Told you I was gonna give you some cabbage this week! I wasn’t lying, you know!

Truth is, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t even do that.

I’m a very poor liar…

I recently got this craving for cabbage rolls. Funny how I get cravings for some of my good old comfort foods lately.

It had been years since I had had cabbage rolls. And I had never made them myself. That was my ex’s department, you see. Well, in fact, anything that had to do with cooking was his department.

I simply did not cook. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it?

I just didn’t think I could do it.

Especially not cabbage rolls. I thought they looked way too complicated and figured I would never manage to roll the leaves so beautifully and perfectly. I thought that one needed incredible skills to get that job done.

Well, trust me, they are way way easier to make than they look. WAY easier.

I decided to try my hand at a vegetarian version. They turned out so incredibly tasty, I actually liked them better than the beef ones that I’d always been having until now.

The filling turned out very moist and juicy, nothing to do with the firm piece of meat that I’d been used to. In fact, if it wasn’t for the cabbage holding it, I don’t believe that the stuffing would hold its shape on its own. This makes for a very tender and delicate roll. They sort of almost melt in your mouth.

As for the taste, of course, it has nothing to do with the cabbage rolls that we all know, but it’s just loaded with all sorts of different flavors and textures, which I find makes them even more interesting.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be not to leave the fennel seeds out. They really do bring a whole new dimension to the dish. It was the one ingredient that I added at the very end after thinking… hmmmm, it’s good, but it’s missing something. And that’s precisely what had been missing!

Now I’m not saying that this dish will be ready in a flash. These babies do take quite a bit of time to make.

But just go ahead and play your favorite cd, pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and take the time to enjoy the experience. Trust that you can do this! I bet you’ll find it very rewarding when you’re done and you see just how beautiful a dish you’ve just created.

Just don’t look at the mess you’ve created in the kitchen! πŸ˜‰

Oh… and ps: don’t throw out that leftover cabbage (trust me, you will have leftover cabbage) I’ve got just the recipe for that!

VEGETARIAN CABBAGE ROLLS

INGREDIENTS
(Makes 8-10 rolls)

Rolls

  • 1 large head savoy or green cabbage (I used savoy)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp Miso diluted in 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1Β½ cup cooked quinoa (cold or room temperature)
  • 1Β½ cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup dry DuPuy Lentils
  • Β½ cup unsalted pistachio, chopped
  • Β½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • ΒΌ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Β½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Β½ tsp ground fennel seeds

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Β½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1Β½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1Β½ cup cooked cabbage, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Β For the sauce

  1. In large saucepan, cook onions and garlic with oregano, salt and pepper over medium heat until fragrant and the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 25 minutes

For the rolls

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Make sure that your pot is large enough for you entire cabbage to fit in, with room to spare.
  3. With a sharp pairing knife, remove the core from the cabbage and plunge it in the boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes or until leaves are softened. Using kitchen tongs, carefully pull 10-12 leaves, one at a time, as they start to detach from the cabbage. Chill each leaf under cold water and lay on a tea towel to drain.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients of the filling and mix thoroughly, until well incorporated.
  5. If necessary, remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about Β½-ΒΎ cup of the filling on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in an oven safe baking dish.
  6. Repeat process with the remaining cabbage leaves, until you run out of filling.
  7. Pour tomato sauce over rolls and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.