Bratwurst Bake

Friday, July 29th, 2011 by Rachel

A family friend has given us lots of vegetable jars from her garden, so I’ve been gradually finding ways to use them up. Yesterday, I created this easy recipe, and it turned out great. I used to bake bratwurst on their own when we lived in Flagstaff, but lately I’ve only been cooking them in a stovetop skillet, so this was a nice change of pace. The bratwurst flavor made its way into the veggies without taking over. Even though this bratwurst bake has the side “built in” already with the green beans, it lends itself well to being mixed and matched with other foods. I served it with corn on the cob last night, and tonight I’ll be making some pesto pasta for a fresh side with the leftovers.


Bratwurst Bake


1 package (5) Johnsonville Brats ( choose the flavor of your choice. I used original)
1 big jar green beans, about the equivalent of 2 cans
1/2 jar chunky tomato paste, about 1 can tomato paste and 1 can diced tomatoes mixed
Cooking Spray (I use Smart Balance)


Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add brats and boil for 15 minutes.


Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish/casserole pan with cooking spray. Drain and rinse green beans. Create a green bean perimeter in the baking dish. Put tomato paste in the middle, like a lava lake.


When brats are done boiling, drain and put them in the middle of the casserole dish on the “lava lake”. Put a dollop of tomato paste on each of the 5 brats. Sprinkle entire dish with oregano, cilantro, parsley. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when brats have browned nicely.

Do you ever feel like food is lying to you?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by Rachel

v8 fusion

This morning, as I enjoyed a bowl of cereal and an egg white scramble (tossed in cheese and a couple bacon bits) with a glass of V8 Fusion, I got to thinking about what exactly my V8 juice is. Passion Fruit Tangerine tastes sort of fruity, with a strange carrot smell and aftertaste. For the most part, I feel healthy drinking it, compared to say… a beer with my breakfast, which would be decisively unhealthy. According to the front of the bottle, the juice contains a full serving of vegetables in addition to its full serving of fruit, AND it is approved by the American Heart Association, as it meets food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over the age of 2… and I am definitely over the age of 2!


But when you look at the actual nutritional value, this is where I get a little confused. At 110 calories, it has pretty standard juice calorie intake. 0 fat, 70 mg of Sodium (3% daily value), 600 mg Potassium (17% daily value), 27 g total carbohydrate (including the 24 g of sugars) (9%), 0 Protein. None of this sounds particularly healthy in anyway. Onto the vitamin breakdown, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 100%, Calcium 2%, Iron 0%, Vitamin E 10%.


With the exception of Vitamin C, V8 juice doesn’t seem to be giving me any amount of substantial nutritional value, so who cares if each serving contains a full serving of fruit and vegetables? A multivitamin would give me more nutrition than V8 seems to provide! Is there some sort of unquantifiable vegetable goodness which is soaking into my brain as I type this?


Don’t even get me started on peanut butter. Choosy moms choose Jif, but why? So I can get 4% of my daily Iron, 15% of my daily Vitamin E, 2% of my daily Riboflavin, and 20% Niacin? What does any of this even mean? Who cares about my Riboflavin levels? Why has the peanut butter and jelly sandwich been such a staple of the American lunch if there is absolutely nothing worth saving in here?


This has seriously just become a jumble full of questions. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I feel like the labels lie. Thoughts from you fine food-eating folk?