Cabbage Rolls

So have you ever noticed how in winter there are so many screamingly unhealthy recipes? And have you ever noticed these are the ones we want to eat, dammit? Not me this year. Sure, I’ve been eating some screamingly unhealthy food, but I’m happy to report that none of it has been in the form of dinner.

One example: cabbage rolls. Winter comfort food minus the carbs. Vegan version, European-styled. Yummo. I read a lot about them all over the place, then jumped in making stuff up. I can’t credit any one recipe, but if you have one that’s similar to mine, let me know and I’ll credit yours, because hey, I probably read it while researching these puppies.

Because I took a zillion photos, this will be my picture-adventure into cabbage rolls.

IMAG1880

 

Step One: cook your filling. I used a mixture of barley and vegetables, so here is my soaked, rinsed barley about to be cooked on the stove. I am a bay leave addict.

IMAG1881Step Two: While my barley was cooking, I made a basic tomato sauce. Nothing fancy: canned tomato, pasata, lots of garlic, onion, a little bit of white vinegar, a little bit of sugar. Easy. I have to admit, I made my sauce and barley in advance because otherwise there are heaps too many steps for a lazy bones like me.

IMAG1998Step Three: Once my sauce was cooling, I fried up some onion, mushrooms and white cabbage.

IMAG2001Step Four: I added my barley and a can of drained brown lentils to my veggies, and flavoured it with cumin, paprika and cinnamon. I wanted a warm, European feel to my rolls, but you could tinker with the spices and make them more Chinese style cabbage rolls easily. Upon reflection, I would add much more flavour, as it was nice, but too subtle for Ben and I.

IMAG2003Step Five: I blanched my cabbage so it would roll easily. I put two-three big, clean cabbage leaves into a pot of hot water for about a minute and removed them with tongs to drain on a tea towel.

IMAG1999Step Six: Before I did any rolling, I prepared my ramekins and baking dishes with a layer of my sauce. I made one larger dish of rolls and about 2 ramekins.

IMAG2006Making sure everything was assembly-line ready.

IMAG2007Step Seven: I rolled 1-2 tablespoons of my mixture into the cabbage leaves. I rolled everything up a bit like a burrito, but I had to be careful because some of the cabbage leaved had split or were odd sizes. I just did the best I could.

IMAG2009Step Eight: Tuck those puppies in nice and tight.

IMAG2010I kept mine to a single layer.

IMAG2012Step Nine: Put more sauce over them all and bake ’em!

IMAG2016Step Ten: Eat ‘Em! Yum yum. I froze the smaller portions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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