At Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, there are always people walking around selling large pretzels, says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who moved to the city in 2018. The large pieces of golden, twisted pretzel dough come topped with coarse salt for a savoury crunch with every bite. “They don’t come with any dipping sauce,” Gilles says, “but you could dip it in sauce if you had ordered something else”—say, the honey mustard or stone-ground mustard you might have with your bratwurst or sauerkraut balls. But don’t feel bad if you prefer to break from German tradition and dip them in caramel or tahini instead!
There’s no need to flour a surface when rolling out your dough; the psyllium keeps it from sticking.
In small pot, heat 1/2 cup (125 mL) nondairy milk (or microwave) until warm to the touch but not scalding. In heat-proof bowl, add yeast and sugar, then pour milk overtop. Set aside for 15 minutes.
In stand mixer or large bowl, whisk tapioca starch, cornstarch, flour, psyllium, and salt. Add melted butter or oil, remaining 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) nondairy milk, and yeast mixture. Use dough hook or hand mixer on low speed to beat until just combined.
Shape dough into a ball. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl, cover with dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In medium pot, bring 5 cups (1.25 L) water to a simmer with baking soda. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On cutting board or clean countertop, divide dough into 10 pieces and roll into 15 in (38 cm) strands. Push edges away from you into a “U” shape and twist the ends over each other twice (there are plenty of videos online for this if you need help). Then bring the ends down to the bottom of the “U.”
Remove pot of water from heat. Using large, flat spatula, carefully pick up and slide a pretzel into water for 30 seconds. If water doesn’t cover the pretzel, rotate pot to submerge. Remove pretzel to parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining pretzels. You can do this all at once, but the pretzels are delicate.
Sprinkle pretzels with coarse salt and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Scatter some caraway seeds overtop if you wish.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.