My favorite ways to use sauerkraut

My favorite ways to use sauerkrautA month of foods that make me feel like coming home - Cadry's KitchenThis month I’m writing about foods that feel like home.

I mentioned in my post on roasted chickpeas that my current food obsessions are sauerkraut & pickled jalapeño slices. There are so many foods that are improved with a big dollop of briny sauerkraut or spicy jalapeños, and I’m often carting jars of them to the table to have with dinner.

Today I’ll be featuring my favorite things to do with sauerkraut. (Outside of the best use – topping a monster seitan reuben. And okay, I’ve also been known to happily eat sauerkraut straight from the jar.)

My favorite sauerkraut is the garlic kraut from Gold Mine. Their kraut is organic and handmade in small batches.  It’s kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, meaning that it has all of its crunch and pops with flavor. And since I’m a garlic fiend, the addition of garlic makes it that much better.

I’ve written about Gold Mine several times on my blog, just because it’s my favorite, and then last winter they sent me a message out of the blue. They’d noticed my past posts about them and asked if they could send me a little something. I was imagining a small jar of their garlic kraut, and I was very excited indeed about the possibility since it’s not available locally and requires a trek to find it.

Then this showed up in the mail!!!

Box of goodnessIt was like the best Christmas present ever, but it wasn’t Christmas. I just kept unrolling and unrolling. I could hardly believe my eyes. And they sent something for Jezebel!

Jezebel guards her paper(You really wouldn’t believe how much she loved this paper. Every time I eyed it to take it out to the recycling bin, she flopped down on it, claiming it.)

As luck would have it, David isn’t into sauerkraut. So it was mine, all mine!

Gold Mine productsThat’s two huge jars of garlic kraut, one original sauerkraut, one kimchi (vegan, of course), kelp noodles, barley miso, nama shoyu, brown rice vinegar, tamari, and ume vinegar.

Kelp noodles with peanut sauceI’m still working through the ume vinegar, nama shoyu, and miso, but I polished off everything else, including the kelp noodles (above in a peanut sauce) and sauerkraut. Then they actually sent me 6 more small jars of sauerkraut and vegan kimchi back in July. I’m the happiest sauerkraut lover ever.

So anyway, here are some of the ways I’ve been using it:

Kale salad with sauerkraut Kale salad with sauerkraut The way that I eat sauerkraut the most is as a side to a big salad. It fills out the plate, adding another contrasting flavor that mixes especially well with a kale salad, avocado, and coconut bacon.

Field Roast seitan sausage with sauerkrautOf course, when many people think of sauerkraut, they imagine it topping a grilled veggie dog or sausage. This summer I enjoyed apple sage Field Roast sausages hot off the grill with a slice of pickle and slathering of mustard. The kraut adds a cool, tart compliment to a salty, savory sausage.

Sauerkraut on pizzaSauerkraut makes a terrific pizza topping, especially since I prefer my pie cheeseless. It gives zing to each slice. Some people throw sauerkraut on the pizza before cooking, but I prefer to add it cold by the spoonful after the pie is cooked. It adds a cool crunchy element on top of a hot, steamy pizza. Sauerkraut goes well with lots of pizza toppings like onions, garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, or seitan sausage.

Finally, I’ve also had it in soup and even as an ingredient in mac & cheese.

One more thing: I had such a blast this past weekend being a guest on Sexy Vegan Radidio, a podcast with Brian Patton.  The episode is live now, and you can listen to it here.  On the podcast, I follow the always-inspiring Gena Hamshaw.  My interview starts at around 33 minutes into the episode.  We discuss highlights from last week’s Vegan MoFo and much more!  Brian is hilarious and has such a genuine warmth about him.  You’ll definitely want to check it out!

(I’ve heard from people who have had a hard time finding the episode from the link above.  Look for Gena’s cookbook cover and the little play arrow, and then press play.  Sometimes it will take a few seconds to load up.  You’ll see the rotating bars underneath showing you that it’s working.  Hope that helps!)

Thank you to Gold Mine for the bounty of vegan goodness & to Brian Patton for having me on his show!

A Speedy Delivery Postcard Swap

Join us for a fun postcard swap!I have loved mail for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is from when I was 3 or 4 and my Grandpa traveled to California for a visit. My mom went outside to get the mail, and I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me that there was a letter for me. I still remember sitting on the living room floor with envelope in hand – scrawled with my name and address. I couldn’t tear into it quickly enough. Inside was a card with a picture of a mouse on the front. The little mouse was sitting in the hole of a tree with a sweet little look on his face. Inside, my grandpa wrote me a note about his trip, and it was immediately treasured. I still have that card to this day.

So it’s no wonder that as a child one of my favorite characters on Mister Rogers was the neighborhood mailman, Mr. McFeely. He could never stay long to chat, as he was always darting off to deliver a letter or package to some lucky recipient elsewhere on the street. However, for that brief window of time that he was there, he brought a bit of surprise to the day in the form of a letter, package, or present.

With Mr. McFeely in mind, I’m trying something new this month – a postcard swap. After all, the thing that I love most about Vegan MoFo is how it fosters community. Even if someone lives in a small town and knows no other vegans, just a few keystrokes away there’s a whole world wide web of people who are just as interested in gabbing about vegan food, ethics, and the unparalleled joys of a seitan reuben.

Join us for a fun postcard swap!So I’m inviting you to retro blog with me this month. (I think they used to call it “letter writing.”) Anyone is welcome to participate – regardless of if you are a blogger or vegan. To play along, just email me with the address where you’d like your postcard sent, and then I’ll match up partners. (If you are a blogger, let me know your blog too, so that I can pass that information on to your partner!)

Since this swap is international, your partner may be from another part of your country or the world. Keeping the costs of postage in mind, sending a postcard is all that is required. However, if you’d rather send a letter or small surprise, that is fine too!

Don’t know what to write about? Here’s a writing prompt! Tell your partner about a vegan food or meal that feels like home to you.

Update:  Sorry, the sign-up date has passed!  Partners are being set up right now, and participants will be notified this week.  The details: To participate email me at cadryskitchen@gmail.com with your address by midnight (Central Standard Time) on September 9th.  I’ll pair up partners and email people throughout the week. Postcards should be sent by September 19th, so that they will hopefully arrive before Vegan MoFo ends.

A month of foods that make me feel like coming home - Cadry's Kitchen