Stuffed cabbage rolls are a crowd pleaser; if you make them once, you’ll be asked to make them again and again. Their savory flavor makes them an excellent special occasion entree, perfect for holidays, Sunday dinners, and family gatherings. This recipe can easily made vegetarian or vegan by following the substitution recommendations.
Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K; one cup of cabbage contains over 90% of the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin, which plays an important role in metabolism and protein synthesis. The same cup of cabbage also contains 50% of the recommended daily vitamin C allowance, and is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, tryptophan, protein and magnesium. Obviously, cabbage gives you a lot of bang for your nutritional buck.
2 quarts water
1 large head of cabbage, green or red
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 package Morningstar Farms Cooking Crumbles (look for the green bag in the frozen foods section of your supermarket)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
4 cups tomato sauce
Boil two quarts of the water in a large pot. Core the cabbage and carefully peel off the individual leaves, running under hot water if necessary to loosen them. Boil the leaves two at a time for two to three minutes minutes. Remove the cooked leaves to a collandar. Reserve two cups of the cooking water. Cut out the bottom of the center vein on each leaf.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic, sauteeing until golden brown. Remove from heat and mix the onion and garlic mixture in a bowl with ground meat, rice, salt, pepper, parsley, green pepper, and celery.
Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the rice mixture on each cabbage leaf. Roll the leaves up by folding in the sides, then rolling from the bottom of the leaf. Carefully place the finished rolls back in the pot used to boil the water. The rolls do not need to be perfect, by any means, as long as they are placed close together in the pot.
Combine the tomato sauce and the reserved cabbage water in a bowl. Pour enough into the pot to almost cover the cabbage. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for two to three hours, gently pressing the rolls down into the sauce periodically. Add more of the tomato sauce and water mixture to the pot as needed. Let the rolls stand for a few minutes before dishing them up. Serve alone or on a bed of brown rice.
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