Whenever I find a recipe, I usually think, “that would be good with …” or “I’d like it better if it was …” I love finding recipes, but it’s rare that I actually follow them. It’s hard to find recipes that fit exactly what I’m looking for, whether I’m in the mood for something fat-free, vegetarian, etc. I’ve gotten in the habit of substituting ingredients with ones that suit my taste. For example, I never use sour cream or mayonnaise; I use Greek yogurt. In place of ground beef, I use rinsed ground turkey. And, I can’t leave out my always-present addition of Sriracha, crushed red pepper flakes, or dried chilies from my dad’s garden.
I am a sucker for good food, but I’m impatient about it. I don’t like spending a lot of time prepping ingredients. If I want to make pot stickers or egg rolls, those are already a time commitment. The thought of having to shred all the cabbage and then cook it down is enough to dissuade me from making those dishes in the first place. That’s why sauerkraut is a godsend for me—I like to open a bag of sauerkraut and, depending on the recipe, rinse it or use it straight from the bag. It’s like buying cloves of garlic versus jarred, minced garlic—less time and effort without sacrificing taste.
If that wasn’t enough, sauerkraut also adds a layer of flavor that regular cabbage would not. Even though sauerkraut is well known as a brat or hot dog topping, there are so many more things you can do with it. The fun part is that you get to be creative and make things the way you like them. Krautlook has an awesome “Substitute with Sauerkraut” board on Pinterest that has a ton of great ideas for where to substitute sauerkraut. Use it in place of cheese for a vegan pizza, in stir-fry, tangy egg salad, on nachos instead of lettuce … the possibilities are endless! Using the sauerkraut raw, like on tacos or in salads, also has the added perk of probiotics. And don’t forget, you can use kraut in desserts, too. Check out Krautlook’s Desserts board.
If you’re looking for a faster, easier way to make your favorite recipes, pick up a bag of sauerkraut and get cooking!