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Brunch Traditions and Red Cabbage Experiments

July 2, 2010

Sunday morning crepes are becoming a tradition for us, if you count some activity done for three consecutive weeks as a tradition. This week we tried two new kinds of fillings: creamy sausage and chocolate apricot.

That’s the creamy sausage filling: this is, basically, TVP reconstituted in broth and browned in some soy sauce and garlic salt, and then mixed with a creamy cashew gravy. We topped these guys with some herb Vegusto, and chowed down. These are a great crepe filling if you’re feeling nostalgic for a Southern breakfast, but would like to maintain your French flair.

We also got some fresh apricots, and busted out the vegan chocolate hazelnut spread.

These were definitely a hit–our apricots were quite tart, but our super-sweet chocolate spread balanced them out well.

We also made some coconut-pecan granola, with coconut oil, brown rice syrup and cinnamon. 

What was perhaps even more exciting than the crepes and granola was an idea that Graham had for a breakfast-lunch-and-dinner nook. We had been eating on the floor, but Graham figured out a way of partially folding out our fold-out table in front of one of our windows, so that (during the summer at least) we could enjoy regular alfresco dining.

This has made all of our meals much, much nicer.

One of the first dinners we got to enjoy in our new nook was another red cabbage experiment. The last time I was making red cabbage, I noticed that if you cut it from from side-to-side (parallel to the white stem), you get beautiful spiral patterns. So, I wanted to see whether I could somehow made cabbage in such a way that I could also show off its natural beauty. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. I tried cooking the red cabbage in little rounds, but found that they tended to fall apart as they cooked. Nevertheless, some of them still turned out quite nice looking. 

So, maybe it looked a little bit like we were eating brains. Still, I think they turned out mostly pretty, and cooking them in a little oil and balsamic vinegar made them tasty, too! I served them with a cold quinoa, red pepper, and mint salad, and with some leftover red pepper I made a cool, lemony sauce to go on top of the cabbage.

Although these cabbage rounds might be a little too challenging to make often, this quinoa salad may become a summer staple: it’s just

-quinoa, cooked in broth



-lemon juice

-rice vinegar

-brown rice syrup

-fresh chopped mint

-chopped red bell pepper


-olive oil

I’m still determined to find good go-to recipes for red cabbage, however.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Caroline Brooks permalink
    July 2, 2010 3:52 pm

    Your little table in front of the window is so romantic looking – way to go Graham! I just love those typical tall, long French windows with the wrought iron railings! An apartment we stayed in last time we were in Paris had windows like that (sadly, that was the best part, except I suppose, for the amazing Marais location).

    • Graham Leach-Krouse permalink
      July 3, 2010 6:20 am

      Thanks! It’s my first foray into interior decorating over here. We’re getting some plants for the windowsill; we’ve already added a mint plant, which seems to be thriving, and I think this afternoon we’re going to go down to the Verger (our local vegetable stand) and buy some live basil.

  2. patricia leach permalink
    July 3, 2010 12:39 am

    Here is another simple Sunday dessert crepe treat… Sprinkle powdered sugar on the crepe, then squeeze on a little fresh lemon juice or do it in reverse order. Whatever! Mary Burr taught Olivia and I this nice little treat… Hope you will enjoy it too.

  3. Mary Bosch permalink
    July 3, 2010 8:53 pm

    What a treat to find 3 un-read entries when I checked today!
    OK, so here are two recipes for sweet-sour red cabbage. You can get the basic idea — there must be many ways to make it!

    Fit for Life (4 servings):
    1 small red cabbage, shredded (approx. 10 c.)
    3 T. “butter” (bacon fat is traditional)
    1/2 c. sliced onion
    3 T. honey (sugar is traditional)
    3 T. fresh lemon juice (vinegar is traditional)
    1/2 t. salt
    Pepper to taste

    Shred cabbage and soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Heat butter in a large pot, add onion and saute until soft. Lift cabbage into pot along with the water that clings to it. Mix together the honey, lemon juice and salt and stir it into the cabbage. Cover and simmer 1 hour
    over very low heat, adding small amounts of water if cabbage becomes dry. If water is not absorbed when cabbage is done, uncover and cook it gently until it is absorbed. Season to taste.

    Then a Swedish version from Sheila Lukins, All Around the World Cookbook (6-8 servings):
    1 large red cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds, cored, halved and outer leaves discarded)
    2 T. butter
    1 c. dried cherries
    1/4 c. red wine vinegar
    1/4 c. apple juice
    1/4 c. red currant jelly
    1 T. sugar
    Salt and pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    2. Cut cabbage into thin slices and set aside.
    3. Melt butter in a large, heavy, ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add the cherries and cook until they begin to soften, 2 minutes, stirring.
    4. Add the cabbage, vinegar, apple juice, jelly, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until the cabbage begins to wilt, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and braise in the oven 1 hour. The cabbage will be tender and the liguid slightly thickened.

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