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Kaltes Essen

("kahl-tess-ess-en")

I pickle my own cucumbers and beets. If you're into making DIY pickled things, that's cool. If not, try to find low-salt, low-ingredient store bought brands. I buy Bubbies or Deutsche Küche sauerkraut and Aldi-brand mustards and olives. For toast and crackers, dense German rye-based bread (Delba, Mestemacher, etc), sprouted breads (Ezekiel, Aldi-brand, etc), and Wasa and Ryvita crackers are recommended. Dense German rye and sprouted breads are so much better toasted well. Although sprouted breads are more nutritious, whole wheat tortillas-wraps-pitas are cool, too (NOT whole grain). Also, white miso paste, Bragg's liquid aminos, low-salt tamari, or sea salt can be substituted for iodized salt*. 

* About sodium: most store-bought brands of pickled and fermented foods have an outrageously high sodium content. Making your own controls this easily. Otherwise... a hack is to drain the liquid from the jar, rinse out the food in the jar/container with cold water three times (keep food in jar/container), then add cold water to the top. After 24-hours in the fridge, the flavors will marry again and voila! less salt content. Also, make sure the total ingredients for this meal aren't mostly pickled things; balance this with an abundance of fresh veggies, fruits, raw nuts, raw seeds, spreads, dips, crackers, and breads. Guten Appetit! 

Ingredients at a Glance

Here are some ingredients I include on my plate/table/platter. The possibilities are endless, and you can use just about anything in your fridge for this picnic-style dish. Add any WPF dips on hand: hummus, baba ghanoush, spinach and artichoke dip, pesto, chimichurri, veggie dips, skordalia, raw nut or tofu cream, dressings**, etc. 

  • sauerkraut

  • pickled beets

  • olives (I love garlic-stuffed + kalamata)

  • pepperoncini

  • pickles

  • cucumber

  • tomato

  • red onion

  • bell pepper

  • carrot

  • celery

  • red radish

  • mustards

  • horseradish, prepared (not with cream)

  • apples, pears, grapes, berries, dried fruit, raw nuts

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • oregano, dill, basil, herbs of Provence, paprika, etc

  • WPF toasted breads and crackers - see intro above
     

ADDITIONS ON HAND:

 

  • Baltic slaw (see Recipes + Resources)

  • tabbouleh salad

  • red-skin and/or purple potato salad

  • hulled barley and lentil salad

  • whole wheat couscous salad

  • roasted veggies (warm or cold)

  • greek-style salad

  • batch cooked foods like steamed broccoli, sauteed asparagus, boiled potatoes, roasted cauliflower, etc

  • for a special treat: vegan cream cheese (or make your own with beans, tofu, and/or raw nuts, add nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, fresh herbs, oat milk...)

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Choke + Spinach Smear (or Dip)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked spinach, drained thoroughly (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, chopped (fresh or from tin/jar, unmarinated)

  • 1 cup white beans, cooked (any kind - I use cannellini beans)

  • garlic - I use A LOT. I like to use roasted garlic, and 2 tablespoons granulated garlic is fine, too. Otherwise, use 1 to 2 raw cloves.

  • 1 cup chopped parsley, fresh

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest before juicing)

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh

  • 2 tablespoons nut butter (any kind)

  • 1 tablespoon white miso

  • 1 tablespoon herbs of Provence

  • 1 tablespoon dill, dried

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • iodized salt and black pepper to taste 

  • hot water for thinning, as needed
     

Directions:

 

  1. Separately, smash the spinach and chopped artichoke hearts between your hands to release all the excess moisture. Do this in a few batches.

  2. Add everything to a food processor and blend to desired consistency. If your machine is small, then do two batches.

  3. Slowly add hot water as you blend. If it gets too thin, add flax meal or more white beans.

  4. You can also add: jalapeños, beets, roasted veggies, etc. Adjust texture while blending in items by adding more or using less water. 

  5. Smear texture is thicker and more "rustic" (less blending).

  6. Dip texture is smoother and thinner.
     

VARIATIONS:

 

  • For a warm version: add yeast option to the food processor. For a topping, combine 1/2 cup panko, 1 teaspoon each of: onion powder, Italian blend, parsley (dried), and black pepper. In casserole dish, spread topping evenly and bake at 500 degrees F (260 C) for about 12-15 minutes or until topping is browned. 

  • Before adding to the food processor, bake chopped artichoke hearts on sheet pan until lightly browned (parchment paper is useful) - 400 degrees F (204 C) for 20-30 minutes. 

  • Use or mix in other steamed greens like baby kale or mustard greens, or use other fresh herbs in addition to parsley.

MACROS +  Per Serving (12 servings total  w/o nutritional yeast)

 

  • calories: 67

  • total fat: 2.9 g

  • saturated fat: 0.6 g

  • cholesterol: 0 mg

  • sodium: 45 mg (more, if adding salt to taste)

  • total carbs: 8.3 g

  • dietary fiber: 3 g

  • total sugars: 1.7 g

  • protein: 3.6 g

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Lemon-Zest Hummus

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas - any bean works for hummus - different bean varieties offer various flavors, textures, and colors. Tinned is fine, use BPA-free and low-sodium if possible. I usually cook beans from scratch as I prefer the flavor and can control the texture better).

  • garlic - I use A LOT. I like to use roasted garlic, and 2 tablespoons granulated garlic works, too. Otherwise, use 1 to 2 raw cloves.

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (zest before juicing)

  • 1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped (include stems)

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh

  • 3 tablespoons nut butter (any kind)

  • 1 tablespoon white miso

  • 1 tablespoon smoked or sweet paprika

  • 1 tablespoon za'atar (any Mediterranean, Persian, Arabic, etc spice blend works)

  • 1 tablespoon cumin 

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2/3 to 1 cup hot water, depending on density of bean variety

  • iodized salt and black pepper to taste
     

Directions:

 

  1. Add everything to a food processor and blend to desired consistency. If your machine is small-ish, then do two batches.

  2. Slowly add hot water as you blend. Keep in mind that this will thicken overnight, especially if using dry beans from scratch. Adjust consistency as needed.
     

VARIATIONS: you can add jalapeños, beets, roasted veggies, steamed greens, fresh herbs, etc. Adjust texture while blending in items via balancing the ratios of water and ingredients. Adding more beans (or flax meal) also thickens the texture.

MACROS + Per Serving (12 servings total) 

  • calories: 60

  • total fat: 2.7 g

  • saturated fat: 0.5 g

  • cholesterol: 0 mg

  • sodium: 76 mg (more, if adding salt to taste)

  • total carbs: 6.9 g

  • dietary fiber: 1.9 g

  • total sugars: 1.5 g

  • protein: 3 g

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Pickled Beets with Caraway

Ingredients:

 

  • 4 small-medium sized beets

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds, whole

  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn, whole, any kind

  • 1 large bay leaf (or two small-medium)

  • 1 teaspoon iodized salt

  • sweet options: date syrup, maple syrup, agave 

  • hot water to cover beets

  • 32 oz ball jar or air-tight container (if plastic, it'll turn pink)
     

Directions:

 

  1. Cut beets in half and med-high boil in large pot until al dente tender. Keep mostly covered. This takes about an hour. 

  2. Drain, rinse with very cold water for about 30 seconds, let cool.

  3. Dissolve salt (and sweet option) in 1/2 cup hot water first. 

  4. Add dissolved liquid and all ingredients on list until 'hot water' at bottom of jar.

  5. Peel skins off with paring knife (or peeler). Cut large beet pieces into smaller ones, and put directly into jar.

  6. When jar is full, gently push down on beets and add hot water to about 1/4 inch at top. Seal lid tightly, swish around a bit (don't shake up and down), rinse the jar under very hot water for about 30 seconds, and let sit for 30 minutes before refrigerating.
     

VARIATIONS:

 

  • Steam carrots, cauliflower, and daikon spears for 3-4 minutes. Follow the directions above. Add thinly-sliced red onion and fresh or pickled jalapeño.

  • Slice Persian cucumbers (mini cucumbers) in half. Put in jar raw. Follow directions above. Add fresh garlic clove(s) and fresh dill with stem.

  • Change up vinegar flavors: red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, pear vinegar, white balsamic, etc. Some are quite pungent, so experiment with water to vinegar ratios to your taste.

  • Add 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic, whole.

  • Add a sprig of thyme or rosemary. 

MACROS +  Per Serving (8 servings total - calculated w/o sweet option unless using stevia-truvia)

 

  • calories: 49

  • total fat: 0 g

  • saturated fat: 0 g

  • cholesterol: 0 mg

  • sodium: 295 mg 

  • total carbs: 10.7 g

  • dietary fiber: 2.1 g

  • total sugars: 8.5 g

  • protein: 1.8 g

METRIC 

 

1 cup = 140 grams

1/2 cup = 70 grams

1/3 cup = 113 grams

1/4 cup = 35 grams

1/8 cup = 15 grams

1/4 inch = .6 cm

1 tablespoon = 15 ml

1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1/2 teaspoon = 2.5 ml

32 oz = .95 liter

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** Dressings and sauces elevate flavors and help us stick to a WFP diet for life. In a word, they're ESSENTIAL. One hack is turning any dip or smear into a dressing for salads, "Buddha" bowls, sandos, veggies, etc. Dilute it with plant-based milk and/or water. Then, adjust the flavor.

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