There aren’t too many vegetarian dishes that my husband enjoys. He’s pretty much a meatasaurus. To him, if a recipe doesn’t have meat in it, it’s a snack, not a meal. But I am more than pleased to say that he reported that he ALMOST didn’t miss the beef in these cabbage rolls. That is a major accomplishment.
My husband LOVES mushrooms, and since mushrooms have a particularly beefy flavor and texture, I threw them in and they served exactly the purpose I hoped they would. I also swapped out the traditional ingredient of rice for quinoa, which is one of my favorite grains to work with (especially in vegetarian recipes) because of it’s protein content and versatility. This dish is hearty yet light, flavorful, and easy to make! And I think it tastes even better leftover. Enjoy!
- 2 heads of cabbage, outer leaves removed and washed
- 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil OR butter
- 1 onion, medium diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 lb button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove top. When the water comes to a boil, salt it as you would pasta water. In other words, it should taste like the sea! Drop the cabbage leaves in the boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. When the leaves are bright green, remove from the boiling water and submerge in ice water (also salted). Remove from the ice bath to a paper towel to drain.
- In the mean time, get your quinoa cooking. Quinoa is a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa. If you want to use vegetable stock for your liquid go ahead- it will add great flavor. I used water. Add in 1 tbsp of your Italian seasoning while your quinoa is cooking.
- In a large saute pan, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil (or butter) over medium heat. Add in your onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add in your carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Saute another 3 minutes.
- Add in your mushrooms, garlic and remaining tbsp of Italian Seasoning. Saute for an additional 3-4 minutes. If you need to add in some more coconut oil at this point go for it. The mushrooms are like sponges and they will soak up all of the liquid in the pan.
- By now you should have some yummy brown stuff stuck on the bottom of the pan. That’s flavor and you want it! So turn the heat up to high and add in your Worcestershire sauce, stirring and scraping up the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.
- In a large bowl, toss your quinoa, sauteed veggies and diced tomatoes together. Stir well to combine. Taste it and see if you’re satisfied with your seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper.
- In an 8×11 baking dish, spread half of the tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the dish.
- Now it’s time to roll! Place a cabbage leaf in front of you with the green leafy part closest to you. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of the quinoa/veggie mixture onto the lower 1/3 of the leaf. Be careful not to over stuff! Now roll the cabbage as you would a burrito, tucking in the sides. Place your roll into the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with the remaining cabbage (you may have some filling leftover. Bonus! It’s good on it’s own).
- Top the rolls with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, removing the foil after the first 30 minutes. Enjoy!
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