Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Dinner: Sauerkraut w/ Veggie Dogs & Apple Blue Berry Crisp

Every year on New Years as far back as I can remember my family has had sauerkraut for dinner. There are a couple different ways you can fix Sauerkraut. Some are more healthy then others. The traditional way is with pork on New Years eve. This falls back on an Old Dutch Pennsylvania Tradition. Which is supposed to bring good luck & wealth in the New Year. Being a Vegan though leads me away from the thinking that pork means wealth; Wealth because you were fortunate enough to have the means to have a hog to slaughter. So I look at it in a different light. I look at the way I have been enlightened to the abuse that goes on in the world. And I am Fortunate enough to have the means and the morality to live a life of compassion for all. I wish everyone would learn they have the means to live a compassionate life. All it takes is wanting others to live a life of less suffering; a life were they have a right to breath, be in the sun shine, & live their lives to the fullest extent and not be slaughtered. Anyone who sees the truly disgusting way these animals are treated should be able to say this is morally reprehensible; and know that this really needs to change.

I would also like to start new Traditions for New Years. Next year I am thinking about taking food from New Years traditions around the world and making some of each that we choice. Learning more about where these traditions come from and why they become traditions. I think it could be a cool new start to the year!

Eating sauerkraut isn't just good luck its beneficial to your health.

Cancer Fighter: The fermentation of cabbage produces a substance called isothiocynates, which prevents cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung and liver.

Digestive Aid: Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacteria Lactobacilli plantarum. It will help balance and protect your gastrointestinal tract. Many people use it to cure upset stomach. It has been used for centuries for stomach aliments and to keep people.... regular... for lack of you better term... It has also been used as a remedy for constipation. Today researchers believe high amounts of lactic acid found in sauerkraut helps aid in the digestive process as well by breaking down harder to digest foods. Also, Today most commercially sold kraut has been pasteurized and so the bacteria are not longer useful. Look for fresh sauerkraut in the fridge section or in barrels where it is fresh made. It is very low in calories.

Immune Boost: Sauerkraut has tons of vitamins & minerals & produce a variety of beneficial enzymes which will help boost your immune system. The fermentation process boosts vitamin-C levels. It has been used as an immune booster for centuries.

Flu cure- Maybe. Researchers in Korea believe that extract from sauerkraut can cure Avian flu in birds. But more research is needed to know for sure.

We also had roles, mashed potatoes, and a Fruit Crisp.

There are 2 basic ways I know of that you can cook Sauerkraut. Or you can eat it the way it is cold. But you can simmer or fry it. I usually simmer mine. Just dump it and the juice straight from the packaging into a simmering pan. Add the sliced up veggie hot dogs or just eat it alone. Let it simmer long enough to get warm or hot. If you let it just get warm alot of the vitamins will stay intact. Then serve. If you would like you can cook the veggie dogs first then through them in while the sauerkraut heats that way the veggie dogs are nice and cooked. Then serve with mashed potatoes and roles... Yum!

Or you can fry it. I have never had it this way till this New Years. I simmered mine and seen that my mother had fried hers. So I went home and took some of my left overs and fried them. It does soak up a fair amount of oil. So it can be fattening. It takes alot more of the veggie dogs flavor when you fry it. It drys out and turns a little brown. My mom cooks hers alot more even past what my picture shows. I liked it but to me it just had a little to much oil. Serve with you mashed potatoes and roles again.

I also had a ton of apples that needed used. So for dessert I made a very yummy Fall Fruit Crisp. I used the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking; PG 142. But I made a few minor changes. I used almonds instead of walnuts and I added ground Flax for an Omega- 3 Boost. Next time I will make double the topping. The picture in the book looks like there is a ton of topping but in a 8x8 baking dish it only puts a thin layer. The almonds worked very nicely with the recipe. Also I cut up the entire 8 cups of apple and it wouldn't fit in my baking dish. So if your dish is 8x8 or 9x9 and isn't more then 2 inches deep don't cut up the whole 8 cups. I put the extra in a separate small baking dish and made another double serving. So I didn't waste any. The topping although kinda thin was really yummy and could be used on the top of any crisp. Or even a topping or side for just a plane baked apple or other fruit. The texture was really nice too. I really enjoyed it.

If you click the link above it will take you to google books. This is a cool feature that lets you browse through alot of different books. It will take you straight into The joy of vegan baking to the cobbler & crumble page. Scroll down to page 142 and the recipe is there.

In case that link moves here is another link to the recipe another blogger has listed it out. The blog is called Gastronomers.


Welcome the tradition of Compassion into your year, your home, and your life!

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