Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stuffed Cabbage Pockets

I know that I really love cabbage and I wanted everyone else to love it too. So after doing some research online to try and convince those Paleo readers out there, here's what I learned. Cabbage is rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin-C and Fiber! That should have basically sold you right there. But in case it didn't, let's see how people use cabbage around the world. 

The last one looks absolutely delicious, doesn't it? The origin of cabbage is thought to be in Great Britain around 1000BC, so finding this traditional british dish felt like a little piece of history. Nowadays, according to data found in 2011, China is the leading producer of cabbage in the nation, with 31,750,000 tonnes. 

So instead of just steaming it and eating it with salt and a fried egg on top (I know, very "Irish" of me to add egg on everything!) I thought I'd get a little more fancy. So, I added a spin to the traditional middle eastern dish, 'dolma'. Commonly, dolma is made from grape leaves and is known worldwide as "stuffed grape leaves". But my grandma makes her dolma with cabbage leaves, and boy... that dish will turn a 2 year Paleo into a rice, butter, canned tomato sauce, dried plum feen. 

If all the above reasons don't convince you that cabbage is  such a versatile and nutrient dense food, how about the fact that a head of lettuce cost ~ $2. Yeah, that's $2 for 4 meals– at least. 

1/2 head of cabbage, steamed
2 tbs. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 
1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tbs. minced garlic
8 oz. Extra-Lean Ground Turkey
2 tbs. Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbs. Basil, chopped
1 tsp. Red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Turmeric, ground 
1/4 c. Low-Sodium Vegetable broth 
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
sea salt & black pepper 

Yields ~ 2 servings 

Directions:  Cut cabbage head in half, place in a big pot of boiling salt water. Just enough to cover the head with water. Bring to a boil and let boil with lid on for 3-5 minutes. You want the cabbage to be tender but not fully cooked or it will rip when stuffed. 
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing. Saute onions and garlic until golden-brown in olive oil. Add in turkey, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, turmeric and sea salt/black pepper to taste. Next, time to stuff your cabbage.
 Take a cabbage leaf and place  1  1/2 tbs. stuffing mixture inside. Fold like a pocket and set aside. In a medium saucepan, add in vegetable broth and lemon juice and start assembling your stuffed pockets. It's okay to stack on top of each other, but make a nice layer on the bottom first. 
Steam pockets on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. 


How do you eat this delicious coniferous vegetable??

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