So, I bought some cabbage a while ago. I’m not even going to tell you how long ago, because it’s a bit embarrassing. Let’s just say that cabbage keeps really well in the crisper drawer of the fridge.
Of course, I wanted to use it up. I’m all for composting, but better to use the food than to waste it right? (Don’t eat up food for the sake of eating it and not wasting when it means that you would then eat more than you should. That’s no good!) Aside from the gift certificate I won in last weekend’s cooking contest, I also won a cookbook, written by my friend Phoebe’s mom. I’m enjoying reading it, though the vast majority of the recipes aren’t even close to being vegan. There is a recipe for cabbage rolls. Naturally, they’re not vegan (they even call for chicken fat- ew), but I veganized it. There’s lot of vegan cabbage roll recipes out there, so truly, it wasn’t hard. The one issue that I ran into had nothing to do with veganizing. The recipe calls for citric acid, which I don’t have in powder form. I have lemons on hand though, so I used lemon juice and zest (and salt) instead, which gave the tomato sauce a decidedly lemony-flavor. I liked it, but I’m not sure how authentic it is. I just happen to think that lemon makes everything better!
So here’s my version of the recipe!
1/2 large head of cabbage
2 shallots, chopped finely
1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
7/8 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
stevia (or a couple of teaspoons of sugar)
one 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I’m of the opinion that the fire roasted variety are the best!)
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the largest leaves of the cabbage off (whole). Discard any that are discolored. You’ll need about 20 or so leaves- when you have them all, drop them in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain them and shock them in a cold water bath. While they’re cooling down, boil your vegetable broth, and then dump in your TVP and turn off the heat. Make sure all the TVP gets wet, and let it sit for a few minutes, covered. Next you need to sauté your shallots in a non-stick pan with a spray of oil. Then mix in the shallots and rice with the TVP, add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
In another pan, heat up you tomatoes with the stevia, lemon juice/zest and salt. Lay out the sliced onions in a baking dish. Begin filling the cabbage leaves. This is much like rolling spring or summer rolls- put about 2 tablespoons of the TVP mixture in a horizontal line about 1/3 of the way down the leaf. Bring up the bottom, fold in the sides, and then roll up. Place the roll seam-side down on top of the onions. When you’re done with all the rolls, pour the tomato mixture on top, and then bake in a 350F oven for about an hour. Makes a nice and fairly light meal!