Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good Old (New Fashioned) Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage - just a little bit lighter.

Whether you call it golumpki, holupki, sarma or even hand grenades, Sunday’s here in Pittsburgh sometimes come with a big ole pan of stuffed cabbage.  Yep, yet another hearty, stick-to-your-ribs winter dish to fuel your inner furnace on a cold, blustery day. 

I know what you’re thinking right now…but Linda, you said you were going to be making healthy food for a while.  And I am.  Each stuffed cabbage roll has ONLY (approximately) 175 calories and only 7 total grams of fat.   

I changed up the recipe and used half ground chicken and half extra lean ground beef to help cut the count here...I also used brown rice instead of white to help bump up the nutrition, but even without making those adjustments stuffed cabbage was always pretty doggone healthy anyway. With the cabbage and sauerkraut,  there's LOTS of fiber, too!  (Whatever happened to “roughage”? That poor word must feel neglected and uncool these days.)

Tradition in our house means serving mashed potatoes alongside…with just a little tomato-y pan juice drizzled over the snowy white mound for me, a big pat of butter for the hubby.  I’m skipping the potatoes myself, but I wouldn’t make Mark do without…besides which, I couldn’t bear seeing those sad blue eyes if I didn’t make them especially for him! 

Good Old (New Fashioned) Stuffed Cabbage

Makes approximately 18 rolls
  • 1 head green cabbage leaves, cut core from bottom, put entire whole head in large pot, core end down in about 4" of water, cook until cabbage is nearly cooked through. Drain and cool
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup brown rice, the instant variety
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted!
  • 1 can sauerkraut, Bohemian kind or with caraway seeds or plain if you - don't like caraway seeds...I do, juice drained and RESERVED

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 can tomato soup (To make this gluten-free, use the Heinz brand found in the import section of the grocery store.  This is from England.  It isn't condensed.)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
While cabbage is cooling, mix together ground beef, rice, onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, ranch dressing mix, reserved sauerkraut juice and 1/2 a can of the tomatoes.  Mix well.
Spread the sauerkraut evenly in the bottom of a 9 X 12 (or equivalent) baking pan. 
Separate cabbage leaves.  Take 1 cabbage leaf, use about 1/4 c. meat mixture and place it at the stem end of the leaf.  Fold in sides and roll up like a burrito.  Continue doing this until all the meat is gone and the pan is full.  As you assemble each roll, place it on top of the sauerkraut.  Tuck them tightly together if you need more room. When all the rolls are neatly in place, coarsely chop the remaining cabbage leaves and scatter over the top.  

The cabbage rolls just before going into the oven.

Mix the remaining tomatoes with the wine, tomato juice, tomato soup and sugar and pour evenly over the top of the rolls.   If your baking pan doesn't have a lid (mine doesn't) cover loosely with foil and bake for 3 hours. 
Serve as is or with mashed potatoes.
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