getting through: unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut

unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut | everybody likes sandwiches

For the past 3 years, I’ve been a bit down in the dumps from January through til March. The realization of this pattern only hit me this week. For the last few days I totally felt incapacitated – everything became a chore. I’d stall until the last moment to finish work before a deadline. I’d stare at the mountain of things that needed to get done and couldn’t see the end, so instead of just digging in, I’d ignore it. I felt miserable. But then, yesterday came the light. I’m not talking about any metaphor, but actual sunlight beaming into our apartment. Suddenly, I was full of pep and vigour. I barrelled through the work that seemed an impossibility the day before, ran errands, had a friend over and got some exercise in. And when I looked at my iphone weather app and saw nothing but happy yellow circles for the next week, I couldn’t believe my luck. Time to stock up on vitamin D and learn to cope through those non-sunny days that Vancouver always has plenty of.

unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut | everybody likes sandwiches

A few days ago, on one of those struggling days, I made dinner. Actually, I resisted making dinner until it was nearly 9pm. Cornelius thought we should just order something in, but to me, that didn’t seem right since we had just eaten out 2 days prior with friends. So, I looked in the fridge for what seemed like the millionth time that day and started to put something together. I loved the idea of cabbage rolls – something old fashioned, familiar and truly comforting. But the thing about cabbage rolls is that they’re a lot of work with the rolling and stuffing and all. So I decided to make a quick stew with all those familiar tastes and the resulting dish was hearty and warming, exactly what I needed. The sauerkraut was was really made this stew into something special. While my life of late might be lacking in zest, this stew most definitely is not.

unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut | everybody likes sandwiches

elsewhere: Over at Poppytalk, I make a comforting winter salad. Butternut squash, tahini dressing and chickpeas. It may not look like much, but oh my!

unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut | everybody likes sandwiches

19 comments to “getting through: unstuffed cabbage roll stew with sauerkraut”

  1. 1
    Joanne (Bijoux)   January 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Get yourself a simulated sunlight lamp. It makes a world of difference during the darker winter months. There are so many different styles to choose from and prices vary. The one I have costs around $200 but boy oh boy, does it restore my energy!
    I love cabbage rolls but have never made them before due to all the steps involved. I’m getting a cabbage in next weeks organics bin so I will attempt to make this deconstructed cabbage roll dish. Yum!

  2. 2
    Julie   January 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I get those days of blah. Glad th sunlight helped!

  3. 3
    Cortnie   January 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    It’s amazing how much I need sunlight to function in any kind of normal way – glad you got some consecutive sunny days!


  4. 4
    Kasey   January 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    This time of year is definitely tough. Even though we have more light in San Francisco, the last few weeks have been chilly and gloomy and I’ve found myself a little unmotivated, too (well, combine that with some major pregnancy hormones!). I hope you find some light (no pun intended), inspiration, and warmth. This stew really does look amazing. Happy New Year!

  5. 5
    Joanne   January 12, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I am quite unmotivated in the winter also and it definitely has to do with all the darkness! I’m glad you got some sunshine and some wonderful stew to cheer you up!

  6. 6
    Emily   January 12, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Sometimes January can be hard, with the gloomy and cold temperatures .. although, I can only imagine Vancouver is colder than Toronto!

    Anyhow, I’ve been on the web searching for recipes to enhance (or to develop) any kind of cooking/baking skills. I think this looks pretty yummy along with the walnut cake you posted earlier.

  7. 7
    Cathy H   January 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Delicious! Thanks for sharing another great recipe. I started following your blog after making your Rainy Day: Red Lentil Mexican Soup … so good! The stew is simmering on the stove and is a perfect meal after a long walk on a crisp and beautiful west coast day!

  8. 8
    Connie L (Real Food Family Meals)   January 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    This sounds like a great recipe. I am impressed that you just created it on the fly – but I guess that is how some of the best ideas come about:)

  9. 9
    kickpleat   January 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Joanne, I’ll think about it! I wonder if sunlight quality bulbs would do it, or if I’d need to get a special lamp.

    Thanks Julie, I’m glad we’re not suffering alone.

    Totally Cortnie! More sun for us all!

    Thanks Kasey, and happy new year to you!

    The darkness is the worst, Joanne. I’m loving watching the days get longer already!

    Emily, well, Vancouver is a lot warmer than Toronto, so we’ve got that. We’re the warmest location in Canada (our weather is like Seattle, 2 hours to the south). Thanks for stopping in!

    Cathy, so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes. Enjoy!

    Thanks Connie!

  10. 10
    Joanne (Bijoux)   January 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Kickpleat, Sunlight quality bulbs will also work but you need to sit directly under it for a specific amount of time to reap the benefits.

  11. 11
    Sherri   January 15, 2013 at 6:18 am

    This soup was absolutely delicious! It transported us right to the little town of Leavenworth, WA. My husband loved it and said it reminded him of a good bratwurst. Thank you for the great recipe!

  12. 12
    kickpleat   January 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Joanne, I’ll install some in our office 🙂

    Sherri, hooray!! Glad you loved the soup and one of these days I’ll have to veer off the highway and check out Leavenworth!

  13. 13
    Sarah   January 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you! I’ve already made this recipe twice. The leftovers even froze well. (Thank goodness – I sent my sous-chef/husband out to buy saurkraut specifically for this dish, and it is a BIG jar).

    I used Savoy cabbage both times, and upped the veggies, then posted a picture of my creation – with link to your recipe – for facebook friends. (You’ll make a food blogger out of me yet!)

    I really enjoy your posts, recipes and commentary.

  14. 14
    kickpleat   January 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Sarah, so glad you are loving this recipe! It’s a good one and I’m so glad you’re sharing it 🙂 Thanks for your kind words.

  15. 15
    Joanne (Bijoux)   January 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’ve made this delicious meal twice so far and today will be number 3!! No sauerkraut though as I think it’s just perfect the way it is 🙂

  16. 16
    kickpleat   January 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    So glad you’re digging this recipe, Bijoux. I’ll have to try it without the sauerkraut one day!

  17. 17
    folgen hier   July 24, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love the recipe, I would like to prepare it for my boyfriend but he hates cabbage… how I can replace it?

  18. 18
    kickpleat   July 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Folgen Hier, this is a cabbage soup through and through, so I’d find another recipe if he doesn’t like cabbage. Or you never know, maybe he’ll like this one!

  19. 19
    Alena   April 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that this is my husbands absolute favorite dish! I make it at least once every few months no matter the weather. I like it too. 🙂

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