Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Napa Cabbage Rolls

I decided that yesterday was the day to conquer that beast of a Napa Cabbage that we got in our CSA box this week.  I can't say that I conquered it at all because even though I made a double batch, you can barely even tell I've used any at all.  These things are seriously massive! 

The first batch I made was for dinner and was 1lb of grass fed beef seasoned with Bragg organic Sprinkle: 24 herbs and spices seasoning.  This just might be my new favorite seasoning to have on hand.  It is salt free and has added depth to so many of our meals since I purchased it (I still totally add celtic sea salt but I like that I can control what kind/how much salt I use in my meals).  I also added a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and the whites of some of the huge green onions that also came in our CSA box.  I tossed everything into a big mixing bowl and squished it around with my hands until it was all incorporated.  This was the delicious filling for our cabbage rolls.

The first step is to soften the cabbage leaves.  I brought a large pot of water to a boil and boiled the leaves 4 at a time for 3 minutes.  

Now for assembly:

Lay out a wilted cabbage leaf

Put a 12th of your meat filling in

And fold it up into a nice little package.

You can cook these a couple of ways.  I was going to be leaving the house for the afternoon so I used the crock pot for our dinner batch.  

Put about 1/4 cup of tomato or spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your crock.
(I used garlic and herb spaghetti sauce for this one)

Layer in your cabbage rolls and top with more sauce.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours  or until the meat is cooked and everything is nice and bubbly.  Our crock pot seems to cook really hot and I think the low setting is actually comparable to the high setting on some other slow cookers.

The second batch that I made was actually for our freezer meal stash that I am beginning to put together for when Logan makes his debut.  We have 13 weeks left and I'm going to try and do a meal or two extra a week to freeze until he gets here.  This batch was made with italian sausage.  I seasoned it with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, whites of the CSA green onions and some CSA fresh parsley.  I did not add a can of tomatoes to this batch because the pasta sauce I was using was chunky garden vegetable and had nice chunks of all kinds of veggies in it.  I actually baked this one in the oven this morning after breakfast:

On 350* for 1hr.
I let them cool completely then transferred it all to a gallon size freezer bag labeled with the date, contents and reheating instructions.

When freezing anything in freezer bags, I like to lay the bag nice and flat while the food freezes.  Once it is frozen solid, I stand it up against the wall and end up with a little library of meal choices.  I feel like it saves so much space and makes everything easier to find!  I did this for breast milk freezer storage too and it worked great!

I'm pretty sure you can use any variety of cabbage for these delicious rolls but Napa Cabbages definitely have huge enough leaves that are really easy to work with.  

Have you ever made cabbage rolls?  What is your favorite recipe?  I looked up a few but most used grains or other ingredients that we don't eat at home or didn't have on hand.  I ended up winging it and as a result learned that this is one recipe that you really can't mess up!  The sky seems to be the limit as far as filling goes.  That is my kind of meal!


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "A Picture Says It All"
And two years ago today: "Little Helper"

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  1. Quinoa Grains are very nutritious for you. Quinoa is my favorite grain and is full of 7 amino acids and much more. I ate quinoa everyday during my pregnancy. I don't care for rice and eat only in moderation. I eat plenty oatmeal which helps cholesterol. I think I will try this recipe with added quinoa. I am sure your son would love quinoa. The Paleo diet was good for me for 30 day detox, but my doctor had me see a nutritionist during pregnancy because of danger of Paleo and pregnancy they believed. Controversial I suppose. I was a Paleo eater for some of my pregnancy and doctors agreed I was too skinny and not gaining. Anyway, I wont ramble on, but I wish you good luck and hope to see some more of your past non Paleo recipes on YouTube. To be honest, you looked healthier back then in those videos. I appreciate this recipe. Thank you!!:-)

  2. I'm not sure since you are commenting anonymously but I think this is not the first food concern related comment that you have left me. I understand that you are just trying to help but I think you are basing your advice on misinformation so I wanted to clear things up. We have not been strict "Plaeo" for almost a year now... I am actually on track to gain just as much as I did during my pregnancy with Ayden (which was 30lbs) if not a few pounds more and we are all perfectly healthy. We have moved away from any labels on our diet (and only used the term "Paleo" in the first place because it was a quick and easy way to describe David's healing diet that we were on back then). At home we center our diet around whole, clean and minimally processed foods. It is as simple as that. When we are out of the house we eat what anyone else might and enjoy it. Quinoa is actually a seed rather than a grain and I'm sure it would be delicious in this recipe. I personally don't' care much for it much so you will have to let me know how it goes!

    1. I am addicted to quinoa. Cook it in chicken stock instead of water. You will be hooked. I also add a little butter. There are recipes online for tons of recipes for quinoa salads. Melskitchencafe.com has tons and even a chocolate cake that is made from cooked quinoa and gluten free. Just search for quinoa and recipes will pop up on her blog. I post as a anonymous only because its the only way I can post right now. I have forgotten my username for my Google login. Anyway, hope you try it.

  3. Wow! Those look amazing, thank you for sharing. I am wondering how do you prepare the beef? What cut is it?