Feature Recipe | Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Truth be told when my kids asked what the “green stuff” was lurking under the tomato sauce on their plate I told them it was green pasta. I confess it’s very seldom that I serve up a dish with cabbage (in fact I still haven’t convinced them to try my coleslaw salad) so I knew I was going to face some resistance. Believe it or not the kids gave this dish two thumbs up and they actually ate the left over cabbage roll filling (which I repurposed into a soup) for their school lunches all week!
Since the internet would have you believe that making cabbage rolls can be cumbersome I wanted to develop a recipe packed with flavour but easy enough to make as a weeknight meal. The trick?
-simplify your approach: one pot, one skillet and one casserole dish is all you need to whip up this impressive dish!
-use the tried-and-true method of boil your head of cabbage for 2 minutes, drain, cool and peel
-skip hours of simmering your tomato sauce on the stove, instead create a deliciously simple tomato sauce by blending ready-made puréed tomato sauce with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes
To mimic traditional beef filling this recipe calls for Yves’ original ground round (sauted in garlic, onions and veggies), a wild rice blend, my keep-it-simple tomato sauce and trio of dry spices (dill weed, celery seed and parsley). The chia “egg” helps to bind the filling together while adding a nutrient boost! The result is a rich, flavour-packed cabbage roll that will make you put cabbage at the top of your produce shopping list!
From Gardein to Field Roast and everything in between there has never been more plant-based options available so HOLD THE BEEF! Choose your favourite ground round and savour one of our “can’t believe it’s not meat” dishes:
PLUS: For details on PETA’s 12 game-changing vegan meat brands click here
1/Boil 1 head of cabbage (see Recipe Notes)
2/Prepare 2 cups cooked rice as directed
3/Preheat oven to 350F
- Cabbage leaves, boiled (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 chia egg (2 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp warm water)
- 2 cups cooked rice or rice blend
- 1 28oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 680g jar tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- Pinch of HImalalyan pink salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pkg soy ground round or similar ground beef alternative
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/Prepare a chia egg: In a small prep bowl combine 2 Tbsp chia seeds and 3 Tbsp lukewarm water. Let sit at room temperature.
2/In a large prep bowl add the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and plain tomato sauce. Combine well and set aside.
3/Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss onion, garlic, carrot and celery into the skillet (along with a pinch of salt). Sauté until the onions are golden brown and the veggies are tender.
4/Add another 2 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet. Add ground round (or similar ground beef alternative), ½ tsp each of dry spices (dill weed, celery seed & dried parsley) and salt to the skillet. Pan fry the ground round until well cooked and crispy (approx. 7-10 mins).
5/Turn the skillet down to low heat. Add 2 cups cooked rice, half of the tomato mixture, chia egg, ½ tsp each dry spices (dill week, celery seed and dried parsley) and a pinch of salt to the skillet. Combine well. Your filling is ready!
1/Spread half the remaining tomato mixture in a baking dish to form a thin base layer.
2/Prepare cabbage rolls:
-Lay each cabbage leaf flat. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp beef-rice-tomato filling into the middle of leaf. Fold in sides of the cabbage leaf; roll up top and bottom unfolded edges to completely enclose filling.
-Place each cabbage roll seam side down in the baking dish.
– Repeat with each cabbage leaf until your dish is full.
3/Spread remaining tomato mixture over prepared cabbage rolls.
Bake cabbage rolls at 350F for 75-90 minutes or until tomato sauce is bubbling and cabbage is tender (this is a good excuse to taste test!)
Plate your cabbage rolls with a lovely salad and/or side of soup! For a more casual approach, cut each cabbage roll into large pieces and toss into a creamy tomato soup!
*Handy method for boiling your head of cabbage:
-Cut ¼ inch off the bottom of the cabbage head.
-Place head of cabbage in boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes.
-Place cabbage head in colander. Rinse with cool water.
-Peel off softened leaves.
-Remove thick vein from each cabbage leaf (for easier rolling)
Note: Repeat as necessary until all leaves are removed.
*Don’t have a can of fire-roasted tomatoes on hand? For tips on how to prepare your own fire-roasted tomatoes on a charcoal or gas grill click here