Against the (S)law

I let the cat out of the bag a couple weeks ago about my past lunchtime coleslaw-induced breakdowns. Would you be shocked and appalled to learn I’m about share a slaw recipe with you?

No, no. My feelings toward coleslaw and its white and creamy hell haven’t changed. I didn’t wander into a dark alley and come face to face with a giant, maniac Hellmann’s jar dressed as cupid wielding heart-shaped arrows ready to strike me down and make me fall head over in heels love with his thick, gloppy innards.

Whoa. Ew, right? Crazy bad mental picture. My apologies to anyone who may have nightmares about giant, winged, diaper-clad Mayo jars with WEAPONS strapped to their backs.

ANYWAY! (I say that a lot, don’t I? Ha.)

The idea of a slaw side is a good one. Crunchy, cool, colorful, a plethora of other “C” adjectives I can’t think of right now. (Where’s a thesaurus when you need one?!) It’s a nice fresh alternative to your typical cold lettuce salad.

The problem is Coleslaw Tunnel Vision – the idea that it MUST be covered in a thick, mayo-based dressing and left out in the hot sun for a few hours to spoil all the fun at your family reunion. Wait. Scratch that last part. :-p That doesn’t REALLY happen.

Or does it? That mayo is a snake in the grass. He’ll bite ya!

I’ve been looking for an excuse to try a coleslaw alternative that was dressed up all fancy-like in a flavorful vinaigrette instead of the traditional mayo dressing. Something that would make people ooo-and-ahh like coleslaw’s hip, urban dwelling cousin came to town and is down at the corner tavern making a scene in her designer duds while regular BORING coleslaw sits in the corner and sulks out of jealousy. Or something.

Ahem. Enter Peppery Coleslaw with Orange Chili Vinaigrette!

This is a GREAT alternative. Fresh and crunchy with just the right kick of citrus and spice. The vinaigrette is has a great bright flavor that I just loved! And it’s versatile too. It’d be great topper for any of your favorite salads. I made this for a crowd and I was concerned about the heat level. I know I love spicy, but I wasn’t sure about everyone else. This go round, I eliminated the chopped jalapeno and decreased the hot chili oil from 2 tablespoons to one. It wasn’t really spicy at all with these modifications – downright mild, actually. In fact, I MISSED the kick of heat. I will make the recipe as written next time and if you’re a spice fan, I suggest you do the same! Try this for your next picnic or potluck! 🙂



For the slaw:

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag 3-color slaw mix
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili oil


  1. In a medium serving bowl, combine the slaw mix and the peppers.
  2. In the container of an electric blender, combine the orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, mustard, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. With the blender running, add the oils in a slow, steady stream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Just before serving, add the Orange Chili Vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Serve immediately.


One year ago: Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies



Filed under sides, veggies

3 responses to “Against the (S)law

  1. Mmmm! This is the kind of slaw I like too!

  2. ash

    this recipe sounds so fresh! sounds like a winner for spring & summer BBQs!

  3. What a wonderful recipe!

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