Recipe: No-mayo Kohlrabi Cabbage Coleslaw

My sister and I used to sneak Hellman’s mayo and lettuce sandwiches when we were kids… ahh, a little salt, a little pepper, on some good bread, it was the best. I cannot deny loving me some Hellman’s (and no other brands, quite emphatically).

BUT… there is just something about mayonnaise during the Summer… I can’t do it.

Maybe it’s the vision of potato salad sweltering in the heat during a picnic that throws me off. Or a macaroni salad, gone completely limp as the elbows swim around the mayo pool at the bottom of the bowl.

kohlrabi coleslaw

So it has become my mission to tweak all the popular summer salads, and come up with delicious mayo-free versions. You may have already seen my no-mayo curried potato salad? And my Mediterranean pasta salad?  Well, now it is coleslaw’s turn.

An important part of this coleslaw makeover was to increase the crunch and color, while reducing the usual sweetness. To me, the combo of mayo and sugar in most coleslaws make it taste like Miracle Whip, which I avoid at all costs.

I turned to some non-traditional ingredients, namely kohlrabi. The whole time that kohlrabi was in season, I was listening to Hawk Dance Farm, my neighbor at the farmers market,  explain over and over to people what it is, and how to use it. After trying it myself, and enjoying its unusual flavor that combines cabbage, turnip and broccoli, I knew right away that it was going to be a great secret ingredient.

HDF carrots and kohlrabi

Carrots & Kohlrabi from Hawk Dance Farm

I needed something to replace the sugar usually found in coleslaw, and found that carrots and raisins worked well.

The last touch was a dash of dry mustard for some bite and heat. I make my own dry mustard with equal parts yellow and brown mustard seeds, finely ground, with a pinch of turmeric powder.

Here you go!


8 cups purple/red cabbage, shredded or chopped
2 cups purple kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks
1 large red onion, sliced into very thin rings
2 cups carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1T dry mustard
2 tsp sea salt
8 oz plain yogurt
16 oz sour cream
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kohlrabi, onion, carrot and raisins.
In a medium bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients to form a dressing.
Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture, and toss well.
Taste for seasoning (mustard and salt), and adjust as needed.
This salad can be eaten right away, or refrigerated for a few hours to let flavors meld.
This recipe makes about 3 quarts.

photo credit for Hawk Dance Farm veggies:  Gary Goldsmith (


Posted on August 23, 2013, in Side dish and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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