Mom’s German red cabbage – veganized! (Sorry not sorry, mom)

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Holiday dinners are so evocative. They’re steeped in tradition and emotion (hopefully happy) and help us measure the rhythm of the seasons and years. For vegans, it can be a hard time sitting at the table and having to forego old family favourite recipes that use animal products.

For me, red cabbage is one of those dishes. My mom made it at every holiday dinner, and only at holiday dinners. I can’t even see a red cabbage in the grocery store without thinking it’s a holiday.

My mother’s recipe calls for 4-6 strips of bacon to be rendered and crushed. Then the apples and cabbage are braised in this fat/pig-belly mixture. Ewww.

With just a bit of tweaking, I’ve figured out how to simulate the savoury, salty, smokiness of the bacon using miso, margarine and liquid smoke. The results are my mom’s recipes taken to the next level of delicious compassion.

Ingredients

Ingredients.jpg

1 red cabbage – remove the outer leaves and then cut out the core. Chop the cabbage into roughly 1 to 2 cm pieces

3-4 apples (I used MacIntosh apples – use a variety that is not sweet). You want a 2:1 ratio of cabbage to apples so adjust how many apples you use based on the size of your cabbage. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1 cm pieces (see image).

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1 tsp liquid smoke

1 Tbsp miso paste

1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar

3 Tbsp cider vinegar*

3 Tbsp vegan margarine

½ cup water

1 tsp salt

1-2 bay leaves (optional)

A few grinds of pepper (optional)

Directions

Melt the margarine in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the miso and liquid smoke and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and apples and water. Stir everything together to get the cabbage apples coated in the margarine mix. Add the vinegar, salt and brown sugar and stir again to combine all. Add the bay leaves if using. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. When it’s cooked, the cabbage volume will have reduced by about a third and the cabbage will be soft but not mushy). The apple will be pretty much impossible to spot. Fish out the bay leaves if you used them and serve the cabbage.

This recipe is also great with vegan sausages, perogies or “white” dishes such as tetrazzini, béchamel or alfredo-sauced pasta or mushroom stroganoff.

*Fun fact – you MUST add vinegar or some sort of acid to red cabbage when you cook it or it will turn the most unappetizing blue-gray hue that’s roughly the colour of sadness.

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Orange-peanut sweet potato and rice patties with a side of slaw

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Yesterday I posted photos of pickled zucchini slices. That recipe was all in aid of these – some of the most delicious, satisfying, make-your-belly-happy patties you’ll ever enjoy.

Sweet potato and brown rice serve as a base for a sweet, salty, spicy and peanut-y taste palette that is pure delight.

My version is a riff on a recipe from One Green Planet. I upped the seasonings and got rid of the bun.

I’ve posted three recipes here: the orange-peanut sweet potato and rice patties, the miso sauce you can use both to dress a side of slaw and drizzle on the patties (it also makes a fantastic stir fry sauce), and the slaw ingredients.

Ingredients

For the patties

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 cup cooked brown rice

A flax egg made from 1 ½ Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 ½ Tbsp water

3 Tbsp orange marmalade

4 ½ Tbsp peanut butter (just peanuts-and-oil peanut butter –none of that stuff with weird ingredients like icing sugar!)

3 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

2 -3 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

3 Tbsp mixed nuts or peanuts chopped (optional – for garnish)

For the dressing

3 Tbsp white miso

2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp soya sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tsp Sriracha sauce

For the slaw

1 kohlrabi peeled and grated. You will have about 1 ½ cups shredded kohlrabi. If you don’t have or want kohlrabi, use shredded green cabbage or napa cabbage.

1-2 green onions cleaned and sliced

4 radishes sliced

1 rib celery diced

1 carrot grated (optional)

1 small can water chestnuts drained and diced (optional)

PeanutPatty

Directions – the patties

Wash and dice the sweet potatoes into evenly sized pieces. You can peel the potatoes if you like, but it’s not necessary. Place the potatoes in a microwaveable dish and microwave for about 3-4 minutes until the pieces are soft. Once the pieces are cool enough to handle, mash them.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, mix the rice and mashed sweet potatoes. Add the flax egg and use your hands to combine the ingredients.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir or use your hands to combine everything. I find it helpful to microwave the marmalade and peanut butter together for about 15-20 seconds to soften them up for easier mixing.

Form 3 very large or 4 large patties. The patties will be thick. Place them on a greased cookie sheet, or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the patties over and bake another 15 minutes.

Because these patties are full of complex carbs, I preferred eating them with a dressing and skipped the bun. You could serve them on a bun with the slaw on top.

I sprinkled chopped mixed nuts on top for extra crunch and flavour.

Directions – the dressing

While the patties are baking, mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar or bowl with a lid. Use the dressing to pour over the patties and as the dressing for your slaw.

This dressing also makes a fantastic stir fry sauce.

Directions – the slaw

While the patties are baking, mix all the slaw ingredients together. Mix 2-3 Tbsp of the dressing into the vegetables and toss to combine.