I love slaw in the summer. I cannot get enough of the crispy, crunchy texture.  This flavorful version gets a protein-boost from forbidden rice, quinoa, hemp seeds and pepitas. Enjoy it for lunch or bring as a side dish to your next outdoor gathering.

Cabbage is a powerhouse vegetable offering so many health benefits.  It is high in fiber, low in calories and loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals and vitamins.

In this recipe, I combined red and green cabbage with shredded carrots, quinoa, forbidden rice, pepitas and hemp seeds to bulk up the dish and make it more filling.  The different textures compliment each other well.

Without using mayo, this recipe gets incredible flavor from zesty lime juice, sweet agave, fruity and buttery olive oil and fresh herby cilantro.

This dish makes enough to serve a crowd and is perfect for serving at summer outdoor gatherings.  I also love it as a meal prep dish since it doesn’t get soggy like lettuce would.  I make this recipe on Sundays and then enjoy for lunch throughout the week.  It offers a variety of vegetables, plant-based protein, healthy fats and dietary fiber.  It is surprisingly filling, especially for a slaw.

Red (also known as purple) cabbage is a vegetable with so many wonderful health benefits that I have been trying to incorporate into my meals more.  It is low in calories (22 per serving) and full of heart healthy fiber and vitamin C.  In fact, just one serving contains more than half of your daily intake for vitamin C.  According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, purple colored vegetables, like red cabbage, can help you to beat the effects of aging.  They provide powerful antioxidants and may help with memory and urinary tract health.  Plus, purple vegetables may reduce cancer risks.

I’ve been making this dish every time we host something this summer and it always gets compliments from everyone who tries it.  It packs so much flavor and a variety of texture into each bite.

This recipe is vegan, soy-free, peanut-free and gluten-free.  To make it nut-free substitute hemp seeds for pine nuts (either will work).  To make it refined sugar-free be sure to use maple syrup instead of agave.  If you give these a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your slaw!


Protein-Packed Slaw with Cilantro and Lime (No Mayo!)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x


This flavorful slaw gets a protein-boost from forbidden rice, quinoa, hemp seeds and pepitas. Enjoy it for lunch or bring as a side dish to your next outdoor gathering.



  • 1/2 large red cabbage, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1/2 large green cabbage, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa)
  • 1/3 cup cooked forbidden rice (black rice)
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (or hemp seeds if nut free)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 juicy lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir/toss until everything is fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve chilled. Store in your refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.

  • Category: Side Dish