German dishes shine when served with their traditional sides. Typical German suppers, served at 1 pm, include fresh fruit or compote for dessert, and leave the cake and other sweets for coffee time late in the afternoon. This is a good way to eat and not overeat, especially if you visit Germany.
A popular German saying is "Nach dem Essen soll man ruhen, oder tausend Schritte tun", which means "After eating, either take a nap or a walk". This is another reason the German obesity rate is not as high as in the US.
1. Sunday Roast Dinner - Impress the In-Laws
Roasts are the perfect Sunday Supper. After you brown them, you have plenty of time while they cook in the oven to finish the rest of the meal. Make a simple soup for "Starters", then serve the roast with potatoes and leeks sautéed in butter until soft and finished with cream and freshly grated nutmeg. If you want a dessert, make it a light pudding or mousse, served with fruit.
2. Hausmannskost - Mighty Man Meals
Sometimes there is nothing better than good, old-fashioned comfort food. Like the comfort food Grandma used to make. Try one of these rouladen recipes (rolled cabbage or beef) and serve it with boiled potatoes and steamed cabbage, Brussel sprouts or sauerkraut.
3. Typisch Schwäbisch - Southern Comfort Food
Living in the Black Forest for a year taught me to like "Lentils, Frankfurter and Spätzle". The lentils are cooked with German bacon and soup greens and served with red wine vinegar. To this you add Spätzle, a type of noodle, and sausage. Germans usually buy the long hot dog-like Frankfurters called "Saitenwürstle" or "Wiener".
4. Semi-Vegetarian German Menu
5. A Meal That Can't Get Cold - Spiced Hamburger Patties and Salad
If it's hot outside or you don't know when you'll be eating, make these hamburger patties ahead of time and serve with a salad or two. Don't dress the lettuce salad until you are ready to eat, but everything else can be ready to go.
6. One Dish Meal - Eintopf
Try Lentil Soup or Barley Stew with a thick slice of homemade Bauernbrot or bread for a simple meal. Often served in the "Kantinen" and "Mensas" (Cafeterias) in Germany, this soup has veggies, potatoes and lentils in it, as well as sliced sausage. Make a fresh loaf of German-style bread for a filling and healthy meal. If you freeze part of the loaf, you don't have to bake next time you make this menu.
7. Sweet Main Dish - German Main Dishes with Fruit and Vanilla
German main dishes can be sweet rather than savory. Lots of carbohydrates for plenty of energy on cold days and filling to boot, that's what sweet main dishes serve up. Often served with a fruit or vanilla sauce, a plate or two of these dishes with a hot glass of tea has protein, too to keep you full.
- Milchreis and Berlinerreis - rice puddings
- Pfannekuchen - crepes for dinner
- Germknoedel - filled yeast dumpling
- Kaiserschmarrn - Egg pancake with rum and raisins
Sometimes these sweet dishes are served with a little soup to start.