Stuffed cabbage is the type of comfort food you crave when a winter storms hits and you just want to cuddle under a blanket with something your grandma might have made you. This week, we bring you our Clean, vegan version of this Eastern European dish. We loaded this stuffed cabbage with veggies instead of meat and replaced white rice with aromatic, nutrient-dense brown Basmati rice.
Stuffed Cabbage is the perfect Reintroduction Meal
If you are still cleansing, you will want to bookmark this recipe for later as a reintroduction meal. Tomatoes play a big part in this recipe and are to be avoided during the Clean Program because they are part of the nightshade family of vegetable and fruits. If you suspect that tomatoes might have been causing inflammation or digestive upset prior to your detox, this is a great recipe to use during reintroduction to test your triggers and reactions.
The Old School Superfood Ingredient in Stuffed Cabbage
Before kale and sprouts were all the rage, cabbage was known around the world as a health food. It has been pickled in kimchi, fermented as sauerkraut, steamed for a simple digestive-friendly side, stewed into soups, sautéed, braised, and eaten raw for centuries.
The high dose of Vitamin C in cabbage helped sailors keep the deadly plague of scurvy at bay in the 18th Century. More recently, the low-fat and high-fiber benefits of cabbage became well known through an unhealthy fad diet simply known as “The Cabbage Soup Diet”, a popular quick-fix scheme for losing weight in the 1980s and ‘90s.
We certainly hope you enjoy this more balanced version of stuffed cabbage as a way of adding the original superfood into your diet.
[ctt tweet="A Vegan twist on an old classic. Stuffed Cabbage - the perfect way to break your Cleanse! #detox #cleanprogram" coverup="pP0xf"]
For After Program
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
1 head of cabbage, core removed
2 medium sized carrots, peels, roughly chopped
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces tomato puree
1.5 cups long grain brown basmati rice
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, and scallions, etc.)
1 quart tomato sauce
Depending on the size of the cabbage, leave whole or cut in half then remove the core. Submerge the whole or split cabbage in boiling salty water and cook until tender. This can take 10-15 minutes. Once it is tender, carefully remove and drain under cold running water. Separate the cabbage leaves and set aside. You will likely have leftover cabbage which can be chopped and stir fried or turned into a simple slaw with a little vinegar and olive oil.
To Prepare the Filling:
In small batches, use a food processor to process the mushrooms, carrots, and onions until roughly chopped. Be mindful not to puree them, as we want a bit of texture.
Heat a large dutch oven then add a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Saute the processed vegetables until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally before adding the garlic and cooking for an additional minute or two.
Add the rice then stir in the tomato paste, allowing it to blend into the veggies. Cook for a minute then mix in the chicken stock.
Cover, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until the rice is soft. Taste, season with sea salt and fold in the herbs. Let cool to room temperature.
To Stuff the Cabbage:
First spread out a little tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Choose 12 or so cabbage leaves that are large and intact.
Continue until the pan is full, should make 12+ rolls, depending on the size of the cabbage leaves. When the pan is fill, spread out the tomato sauce on top of the cabbage.
Bake in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and serve.
Recipe by Frank Giglio
Photography by Lynn Karlin