Monday, March 12, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

Monday is my day to do the food planning for the week. That might seem like an odd day, but the reason is that Independent allows students to receive a 10% discount on Tuesdays, so browsing the grocery store flyer and skimming through cookbooks is my Monday ritual. I will often ask Sean for input, as we try to meet somewhere in the middle. You see, I'm a pescatarian, which means that I will eat most seafood, eggs, milk, etc., but no 'land' meat. Normally when somebody asks I just tell them that I'm vegetarian, as I've found most people have no idea what I mean when I say I'm pescatarian. Sean on the other hand I'm sure would love to eat meat on a regular basis, but since dating me the poor guy sees more vegetarian meals than not. AND he doesn't enjoy most seafood, so we're quite at odds. However, somehow we make things work.

This past week, Sean suggested we have cabbage rolls. I admit, the idea did not overly peak my interest, but since Sean was offering to cook them I decided why not. Cabbage rolls are not something I get excited over... perhaps it's because I've only eaten them a few times in my life and they've never been overly satisfying. Even when I was looking at the finished product I was skeptical- the cabbage rolls I'd seen before had tomato sauce over them; these cabbage rolls were sitting in 2 cans of tomato soup.

I don't think I've ever been more pleasantly surprised! These cabbage rolls were a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I don't say that about very many things, especially a seemingly plain dinner. I could not stop eating them! I had them for 4 days in a row, and was left wishing for another one when I had the last one this evening. I can't rave about these babies enough- the filling was a perfect mixture, and the tomato soup added a hint of sweetness. Originally I thought there would be plenty of soup leftover, but there was hardly any. And I can't even take credit for them! Sean made the whole dish while I was at work. Ladies, perhaps you need to get your men to make you these!

We were able to get 10 rolls out of the cabbage, and so had some leftover filling.


1 whole cored cabbage

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup peas
1 egg
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine
1 can whole tomatoes, juice reserved
1 package of Veggie Ground Round OR conversely, for meat-eaters, 2 cups ground beef

2 cans tomato soup
1 soup can of water
pinch of salt and pepper
Place the rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 40 minutes, or until tender. In the meantime, place the cabbage in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 15 minutes until the leaves are easily removed. Drain, cool, and separate leaves. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the tomato soup and 1 soup can of water.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrot, red pepper and garlic. Cook until tender. Mix in the wine and continue cooking until almost all liquid has evaporated. Stir in the rice and Ground Round (or cooked ground beef), reserved juice from the tomatoes, egg, and peas. Season with basil, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. Cook and stir until heated through.

On 1 cabbage leaf, place 1 whole tomato on the bottom, and about 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture surrounding the tomato. Roll the cabbage leaf tightly and seal shut with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining stuffing. Arrange the rolls in a casserole dish and pour the soup and water mixture over the cabbage rolls. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the cover and baste the cabbage rolls. Continue baking for 10 minutes. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Source: adapted from: All Recipes
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