unstuffedcabbageroll

Like I planned, this was eaten at my desk today 🙂

Full. Full of food. Full of a yummy and nutritious vegetable that happens to be a part of the brassica family that also includes  cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Yes, there can be the unfortunate side-effect of occasionally being filled with a little extra gas too. If you find that happens often for you with vegetables, we may need to talk gut bacteria. Sometimes, if we don’t have enough of our good bacteria, breaking down fibrous, greens can be a bit tough to do. There can be a few reasons for this so check in with us if this is something you’d
like to learn more about.

In the meantime, let’s talk about how to get more of this particular leafy, green into your diet.

I love to incorporate this into soups and casseroles in lieu of noodles. What I love about cabbage is that it tastes very mild when cooked and gets soft enough for easy eating without falling apart because it’s not as delicate as a lettuce leaf. It also is a great food “chameleon” as it takes on the flavor of the other foods that it’s been cooked with. That’s what makes it a popular ingredient with good ol’ boiled dinner and corned beef. (Ugh, I feel bloated just typing that.) If you want to try some healthier options, there are plenty of different ways that can be done. As I mentioned, cabbage makes a great sub for noodles. So, if I’ve made a batch of chicken soup, instead of using noodles, I’ll throw in some shredded cabbage. You can do this for any soup that you make as an alternative to noodles or rice if you’re just looking for some extra filler. Just a note – as it cooks down, it will contribute some water so you may want to hold off on adding all of your liquid until the cabbage is tender to see what volume you’re left with.

This weekend, I wanted to make sure that food prep was well under way as I’ve learned that getting a few things ready for the week ahead makes for a much smoother week. I usually sit down with my kids and husband to take any requests for meals (the kids eat much better when they’ve had a say) and create our menu plan for the week. This is also a great time to reflect on evening activities or other events that may make it an usual week. Once the menu is in place, I create my list for the store after taking an inventory of what is already on hand. Then, after a quick trip to the store, we turn on football and start to cook.

This past Sunday, I made an “unstuffed” cabbage roll soup and a beef stew. The cabbage roll soup will be my lunch for work this week and the beef stew is Monday evening’s dinner – a night where we call get home a little later making meal prep really hard. Honestly, I love the cabbage roll soup so much that I may have it for dinner too. I love it so much that I wanted to share it with you today as part of our #MealtimeMonday that we have been sharing weekly on Facebook. Soups on!

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground venison
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of organic tomato sauce
  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Start off by finely dicing your onion and garlic and then saute in pan large enough (I used my dutch oven) to eventually accommodate all of your ingredients on medium-high heat. You can use a little olive oil if you want so that they don't stick but you'll be adding your ground beef which will help with that.
  • I did cook my onions, garlic, and beef at the same time so you can certainly do that too. If you wanted to cook the onions and garlic first, then add the meat in after they are just starting to turn translucent. After adding it in, I like to mix everything up well so that the meat is more crumbly.
  • When the meat is mostly cooked (a little pink is still okay), add your tomatoes and tomato sauce with out draining them first.
  • Next up are the spices. This is where the magic starts to happen and you transform your dish from smelling like Italian to some yummy Russian or Ukranian fare. Toss them in and mix it all up.
  • Cabbage time!. Some people like to do strips where it is closer to shredded. I did thicker strips and then cut those up a little more so that I had one inch by two inch rectangles. After adding that to the top, it seemed like I would never be able to stir is all together. But the cabbage starts to soften and eventually the lid fit.
  • Once everything was stirred up and simmering, I let turned the heat down to medium-low and let it cook for about 45 minutes or until the cabbage was soft.
  • PS You may notice in my pic that it's actually quite thick. If you want it thinner for more broth, you could add water or chicken stock.
  • That's all there is to it. Eat and enjoy!
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