One of my fondest food memories as a kid was when my mom would make stuffed cabbage rolls. It’s very much a comfort food for me. I have been craving her cabbage rolls recently and since I love my Nourishing Traditions cookbook I thought I would try the Spicy Stuffed Cabbage recipe with some adaptions to make it GAPS legal.
It turned out to be very different from my moms but we loved it- the raisins and spices were a neat twist!! Blake liked it so much that he even asked for thirds!! And, even though he’s a growing teenager (and has 4 hollow limbs!!) he still can be kinda weird about trying new foods- especially when it looks like this:
(He said it kinda looked like “insides”!! LOL)
Normally it’s made with green cabbage but I had a red one that I needed to use up. The only complaint I have about using the red cabbage is the my hands were stained for a couple of hours!
I made this GAPS legal by using grated cauliflower instead of rice and I omitted the arrowroot. Also, since I have a nut and egg allergy I omitted the pine nuts and egg. This is a super easy recipe but there is a bit of prep time involved- I’d say about 30-40 min total because you have to steam and cool the cabbage leaves.
Here’s the recipe from Nourishing Traditions (page 358), I noted my changes:
- 1 large cabbage (I used red)
- 1 lb ground red meat or turkey (I used beef- organic, free range of course)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cups basic brown rice (I substituted grated cauliflower)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup fresh dill (i used 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup crispy pine nuts ( I omitted due to nut allergy)
- 1 egg slightly beaten (I omitted due to egg allergy)
- 4 cups beef or chicken stock
- 2 tomatoes peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (i used Poma brand chopped tomatoes instead)
- 2 tsp arrowroot mixed with 2 tbsp filtered water (I omitted)
Peel tomatoes. Remove core from cabbage and set, cored side down in a large pot with about 2″ water. Cover and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove wilted outer leaves and steam a bit longer, if necessary, to soften inner leaves. Set aside to drain.
Brown meat in olive oil until crumbly. Just before the meat was done cooking I added about 1 1/2 cups of grated cauliflower, onion , raisins and spices- omitting the rice and pine nuts. Season to taste. Let cool slightly, this is where you would add egg if you wanted.
Place spoonful of stuffing on each cabbage leaf and fold in sides and roll up. Arrange in several layers in a flameproof casserole and cover with stock and tomato. Bring to a boil and and transfer to the oven. (Note- I didn’t boil- I just put right into the oven) Bake at 300 degrees about one hour.
Use tongs to remove cabbage rolls to a platter and keep warm in the oven. Return the casserole and its liquid to the stove. (Note- I just poured liquid into a sauce pan) Bring to a boil and cook vigorously for 15 minutes, skimming occasionally, until stock has reduced. (The Nourishing Traditions recipe has you add the arrowroot here, but I omitted this ingredient).
To serve, place two or three cabbage rolls on each plate and spoon on sauce.
We had enough to eat for lunch the next day and freeze some!!
What are your comfort foods?
This is a featured post at Make Your Own! Mondays! 🙂