Cabbage, a member of the brassica family, is related to Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and kale. It is one of the widely cultivated crops around the world and may even have originated in Brussels. If you love cabbage rolls and want to move toward a plant-based cuisine, you may want to try these. You can make them with almost any type of legumes: lentils, black beans, white beans, or a mixture of all of them. Use the outer large leaves from a whole cabbage. You can core out the center, remove the outer leaves, and then use the inner cabbage for cold-slaw. Since cabbage rolls take a while to roll, you may want to make a double batch and freeze one casserole for another meal.
- 6-8 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup basmati brown rice
- 1 cup legumes, your choice
- 5 cups water
- 2 Tbsp mock-chicken seasoning
- 1 large white onion, diced fine
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced fine
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp mild curry, if desired
- ½ tsp Himalayan or sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- Ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon for sprinkling on top, if desired
Items to add in later
- ¾ cup raisins
- ¾ cup toasted almonds, chopped
Cabbage leaves for rolling
A dozen or more outer leaves from a whole cabbage.* Place leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Remove and drain cabbage leaves. Run cold water over the leaves and drain.
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 40 minutes until tender.
Add raisins and nuts and stir. You’re ready to roll.
Place at least 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on a leaf. Roll like a burrito, folding in the sides as you go. At the end, the thinner part of the leave should be the last fold.
Spray a large casserole dish with olive oil and put in a cup or two of tomato sauce.
Place cabbage rolls, last fold down, in the casserole. When all rolls are in the casserole, add more tomato sauce to cover rolls.
Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon, if desired.
Cover casserole and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F to 45-60 minutes. You can remove cover after 45 minutes and return casserole to the oven for the last 15 minutes to brown the top.
Remove from oven. Take off cover.
Place casserole on the table and carefully spoon out cabbage rolls onto each plate.
* Cabbage is nutrient-rich but very low in fat and calories (1 cup of chopped raw cabbage contains less than 25 calories). A good source of potassium and fiber, it contains the antioxidant vitamin C and is also rich in essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
References (Accessed Feb ’15)