Lighten Up Oktoberfest!
By Jonny Bowden, PhD, and Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC
Our healthy take on a classic German autumn dish

Quick Apple Sausage and Red CabbageCabbage is the king of the brassica family of vegetables, which is no mean feat when you consider that brassicas count broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and other health heavyweights among their number.

Cabbage got its reputation as a cancer fighter when researchers found that Eastern European women, who consumed a ton of the stuff, had lower rates of breast cancer than average. Further investigation led to the identification of chemicals in cabbage called indoles, which are believed to be responsible for the anti-cancer activity.

Here, Chef Jeannette pairs lean apple sausage with red cabbage, one of the tastiest varieties. The cabbage and onions add a healthy dose of antioxidants and cancer-fighting indoles. And you’ll be surprised at how good it tastes when stir-fried in my favorite cooking oil—coconut oil.

Quick Apple Sausage and Red Cabbage
Serves 4

This dish has all the flavors of heavier German fare, but it’s light on the calories—especially when compared to bratwurst and sauerkraut.

1 Tbs. coconut oil (we like Barlean’s Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil)

4 3-oz. links chicken apple sausage (we like Applegate Farms Organic Chicken and Apple Sausage)

1 small red onion, sliced

1 lb. shredded red cabbage (4 cups)

1 green apple, unpeeled, cored, and chopped

½ cup pure apple cider

1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs. Sucanat or brown sugar

2 Tbs. red wine

1/4 tsp. salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

  1. Heat coconut oil in Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove sausage casings from meat, and break skinless sausage up into pan. Add onion, and cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned.
  2. Add cabbage, apple, cider, vinegar, Sucanat, wine, salt, and pepper, stirring gently to combine. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 15—20 minutes, or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

PER SERVING: 285 cal; 15g pro; 15g total fat (7g sat fat); 26g carb; 95mg chol; 853mg sod; 5g fiber; 18g sugars

Notes From Chef Jeannette
Though using pre-sliced cabbage is a time-saver, I prefer freshly cut for maximum flavor and nutrient-impact. To prepare it yourself, quarter and core a 1½-lb. head of red cabbage, and feed three of the quarters through a food processor using the slicer attachment. Or slice thinly (widthwise) by hand.

If you’d like to finish this meal with a healthy starch, scrub, lightly oil, and bake 4 small garnet yams for one hour on a foil-covered pan (to catch any escaping yam syrup) in a 400°F oven. They’re great served with small pats of pastured butter or a few drops of apple cider vinegar for fewer calories.




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