Mindful Red Cabbage

By David Cohlmeyer

Makes 8 servings

We hear more and more about the benefits of probiotic microorganisms. But we are only beginning to understand the need to feed (and multiply) them. Prebiotics are soluble fibres coming from foods that feed the health-promoting organisms in our digestive tract. Now there is increasing chatter about a healthy gut being related to a healthy mind. This is one reason for the recent interest in kale. But red cabbage and most of the ingredients in this tasty side dish provide similar benefits.

3 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

3 medium leeks, white portion only, sliced 1/2-inch thick 

1 medium red cabbage, cut into 1-inch-square pieces

1 14 oz (398 mL) can pinto beans with liquid

1 head  garlic, separated into cloves, peeled and sliced

4  small Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), washed well and left unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick

4 tbsp drained sauerkraut, preferably unpasteurized

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dill

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 dollops plain yogurt

In a large pot or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Stir in the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the beans and their liquid. Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Stir in the garlic and the Jerusalem artichokes (keeping the skin on helps to retain texture). Bring the mixture back up to a simmer and cook until the Jerusalem artichokes have softened, about 5-minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sauerkraut and parsley. Serve immediately, garnished with dollops of yogurt, or chill and reheat before serving.