cooling cabbage lotus salad and chopped greens with shitake mushrooms

An experienced, seasoned cook brings confidence, creativity and intuition to her food. To all of that Melanie Waxman adds courage and love and the result is food that is delicious and truly transformative. I had the privilege of spending the weekend with Melanie, and this is what she served for breakfast.

Check out Melanie’s most recent cookbook, Eat Me Now!


cooling cabbage lotus salad

serves 4-5


4 cups green head cabbage

½  small lotus root (available at Asian grocers)

2 Tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar

½ lemon

¼  teaspoon fine sea salt

1-2 teaspoons EVOO

2-3 basil leaves


Cut the lotus root into thin slices.

Quarter each slice.

Place ½ cup water in a small pot.

Add the ume plum vinegar and bring to a boil.

Add the lotus root and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Turn off the flame and let the lotus root marinate in the water mixture.

Cut the cabbage into thin slices.

Place it in a bowl with the sea salt.

Mix it gently with your hands for a minute or so. This helps to stimulate enzymes.

Squeeze the lemon; add it and the olive oil to the cabbage and mix it through.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Chop the basil. Mix it into the salad.

Top with marinated lotus root and serve.


chopped greens with shitake mushrooms

serves 4-5


1 bunch watercress

3 leaves kale

1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons mirin (rice wine)

pinch of sea salt


Bring a small pot of water to a boil.

Wash and trim the stems off the mushrooms.

Slice the mushroom tops into strips.

Place sliced mushrooms in a small pot and cover with water.

Bring water to a boil; add shoyu and mirin.

Simmer the mushrooms on a medium to low flame for about 10 minutes until the water reduces to half.

Wash and trim the watercress and kale.

Chop the watercress into small ½-inch-wide strips.

Chop the kale into similarly sized strips.

When the water is boiling, add a pinch of sea salt.

Drop the watercress into the water.

After a few seconds, remove it with a mesh skimmer, draining any excess water.

Bring the water in the pot back to a boil.

Add the chopped kale into the water.

After 30 seconds, remove it with a mesh skimmer, draining excess water.

Mix the blanched watercress and kale together on a plate.

Top with the cooked shitake mushrooms and serve.