Food News

How to Make a Vegetarian-Friendly Oktoberfest Feast

It's true traditional Bavarian cuisine has not traditionally been the most vegetarian-friendly, but times change, and now that Oktoberfest shares the month with Vegetarian Awareness, we might as well incorporate some German-inspired vegetarian dishes so the animal loving/health conscious among us don't have to miss out.

Sauerkraut is one of the signature dishes for a traditional Oktoberfest feast, and it's already vegetarian all by itself. Not only is it delicious and nutritious -- thanks to its vitamin C content, sauerkraut prevented most of Europe from developing scurvy through long, dark winters -- but kraut is ridiculously easy to make at home. Just shred a head of unwashed organic cabbage and put it in a glass jar with plenty of sea salt. As the salt draws water from the cabbage, press the shreds down with your fist to keep it submerged. Throw a towel over it to keep the dust out, and two weeks later the brine and the bacteria combine to ferment the cabbage into kraut. You can liven things up a bit by using red cabbage or throwing in other sliced-up veggies. You can even add shredded apples to sweeten it.

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane