This is a festive main dish recipe for the Winter season. Cabbage is one of the healthiest vegetables on this planet. It is a hardy and inexpensive addition to any diet as it had earned the nickname “the drug of the poor” during the middle ages.
Some of it’s many impressive health benefits include:
1. It is packed with nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K, and folate.
2. It helps inflammation in the body
3. It is abundant in vitamin c and prevents scurvy
4. It improves digestion
5. It may lower high blood pressure and cholesterol
6. it is high in beneficial fiber
7. can help you lose weight
8. It boosts immune function
Some even say it is a cancer preventative food!
Depending on whether you cook it, eat it raw, get the savoy, napa or red (really purple color) cabbage variety, or ferment it into sauerkraut, or make it into coleslaw all variations are healthful and deserves the title of a Superfood! The Napa cabbage variety is usually called Chinese cabbage it has frilly leaves and crisp thick stems. It is milder, softer and sweeter than the other varieties. It is most often used in stir fry dishes as it retains its lovely crunch even when cooked.
Cabbage is available throughout the year and keeps well for weeks in the refrigerator. Pound for pound it is a economical investment in your well being and provides a crunchy, satisfying and wholesome addition to any meal.
The cabbage we will use for today’s recipe is Green cabbage which is the most common variety you will see in the supermarket. This is the one that resembles iceberg lettuce on the outside but is much more nutrient dense. The outer leaves range from dark to medium green but the inside is pale white in color. Pick a ORGANIC cabbage that is heavy when handled and has tightly bound leaves. Before using, discard any tough, wilted or torn outer leaves and remove the core carefully with a small sharp knife making a deep cone shaped incision. Discard the core or use for cole slaw.
Now you are ready to prepare the leaves for stuffing by boiling a large pot of water. As you submerge the whole cabbage in the water after a few minutes of cooking, the outermost leaves will start to fall away from the head and can be removed to dry slightly before stuffing. I suggest you remove as many leaves as you can and dry them on a paper towel, keeping the very inner core for salads at a later date. As the cabbage cooks it softens and takes on a sweeter, less peppery flavor. Cut out a little triangle on the bottom of each leaf that is slightly thicker than the rest and discard.
Vegan Sensational Stuffed Cabbage
This is a gluten free recipe!
2 cups TVP (textured vegetable protein) or similar soy based chopped faux meat, broken into pieces.
If using the TVP product, soak for 1/2 hour in hot water until tender.
2 cups cooked brown rice (any variety) Basmati is flavorful.
1 cup golden (yellow raisins)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped fine
1/2 medium onion cut into small dices
2 small shallots diced
1/2 cup green pepper diced
2 scallions chopped fine
5 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp. Italian seasonings spice
1/4 cup agave sweetener
1 can crushed organic tomatoes
Mix above ingredients until well incorporated.
Line a rectangular glass baking dish with 1/2 jar organic tomato sauce spreading evenly. Start rolling about 1/2 cup of stuffing mixture depending on how large the leaf is. Fill the wider bottom edge first and roll the leaf until the open end is tucked under the roll turning the outside edges inward. Line the dish with the cabbage rolls arranged snugly and when all finished pour the rest of the tomato sauce (about 1/2 jar) on top to cover all rolls. Place aluminum foil over dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until the sauce at the edge of the dish start to bubble. Serve to delight your guests! Any left overs can be frozen for later enjoyment!
A festive delight!