Didn't make it to the world's first vegan Oktoberfest in Santa Monica last weekend? No worries. It's easy to throw together your own German-inspired feast at home. Just serve up tasty veg versions of typically meaty dishes, slap on some Lederhosen, and don't forget the apple strudel and German chocolate cake. (If the Munich City Council can do it, so can you!) Here are a few Oktoberfest essentials:
Who needs franks and weisswurst when you've got slow-simmered Beer Brats slathered with sinus-clearing Emerald Mustard? Look for Field Roast or Tofurky sausages, which are sold at most natural-foods stores. (Not a fan of veggie sausages? Try a German Cabbage and Potato Casserole or Eggplant Schnitzel, our hearty veg take on the classic breaded veal cutlet.)
German potato salad, a signature Oktoberfest item, usually contains bacon. Good thing our Warm German Potato Salad is topped with crispy tempeh bacon crumbles, which take just 10 minutes to make and taste smokier than the real deal. You can prepare the whole dish a day or two ahead, storing the crumbles separately to prevent them from getting soggy.
Turns out, bacon is also added to traditional sauerkraut. What to do? Dress up store-bought sauerkraut with a truly drool-worthy dressing, like the sweet-spicy-salty one drizzled over this vegan Apple Sauerkraut Salad. Use the sauerkraut to top your brats, or serve on the side. Look for raw, lacto-fermented varieties, which are packed with good-for-you probiotics.
Ingredient alert: some beers are made with animal products such as gelatin and isinglass (fish bladder). Luckily, according to the five-century-old "Bavarian purity law," German beers must contain just hops, barley malt, water, and yeast. Nothing more, nothing less. But before you start guzzling, check barnivore.com to make absolutely sure your favorite beer is veg. Prost!
Want to keep cooking? Check out our full collection of veg-friendly German recipes.