It’s been a cold month or so in SoCal. Of course cold is relative. Having adapted to the warmth of this region, low 60s constitutes chilly at least.
Menu-wise, I’ve been drawn to soups and stews and other warming dishes. It’s funny, people on the East Coast are breaking out their shorts and tank tops with the raising of American flags on Memorial Day, and here on the West Coast, we’re donning scarves and sweaters.
Here’s a great recipe based on traditional Polish Hunter’s Stew, which consists of mostly cabbage and other veggies with sausage. It’s so velvety and nourishing.
This is better than the original in my opinion, because the original called for several different kinds of pork and multiple deglazings etc. It takes forever, and it’s a lot heavier. I like cooking, but if I’m going to spend 3 1/2 hours in the kitchen it had better be Thanksgiving.
This will be ready in just around an hour. So it’s great for a weekend night dinner and it re-heats well, so it’s perfect for leftovers.
Anytime you go with cruciferous, you’re in for a real nutrient boost. This family is like a celebrity in the vegetable community.
Packed with cancer-fighters, Vitamin C and K, cabbage is one of the best.
Fermented into sauerkraut, it’s even better for you! As long as it’s fermented without vinegar or sugar, it contains a ton of healthy bacteria essential in fighting the bad guys in our systems.
The original recipe calls for sauerkraut, but cooks it in the oven with the rest of the goodies. Heat kills all the good bacteria! So for this I recommend adding your kraut to top your ready stew. It adds a tangy layer of flavor and boosts nutrients.
Garlic is another big player of this steamy dish. If you’re not a fan, don’t worry. It’s cooked and softened into a nice mild accent in the oven with the rest of the veggies.
The only downside to this is that nutrients are diminished too. So for those of you trying to really amp up garlic’s health-boosting factor here, mince some garlic to garnish with as well.
Just look at this roast-y, toast-y dish. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.
This is a great immune-booster. It’s packed with vitamin C from the cabbage and carrots, plus the garlic adds anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. If you make it with home made bone broth, you’ll nourish and sooth your gut lining with all the natural gelatin and magnesium it provides.
I made it with bratwurst from Whole Foods, which was natural, uncured and made without sugar. The meaty bits make it a really satisfying meal, without being too heavy as the veggie to meat ratio is far in favor of the veg. As it should be! If you’re vegetarian, you can also make it with veggie broth and skip the wurst altogether and it’ll still be a winner.
As I said it makes for an awesome re-heat meal, so I recommend making a big batch to freeze bits of for later.
Have you tried making your own bone broth yet? It sounds scary, but it’s super easy! Let me know in the comments below.
- I Tbs olive oil
- 1 small head of green cabbage sliced
- ½ red onion rough chopped
- ½ sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 leek (white and light green part only)
- 4 to 5 carrots rough chopped or half a bag of baby carrots
- 1 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried basil and 1 Tbs fresh basil, chopped (fresh optional but it's nice if you have it)
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
- 1 Tbs sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp caraway seeds crushed
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 cups bone broth or veggie broth
- 4 to 5 sugar-free, uncured, casein-free bratwurst
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cook the brats in a large pan until heated through and browned
- Put the brats in to a large glass baking dish and slice them up
- Add olive oil to the pan, then the onions and leek. Saute 7 mins.
- Add the carrots, garlic and cabbage and stir. Let cook for 2 mins.
- Add the broth, spices and herbs to the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on the pan. The veggies will steam in the broth, absorbing it's nutrients. Stir occasionally as they wilt and scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan and stir once you can.
- Pour the veggie and broth mixture over the brats in the glass baking dish.
- Mix the ingredients all together in the baking dish and bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until the top looks slightly browned.
- Serve with a couple fresh scoops of raw sauerkraut and minced garlic if desired.