Will you believe that sauerkraut has not been part of my diet for ages already? Yes, I’m German and here I am confessing that what you’d believe to basically be a staple food for me is not. Maybe my parents didn’t like it themselves or my mum simply didn’t serve it up because she knew me and my siblings wouldn’t eat it. Either way it never made an appearance on our table. Granted, my family is far from typically German – in the way we eat at least. Unless we’re talking winter and specifially Christmas, that is. When my grandma’s Rotkohl [spiced red cabbage] is a must – or somebody is going to throw a fit -, Grünkohl [kale prepared in a special way and stewed with smoked pork chops and a certain type of sausages] and other traditional dishes make an appearance.
But I digress. Sauerkraut. With me going vegetarian years ago a plethora of meat-less cookbooks have been finding their way into my parents’ house. One of these had a recipe for an oriental spin on the German classic Semmelknödel served with a side of sauerkraut. It’s one of these dishes that I’ve been preparing numerous times for me and my parents after veganizing it and I can’t get enough.
Unfortunately, though, Semmelknödel are a bit too involved to make just a single serving. Yet I’ve found myself longing for this comfort food during the recent colder days. Then I saw Amanda’s post for bread pudding and my mind got spinning … Vegan bread pudding – not that hard to do. Actually, I came up with a sweet recipe for it, too, which I’ll share soon. Back to the savoury, though.
When I spotted fresh sauerkraut on a recent trip to the health food supermarket I couldn’t help but buy a bucket on a whim. Thinking about how to use it I remembered above-mentioned Semmelknödel and knew I had to satisfy my craving. Obviously that meant getting some bread – or in my case: a whole grain roll – which was a random way of overcoming a fear food. Feel free to laugh but yes: bread, rolls and the likes are still scary to me. The exact ingredients or nutritional stats? Not shown. And it’s still ingrained somewhere in my mind that they won’t fill me up. Well, I’m digressing again. All I can say is that this did most likely not just fill me up but satisfied my cravings for perfect comfort food. Bonus points for eating it with a side of candlelight. Who says it takes two for a candlelight dinner?
Savoury vegan Sauerkraut Bread Pudding
- 150 g fresh sauerkraut
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- olive or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup passata/tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp smoked red paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 whole wheat roll [several days old/stale and preferably with lots of seeds], cubed*
- 100 g/3.5 oz silken tofu
- 1/2 tbsp cashew butter or white (!) almond butter [roasted might work but won’t add the same mild and creamy taste]
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- salt + pepper to taste
- 75 g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent.
2. Add sauerkraut, passata, 1/4 cup of water and spices. Let simmer at medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile blend the silken tofu, cashew butter, nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp of water. Set aside.
4. When the sauerkraut is almost done cooking, add the mushrooms and let cook for another few minutes.
5. Add the chickpeas.
6. Transfer the sauerkraut to a baking dish, top with the breadcubes. Mix them in just slightly. You still want most of them on top so they’ll stay crisp.
7. Pour the silken tofu mixture on top spreading it over the whole dish.
8. Bake in the preheated oven [175 °C/350 °F] for 20 minutes.
* if you don’t have day-old bread sitting around you can imitate the needed crispyness by microwaving the cubed roll for about a minute
If you want to feel virtuous while eating this you could do so while reading up about the health benefits of sauerkraut ;). Comfort food and good for you? It doesn’t get any better in my opinion. [And no, I didn’t lecture myself on all its benefits and it still was amazing.]
Happiness inducing today: A chat with a sweet old lady at the Farmers’ Market. She was 80 years old, not at best health anymore but had a great attitude. A happiness inspiration.
Enjoy your weekend!
Are there any traditional foods or recipes from your country you didn’t eat as a child but grew to like when you got older?
Do you like sauerkraut? Any favourite recipes?