Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Recovery Food: Cabbage Soup Like Grandma Used to Make

My girlfriends and I went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a one night girls' weekend this past Saturday and Sunday. You're probably thinking, "Pittsburgh? Why Pittsburgh?"

Well, it's a short two hour drive from Cleveland, for one.

And two, hmmmm, I can't even think of number two.

Turns out Pittsburgh has a lot of cool stuff going on. Gorgeous old neighborhoods with beautiful architecture, a really awesome warehouse district with loads of ethnic grocery stores, produce stands, imported stuff, a local version of Sur la Table (loved that place!), and an Ikea.

We didn't even have time to tour The Andy Warhol Museum, which gets rave reviews. Next time, I guess. There will be a next time. I liked Pittsburgh.

Except for the food--not a lot of Vegan food going on in Pittsburgh, and forget about finding Plant-strong fare. I did my best with what was available.

But there was this one place. We heard it was the best restaurant in town. And they always have some Vegan options. It is called Salt of the Earth, and it did not disappoint. One of the most fun restaurant experiences I have ever had. Phenomenal creative cocktails, warm and welcoming wait staff and cooks, an open kitchen (if you ever wonder what goes in to great tasting restaurant food, I highly suggest watching an open kitchen--you will never be the same again. The amount of butter and salt that is added to the food is simply astonishing), and ONE Vegan menu option! Hurrah!

I ate an amazing Beet and Frisee salad. And the Seitan dish I ordered with Broccoli Kim Chi and Wild Rice Porridge was outstanding and unusual. And no butter! I forgot to click this picture until I had already eaten a lot of it, so I'm sorry, it doesn't look very pretty.

But after this past weekend, I need some recovery food. And this soup is the perfect prescription. Just like Grandma used to make, only without the cow, or the oil!

Sweet-n-sour Cabbage Soup
makes about 12 cups-serves a crowd

2 cups water
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juices
2 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 medium-large green cabbage, cut into 4, core removed and cut into about 1 ½” sq. chunks
2 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup maple syrup
Juice of one lime
Pepper to taste
salt (or not)

Place a large heavy pot over medium heat. Bring water and tomatoes to a boil.

Add cabbage and onions.

Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes.

Add bay leaf, maple syrup, lime juice, salt (or not), and pepper. Stir well and cover. Cook for at least another 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is very soft.

Freezes well.

Have you traveled lately? What has your experience been finding Plant-strong food? Comments are welcome and encouraged! To get to the comments section, please click on the title of this post (the orange text above).
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