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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

It has taken me almost 7 years to make this dish.  Let me tell you a story.....

When I was fresh out of college, broke and working a bank teller job {hated it!}, I came across this dish.  See its crazy how life comes around, but I was working at a bank, in my parent's hometown {not my hometown}, which also happened to be the town my grandmother lives in to this day.  I was familiar enough with this town, having visited their my whole life.

So when my husband's {then boyfriend's} job took us there, it was kinda odd.  Anyway, I got this job that I hated, yet loved the people I worked with, and stayed with it until we up and moved again back to the town we both went to college in.  Confused yet?  To sum it up, we had a short 9 month stint in this little town.

One day while working the teller line, I saw one of the ladies in the back office bring back her lunch from the bar just down the road.  When she opened up the styrofoam container, I saw these delicious looking stuffed cabbage rolls.

I didn't grow up eating them, so frankly I don't even know how I knew they were stuffed cabbage rolls, but I did.  They looked really, really good.

Since this day 7 years ago, I have often thought of these stuffed cabbage rolls.  Every so often I'd think 'I should find a recipe for those'.  Well, I just never did.  For whatever reason.  Fast forward to last week and I finally made them.

Here's the kicker.  

Yesterday, that bar that introduced me to those rolls, burnt down to the ground.  That little town's anchor establishment caught on fire at 8 a.m. and was gone by noon.  It was sad watching the news last night seeing it up in flames.  I had been there often, my parent's had been there more times than they can count, and did I mention it also had a very popular reception hall?  All the weddings, graduations, parties, etc. for this year went up with those flames.

Gosh, it's kinda like I knew I needed to make this dish soon, before another 7 years passed me by.  Kinda eerie, huh?

Here's to that little town and their little bar.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
8 large whole cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. cooked brown rice
2 cans tomato sauce
1 T. minced onion
1 t. garlic
1 t. pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil.  Wash the head of cabbage and pat dry.  Carefully remove 8 cabbage leaves, trying not to tear them.  When water is boiling, add a generous amount of salt and drop in your first cabbage leaf.  Using tongs, submerge for 20 seconds.  When soft, remove from the boiling water and place on a paper towel.  Continue doing this until all leaves are partially cooked.  Take kitchen shears and cut out the stem on each leaf, leaving a small "V" in the middle of the leaf.

In a large skillet brown meat, adding in minced onion, garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes.  When meat is done, drain out extra grease.  Pour in 1/2 can of the tomato sauce and let simmer.  Add in cooked rice and set aside.

Pour the other half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 baking or casserole dish.  Taking one leaf, place 3 spoonfuls of meat into the center, folding up the sides and placing seam side down into the dish.  Continue until all leaves are used.  Pour the other can of tomato sauce over the rolled up cabbage.

Bake, covered for 45 minutes.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Omit the rice and add riced cauliflower and it's paleo! I just showed my hubs this post and we are going to make these next week for dinner. I think we might do it with ground pork :)

  2. This looks yummy! Sometime fun and different. :)


  3. Ally's Sweet & Savory EatsJanuary 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Awesome! Once again I thought of you with this recipe and even thought 'she'd need to omit the rice'. I think I'm getting the hang of this paleo thing! Let me know if you like them:)

  4. I've never had stuffed cabbage rolls, they sound awesome! I'm going to have to add this to my list of things I need to try!

  5. I love those!! I also use that "stuffing" to stuff peppers. Put a little spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan, stand your peppers up and cook until fork tender. Holy yum. Both the peppers and cabbage freeze well.

  6. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)January 21, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I make cabbage rolls, and loooooove them! I use sour cabbage - haven't tried it with the regular stuff yet.