down, the absolute best, most creative, generous and gifted vegan cuisine Diva on the web. You have more support than you can imagine.Good Luck!

P.S. You may want to start packing for your next award winning trip.


23 Elizabeth August 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

It is sometimes a challenge to find anything other than meat and potatoes that the mister will eat. He does like cole slaw though and the ingredients all read as something he would at least try, so I’m going to give it a go. Thanks for sharing with us. :)


24 Jenny August 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

Instead of using vegan mayo, could you just add more yogurt instead? I’ve always hated mayonnaise, whether it’s normal or vegan, but I love yogurt…

I voted for your blog! The survey definitely seem aimed at Americans… Hope it’s not some kind of crime that I’m from Canada and participated anyway. :P Love your recipes and blog! I’ve just moved into my own apartment and gotten my own kitchen, finally, so now I can cook more of your delicious recipes that I’ve been marvelling at. :)


25 SusanV August 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

Jenny, feel free to use yogurt instead of mayo. You may want to add more seasonings and a little lemon juice, too.

Thanks for the vote! Yes, it’s definitely aimed at not only Americans but also people who buy a lot of processed, vegan products and are familiar with certain urban areas. Being from the South and avoiding things like cookies and ice cream, I didn’t have answers for a lot of those questions either.


26 Sue August 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I tried voting, Susan but the survey is geared towards US products and businesses! Too bad there isn’t a Canadian version!
Good luck!


27 Marilou Garon August 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Oh, Susan, thank you! You saved my veggie-avoiding son’s health! :) For the first time in his life, he ate SALAD! I credit that to the sauce, which he loved. Creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s going to become a daily staple in our house, and I can’t thank you enough!


28 Julie August 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I voted for you as well!

This is my first time commenting although I’ve been visiting your site and using tons of your recipes for the past 2 months. My hubby and I just became vegetarians (and trying to be as vegan as possible!) and I can’t tell you how much I love your recipes. I browse through them every weekend, print a few and make my list of groceries. Just today, we joined a CSA here in Austin and next week will be my first pick-up of super-fresh, locally grown, seasonal veggies. I can’t wait to try them out in a few of your recipes.

Thank you so much!


29 SusanV August 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Congratulations on becoming vegetarian! Thanks so much for commenting, and enjoy those veggies! I love Austin–my sister lives there, and I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like. It’s a great place to be veg!


30 Paula August 20, 2010 at 6:03 am

here is so many inspirations!

have a nice time!


31 Lose Weight Naturally August 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm

hi, you could add more yogurt? Or you could just enjoy a little extra fat with your coleslaw


32 shanthi August 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

Its wonderful. Simple yet healthy


33 Patty August 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

Thrilled to have just found your site. The recipes look great and I can’t wait to try some of them. My hubby is a long time vegan and we are always looking for new recipes. As you can imagine the early years were frustrating, but today the products that are available are wonderful. See you soon.


34 Holly August 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I’ve always loved cabbage but was never a coleslaw fan until now. WOW…amazing! I had to fight my 5 year old off for the last bite. She has requested it for lunch “everyday”.


35 Renee Baker August 24, 2010 at 5:31 am

I’m a new-ish vegan. 5 months vegetarian and a month and a half vegan. I love your site and have made a few of your recipes. This one looks great! Can’t wait to make it. I also voted for you!!! Good Luck!


36 Jessica August 24, 2010 at 11:33 am

This looks good, but it may take me a while to get used to eating coleslaw that isn’t swimming in mayo!


37 claire maunsell August 25, 2010 at 6:52 am

Of course I voted for you (what a tedious survey though…). EVERY recipe I’ve ever tried from here has been delicious! Hope you win…


38 vegantickles August 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Your slaw looks super super tasty. Can’t wait to try it myself.


39 Vegetable chopper August 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

I will definitely try this awesome recipe!
Thank you so much for sharing it with us!


40 Veronica (lifewithnature) August 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

It’s good to see a creamy coleslaw that is not drenched in fat! I wonder if my yogurt-hater-husband would detect it in this recipe… I made your sweet potato falafels the other day and they were an instant success. They were even delicious eaten on their own. I love your blog!


41 Joshua Parker August 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I haven’t had coleslaw in years and the picture looks mighty tasty. I can’t wait to try it out.


42 Karen September 1, 2010 at 11:03 am

red cabbage is so pretty and yummy! this looks great!


43 lisa b wellness September 2, 2010 at 8:28 pm

The wonderful ingredients in this coleslaw give it fresh sparkly flavor; I make one just like it without any type mayo and never miss it.

A grated apple can be used in place of sweeteners too.

Lisa B


44 Trulie Ankerberg September 3, 2010 at 9:01 am

How cool is it that your daughter asked you for coleslaw. Kudos to you for raising a daughter with such healthy food preferences. More kids should be as lucky!

Thanks for the recipe!


45 Linda September 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hi Susan.
Thank you! Your blog and accompanying recipes have been, literally, a life saver. I’ve used many of your recipes as my own experiment in eating FFV for three months. To my endocrinologist’s surprise I brought my LDL cholesterol down from a high of 120 to a normal 86. Further, as a skinny diabetic, my A1C (the 3 month measure of blood glucose control) was in a well controlled range. As a registered nurse I am actually educating the doctors that I work with about the benefit of eating FFV. But of a more personal significance, I am once again happy to be in the kitchen experimenting with my family as willing participants. I look forward to your continues posts. Regards, Linda


46 Mali September 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I love it! I added raisins to mine for a little bit of sweet :)


47 Lydia July 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Another winner recipe! Thank you Susan my husband said it was good! I even used frozen cabbage and carrots that I shredded and then didn’t use previously so I froze them, then thawed overnight in the fridge – although I don’t recommend this, I’m sure it’s better fresh. I omitted the yogurt, substituted maple syrup 1 to 1 for the agave and used crushed red pepper instead of dill / caraway. I should have used my celery seed but forgot I had it, oh well. Your recipe is awesome!


48 Karen Kunik May 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Hi Susan,
I am very new to Vegan Eating (2nd week!) and started after watching “forks over knives” and reading the E2 diet. I like the recipe you have for low-fat creamy coleslaw and was wondering if a silken tofu would work as well as the Vegan Mayo and/or the soy yogurt. I am really glad I found this web site as I have found it kind of difficult to find recipes that don’t use added oil.
thanks again!


49 Laurel August 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

This was amazing. I actually just made the dressing and used broccoli slaw instead. I used half celery seed, half caraway seed. I usually do not like creamy dressings, and my husband does not like vinegar dressings. This was a nice, meet me half way. And we were both delighted! I love this site.


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