Beer in Dinner, Beer with Dinner

Special thanks to an extended stay at Shenandoah Joe’s yesterday, I finally finished The Corrections and quickly moved through two other short pieces. The Corrections had a way of drawing me back in just at the point[s] I was ready to throw it off of a cliff with an awesome passage, but all-in-all I think the awesomeness was limited to passages and the cliff-throwing-ness permeated most of the book. I’m curious to hear what others thought, though.

I followed The Corrections with two shorter and [seemingly] lighter pieces: We the Animals by Justin Torres and Barrel Fever by David Sedaris. I enjoyed both. The Torres novella is funny and light, but takes a crazy turn at the end. It covers about six years or so of the lives of three young brothers, detailing their dramatic relationship with one another and their dramatic relationship with their overly dramatic parents. It’s brutally honest [autobiographical] and very fast. And, Sedaris is one of my favorite writers. He’s hilarious. What struck me about this collection was how progressive it is for having been written in 1995 [it might have been his first?]. I wonder how it was received back then. I’ve almost read everything he’s written… one more to go.

But, back to food for a bit…This post might seem fundamentally at odds with my resolutions for 2012. Beer food with a beer on the side doesn’t seem like a weight-loss-friendly meal. I assure you I haven’t jumped ship. My diet plan is simply to expend more calories per day than I consume, at a rate I’ve set that will produce results. Cutting carbs, cutting cheese, cutting alcohol, “cutting” something period is a form of deprivation. Deprivation diets just don’t work. Instead, I’m keeping track of  food and exercise [in an iPhone app designed to help with these tasks] and making sure I’m [well] below the number I need to be below, not starving, and feeling like I achieved an exercise goal for the day. So, in short, beer with dinner = a smaller breakfast or a smaller lunch, or no snack, or an extra mile run. It’s really all math.* I once heard of a career marathon runner who drank a lot of beer, and when people asked him how he did it and still stayed fit, his response was, “I count it as my carb for the day.”

My carb for the day was Belgian Golden Ale. Shaun braised red cabbage, onion, and apple in the crock pot all day with Triangle Brewing Company‘s Belgian Golden Ale [8% ABV], ginger and vinegar. Triangle is a Durham, N.C. brewery and we had picked up the beer from a place called Weinhaus in downtown Asheville last week.

german beer cabbage.

Once it cooked down, it was topped with Twin Oaks’ tofu marinated in so much sriracha. Served with another Golden Ale and the second Coen Brothers’ movie: Raising Arizona – it was an awesome meal – one of Shaun’s better ones, I’d say.

tofu cabbage.

funny colors.

Belgian Ale Braised Cabbage with Sriracha Tofu (Vegan, Vegetarian)

Modified from Beer Advocate‘s cabbage and Bon Appetit’s grilled tofu.

Prep Time: A few hours for the marinade/crock pot

Tools: Crock Pot

Serves: 2-3, or 1 serving for Courtney and 2 for Shaun


  • 1/2 package of extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chopped scallions
  • 1 can of belgian golden ale
  • 1 head of red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste;
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


1. For the Tofu: Drain and cut into cubes. Put the sriracha, sesame seeds, soy sauce, miso, garlic and scallions into a blender with water. Marinate the tofu in the sauce for as long as possible. Note: Extra sauce can be used for dipping!

2. For the Cabbage: Saute the onions in olive oil until soft, then add in the apple and the garlic. Pour the onion mixture into the crock pot with the beer, ginger, cabbage, and salt and pepper. Cook on high for a few hours, then reduce to low. Serve with a side of beer!

* Ok, it’s not all math. The kind of calories you consume really does matter, too, so you won’t see me eating 1000 calories worth of wine and cookies and calling it a weight-loss success just because I was under a number.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Food, Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: Tumblr:


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3 Comments on “Beer in Dinner, Beer with Dinner”

  1. January 9, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    It really is about counting those carbs! Nice meals BTW.


  1. Leftover Avocado: What to do? | Ryes and 'Shine - January 21, 2012

    […] On the side: Twin Oaks tofu steaks marinated in the leftover sriracha marinade from Shaun’s beer cabbage with spicy tofu, with a little bit of lime juice and basil tossed in the pan. burnt it a bit, didn't […]

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