Backyard Coleslaw

Here I’ve updated the traditional coleslaw salad that is seen at many back yard barbecues and pool side picnics. I’ve replaced the mayonnaise with tahini paste, making it a healthier substitution as tahini has less fat and more protein per tablespoon than mayonnaise. The granny smith apples and pecans are also modern additions to this classic summer salad, giving it a flavor boost. My fresh spin on traditional coleslaw is not only easy to make, but will also impress friends and relatives.



  • 1 head napa cabbage
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/4 cup red radish (about 8 – 12 depending on size)
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 8 ounces silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (about 2 – 3 cloves depending on size)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon umeboshi paste
  1. Chiffonade (finely slice) cabbage, julienne apple and radish, and roughly chop pecans.  Combine all vegetables and pecans in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a blender, combine remaining ingredients (tofu – umeboshi paste) until smooth. Pour dressing over vegetable mixture and mix to combine. 
Note: This recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing (more than you need).  Add about 1/2 cup at a time to avoid over-dressing your vegetables and creating a soup instead of a salad.
  3. Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours before serving. The coleslaw will last in your fridge for up to 3 days.

Stephanie Hoban, MS, RD, LD

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