The Washington Post
My grandma’s cooking, with my own healthful spin
This dish is more than comfort food to me. It’s like coming home, ringing of the flavors and aromas of my grandmother’s kitchen, where she served up bowls of egg noodles with butter, braised cabbage, soups wafting with dill and a dollop of sour cream on just about anything. She branched out often with dishes such as chicken a la king and spaghetti and meatballs, but the food she made most often spoke to her Eastern European roots.
This meal-in-a-bowl of silky egg noodles mingling with tender, browned cabbage and onions, seasoned with dill, salt and pepper, and served with a big dollop of yogurt conjures her love-infused cooking, but it’s not exactly the way she would have made it. Rather, it’s a meal that reflects my way of cooking, too.
The noodles here are cooked until they are firm-tender, as I prefer them, rather than supersoft, as she would have done. I used mostly olive oil and just a knob of butter to finish the dish, introducing that essential buttery flavor in a more healthful way, and I rely on Greek yogurt, rather than sour cream, for a more protein-rich finish. Stirring the cool yogurt into the bowl of hot noodles so it melts into a creamy, tangy sauce ranks to me as one of the world’s most satisfying experiences.
I know my grandma would have loved this dish exactly as it is, not only because it’s nourishing and fulfilling, but because it’s a kind of teamwork between us, a meal that connects us and reflects us both.
krieger is a registered dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author. learn more at elliekrieger.com.