Red Cabbage - Braised
The key here is to refrain from overcooking or at too high a temperature. Red cabbage cooks relatively quickly and you do not want to compromise the color or texture.
1/2 head Red Cabbage (cored and shredded)
1 Gala Apple, diced
1 Large Shallot, finely diced
1 Cup Organic Tart Cherry Juice
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Date Sugar
2 Field Roast Vegan Sausage Links (Apple Sage), Optional
Depending on whether I'm on an oil or no-oil kick, I will either sautee the shallots and sliced Field Roast in algae oil (a flavorless oil that responds well to heat) or I'll just use a little vegetable stock. Up to you, but oil, of course, browns the Field Roast very nicely and adds a more complex flavor. I keep the heat on medium, not too high, because our objective here is to retain the color and texture of all of our ingredients. Once the shallots and sausage are nicely browned, I add the shredded cabbage and lightly coat everything together. Again, this will not take long, the red cabbage responds very quickly-like, the entire dish will be finished in the next 10 minutes, quickly. As you can see from the photo, the cabbage will get bright and glossy, at which point I will add the tart cherry juice and date sugar to simmer until the red cabbage settles down and begins to slightly soften.
As stated, this is a quick exercise. After about 10 minutes of marrying these flavors, I turn the heat down to low and add the apples, thyme and ACV. Apples soften in a blink of an eye and crisp color and texture is what we are after here. The red cabbage also will want to permanently dye everything it touches, so a brief toss is the key to success. Plus, the ACV at the very end makes all of the flavors sing. If you care to season with salt and pepper, now is the time to do so.
This dish is equally delicious with orange peel, cider, cinnamon, and maple syrup as substitutes for more of an Autumn vibe. Have fun and get creative. I tend to devour this as a stand alone dish, but it is also very delicious paired with polenta prepared with vegetable stock, for example.
Field Roast Grain Meat Co. is a Seattle Based company that makes out-of-this-world, plant-based grain meats and chao cheeses. I am a huge fan of their products. Tart cherry juice, besides its delicious flavor, is touted to increase muscle strength and decrease joint pain, which is why I use it for a variety of dishes. And finally, you will see that I use date sugar as my "granulated" sugar for most of my recipes that call for a sweetener. It's nothing more than ground dates and oatmeal, but it is natural, has a great flavor, and is very effective! All worth a try.