To keep with the spirit of trying new things, I decided to try something new for dinner tonight.
A while back, I ran across a recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls in one of my non-vegan cookbooks. I’ve never eaten stuffed cabbage rolls and I know there are a lot of different ingredient options and methods of cooking them. I didn’t follow the recipe in my cookbook, but instead came up with my own, based on what I thought would taste good together. And it uses a Crockpot, which is always nice.
Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 12 large cabbage leaves
- 1 package Boca crumbles or Smart Ground
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 onion, diced (you can use less if you prefer)
- 1- 28oz. can crushed tomatoes (not pictured below)
- 1-6oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Put 1/4 cup water in a skillet and water-saute onion over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, add Boca crumbles and spices.
Cook until heated through. Add rice and mix together. If your rice is cold, cook mixture until rice is heated through. Turn heat off.
This mixture is also really good in a burrito, with some refried beans and hot sauce. Mmm!
In the meantime, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off, place cabbage leaves in the hot water, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Take the leaves out of the water and set them out to cool. I laid them all out on a large cutting board.
I found a tip online that you could try instead of boiling the leaves. But, keep in mind, I haven’t tried this, so I don’t know if it actually works:
“Instead of cooking the cabbage leaves, put the head of cabbabge in the freezer for a day. Yep…..you read that right!! Core the stalk out of the cabbage and wrap in up in plastic wrap. Leave it in the freezer overnight and then thaw it in a bowl of water. The leaves will peel off whole and limp and roll up into the nicest cabbage rolls you ever saw!! I do mine in the crock pot also, and the cook up nice and tender! Try it…..you’ll never mess with boiling them again!”
Once the cabbage leaves are cooled a little (just enough so you can handle them), place 2-3 Tbsp. mixture on each cabbage leaf, and roll firmly.
Stack them in the Crockpot. Mix the tomato paste with 3/4 cup water and pour over the stuffed cabbage.
Then pour the crushed tomatoes over the stuffed cabbage. Instead of using a can of crushed tomatoes, I used a jar of our homegrown tomatoes that we canned in 2009. We pureed them in the food processor.Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
Just a warning–you might not want to make this before you have company over. It will make your house smell…er…pungent, for lack of a better word.
I think I might need to try out a new air freshener or scented candle after dinner.