I hate to admit this, but I usually avoid buying cabbage. Not because I don’t like it, but because I usually make coleslaw with it, and one head produces a ton of coleslaw. Then it goes bad before we can eat it all, making me feel really guilty and wasteful. So I tend to stay away from cabbage-based recipes.
But all of a sudden I just had to have stuffed cabbage. I was craving it and I have no idea why. The last time I had it was at least 10 years ago – not kidding. And to top that, I have never made stuffed cabbage before! But a couple days ago, this recipe popped in my head. I furiously scribbled down what I thought should go in it, went to the store to buy everything and then made a huge mess in the kitchen!
This wasn’t nearly as simple as I envisioned. I thought I could just pull off a few cabbage leaves, stuff ’em and bake ’em. Wrong. I took step-by-step photos of the process so it should be much more stream-lined for you.
Was it worth the effort? Definitely! These turned out even better than I had hoped.
For those following Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live program, with complies with the life plan. If you “steam fry” the veggies using a couple tablespoons of water rather than oil, this recipe complies with the weight loss plan as well.
Ingredients (serves 6 – two rolls per serving)
1 head of cabbage
1 medium white onion (about 2 cups diced)
1 large bunch parsley (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 14-ounce can lentils (rinsed and drained)
2 cups low sodium tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can low sodium diced tomatoes
½ cup capers – drained
2 tablespoons garlic – chopped
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
½ tablespoon cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
salt & pepper to taste
1. Rinse the wild rice and place it in a sauce pan with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 45 – 50 minutes until rice is completely cooked.
2. In a large soup pot, bring 6 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Cut out the hard core of the cabbage and place it in the pot (core side down), cover and let cook for about 5 minutes until the cabbage leaves begin to soften so you can pull them off without ripping. Leave the water in the pot.
3. Remove the cabbage from the water and allow to cool until it can be handled. Pull off about 12 – 16 of the large outer leaves, let them drain and cool. If any of the leaves have an extra thick spine, slice off about half of it so the leaves are pliable enough to roll.
4. Chop the remaining cabbage and return to the pot of boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes until cabbage is cooked. Drain off excess water. Return the cabbage to the pot and add in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic powder and capers. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. While the cabbage is cooking, sauté the onions and garlic with the chili pepper flakes for about 7 minutes in a large skillet (without or without oil depending on your preference). Add in the parsley and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes until everything is completely cooked. Add in two cups of the cooked wild rice (you won’t need all of it, so store the excess for later use) and lentils. Stir until well mixed and season with salt & pepper to taste.
6. Using a 1/3 cup measure, place the wild rice mix on the bottom third of a cabbage leaf. Roll it like a burrito, tucking in the sides.
7. Place the rolls, seam side down, in the cabbage pot. After all leaves are rolled (it will make about 12 rolls), slightly turn up the heat so the cabbage is boiling, but no enough to burn. Cover with a tight lid and cook for about 15 minutes until the cabbage leaves are fully cooked and tender.
9. Serve hot immediately.