I have such a complicated history with coleslaw that I simply would not have the time or space to share everything with you here, so I will keep it short and simple. I grew up thinking that the coleslaw that you buy at popular fast food chicken restaurants was the only coleslaw out there. That mayonnaise-based, not-much-flavor, shredded-cabbage-only version was what coleslaw was to me for many years.I would always try and doctor up the coleslaw I ate with salt, pepper or even hot sauce but I just did not care for it.

Skip ahead a few years later and my friend Judy from Anderson introduced me to a version of coleslaw that called for purple cabbage and a vinegar-based dressing, and I loved it! Could there be coleslaw without mayonnaise!? Earlier in my life I would have told you no, but I quickly found out yes! And it was actually quite delicious.

That really opened my eyes into other types of coleslaw and those made without mayonnaise. Do not get me wrong, I love mayonnaise, although I struggle with the texture so I usually thin it out with a little lemon juice, but sometimes I would prefer a different dressing on my coleslaw. Which leads me to the recipe I am sharing with you today. A friend of mine, Amee Gregory, shared a cookbook with me from the Collingsworth Family and I bought it and loved it. I literally worked my way through the entire cookbook and made every single recipe. Highly recommend it.

Anyways, they had a recipe for coleslaw dressing that was vegetable oil, sugar and vinegar. They did not specifically say what type of sugar or vinegar, but I would assume it was white granulated sugar and white vinegar. Although, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar would be just as delicious in this recipe. The sliced almonds and ramen noodles are delicious in this coleslaw when roasted in the oven for a few minutes, so please take the time to do it. Everything in this recipe is measured out but like other cooking recipes, not so much baking, add a little more of what you like, or take out what you do not. Cranberries would be delicious in this coleslaw, a little diced red onion instead of the green and a splash of hot sauce would add a little heat to balance out the sweetness. This is my new favorite coleslaw recipe!

Chinese Coleslaw

This will keep, covered and chilled in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. The tri-color coleslaw mix works best here because it contains not only green cabbage but red cabbage and carrots too.

12-16 oz tri-color coleslaw mix

1/3 cup diced green onions

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 packages chicken dinner ramen noodle cups

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

Salt and black pepper to taste

Start by roasting your sliced almonds and ramen noodles.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the sliced almonds on evenly. Next, open and break apart the chicken dinner ramen noodle cups and spread those evenly across the sheet pan as well. Break the noodles into small pieces.

Roast, in preheated oven, for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

In a large bowl layer, the coleslaw mix, diced green onions, roasted sliced almonds, sunflower seeds and roasted ramen noodles without stirring.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, white granulated sugar and white vinegar until completely combined and smooth. Pour this over the layered ingredients.

Toss everything together well.

Serve room temperature or chilled.

Ask and Answer: On my website, I posted a recipe for “Birthday Cake Fudge” that called for actual dry cake mix, mixed into the fudge and I think my website blew up! Ha! So many of you viewed the recipe that I could not believe it. A few of you wrote to me and wondered if you could use a different type of dry cake mix in the fudge and yes, you can! I use dry yellow cake mix but you could use Funfetti cake mix, white cake mix or even almond or cherry!

Blaise Doubman, of Kennard, is an Indiana University graduate. He invites readers to visit his website at: TRAIL BLAISE (http://trailblaise.com). He loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted via the contact page found directly on his website.