Anchored in tradition but updated for health, these recipes for some of the greatest Oktoberfest foods will have you ready to celebrate!
Plant-based Schnitzel with Noodles
Schnitzel usually means tenderized meat coated in egg and bread crumbs and deep-fried. This version of schnitzel would have even Julie Andrews singing its praises, thanks to the tender tofu that skips the fryer.
12 to 15 oz (340 to 425 g) block firm or extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup (125 mL) gluten-free flour blend
3/4 cup (180 mL) water or beer
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) bread crumbs
1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) sunflower oil or canola oil, divided
8 oz (225 g) dried egg noodles or gluten-free pasta
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped parsley, to garnish
Slice tofu twice horizontally to create 3 pieces about 1/2 in (2 cm) thick, then cut each piece in half vertically to make 6 pieces. Different brands are different thicknesses, so slice it however is best to make pieces slightly smaller than a deck of cards.
Line baking tray with clean kitchen towels and place tofu pieces on top in a single layer. Top with more towels, followed by another baking sheet. Weight the baking sheet (with books or cans of beans) and let moisture drain for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
In shallow bowl, combine flour and water or beer. In second shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, paprika, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt.
Sprinkle drained tofu with remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, then dip each piece in flour mixture followed by spiced bread crumbs. Place on paper towel-lined plate and pat extra bread crumb mixture gently on top in any bare areas.
In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add half the tofu and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, pressing down with flat spatula on top to ensure crumbs brown evenly. Return tofu to paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
Remove any loose bread crumbs from skillet, then add remaining 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) oil and cook remaining tofu.
Meanwhile, cook pasta as per package instructions. Heat sauce, if using.
Serve drained pasta topped with schnitzel and sauce of choice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Each serving contains: 484 calories; 17 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 81 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 497 mg sodium
Large pretzels are a staple of many Oktoberfest celebrations. The large pieces of golden, twisted pretzel dough come topped with coarse salt for a savory crunch with every bite.
2 cups (500 mL) sweetened or unsweetened nondairy milk, divided
1 Tbsp (15 mL) dry active yeast
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cane sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) tapioca starch
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (125 mL + 30 mL) cornstarch
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 Tbsp (30 mL) psyllium husk powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
5 cups (1.25 L) water
1/4 cup (60 mL) baking soda
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.
Each serving contains: 311 calories; 4 g protein; 8 g total fat (2 g sat. fat); 56 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 4 g fiber); 557 mg sodium
Dunkel Beer-Marinated Rotisserie-Style Chicken
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. (If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C).)
5 lb (2.25 kg) whole chicken
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup (250 mL) dark beer
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) German mustard or any grainy or stone-ground mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) dried basil
Zest and juice lemon. Stuff chicken cavity with leftover lemon pith and fresh thyme sprigs. In medium bowl, combine lemon zest and juice with remaining ingredients and pour over chicken in large bowl, pot, or leak-proof, sealable bag. Gently separate chicken skin from breast and legs without tearing, and scoop some of the marinade juices inside. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 12 hours.
Heat oven to 400 F (200 C) on convection roast setting.
Place chicken in roasting pan and pour remaining marinade overtop. It should be elevated above juices to allow chicken to crisp. A metal rack that fits inside the roasting pan can be used. Roast for 30 minutes. Lower heat to 375 F (190 C) and roast for 50 minutes longer, basting chicken every 20 minutes, until internal temperature reads 165 F (70 C) and juices run clear. Loosely tuck a large piece of parchment paper over chicken during the last 30 to 60 minutes if overly brown.
Remove chicken from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with sieved juices, or thicken juices with beer and cornstarch to make gravy.
Each serving contains: 191 calories; 12 g protein; 14 g total fat (4 g sat. fat); 3 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars, 1 g fiber); 482 mg sodium
Written by Amie Watson