Comfort Food – Vegan Cabbage Rolls

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

After hovering around 20°C (68°F) for the past few weeks, winter has decided to return.  And with a vengeance, I might add.  I’m over the snow and sick of winter cooking.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the season and all of what it brings.  But after a taste of spring, and for the duration of which we experienced it, I would just like winter to take a flying leap!

So on this cold, chilly March day, I sat thinking about what could we eat that was healthy, hasn’t been repeated a million times in the past few months, and will warm me ol’ belly and my heart towards these snowy days.  Obviously, my mind drifted to all sorts of comfort foods.

Comfort foods are universal.  They are found in all cultures, in all countries.  They’re only differing factors are what ingredients make them “comforting”.  They are a warm embrace, keeping you safe and sound.  Unfortunately, most comfort food is also loaded with fat and salt because beyond the warmth and security they offer they are usually gooey, chewy, cheesy and typically extremely unhealthy!  Well, at least in Canada!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I eat mainly vegan and raw out of necessity.  So you can see vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight losswhat kind of pickle I’m in trying to eat “comforting” while being limited by what I should be eating.  But I am pleased to say I have been conjuring up a culinary comfort bonanza!  I am no Chef by any means, but I do try to recreate familiar recipes that can be comforting yet fall within the guidelines of my diet.  This recipe turned out so good, I just had to share it with you, my reader, to help you through the winter blahs!

May I introduce my Vegan Cabbage Rolls! Can I get a hell ya? There is something about made from scratch, scrumptious dishes that make all the snow melt away (at least in our minds) and cabbage rolls have to be the pinnacle of home cooked meals!  And although this recipe is not raw, it is vegan and I would even dare those meat eaters out there to give it a whirl and try not to fall in love with it!

The Goods

1 cup rice, uncooked
1 head of cabbage
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP avocado or olive oil
1 1/2 cups of meat*
sauce*

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

Meat*
1 cup walnuts
1 1/4 cup mushrooms
1 TBSP coconut amino (can be substituted with soy sauce yielding a darker “meat”)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Sauce*
8 tomatoes
4 celery sticks
1 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP coconut amino (use only 2 TBSP if using soy sauce)

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

The Deeds

  1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  2. Remove core from cabbage and cook whole cabbage in a pot of water.  As it cooks, remove leaves and set aside for stuffing.
  3. Place meat ingredients into food processor and pulse until course like ground beef and set to the side.
  4. Rough chop sauce ingredients and place in high-powered blender (shout out to Vitamix).  Blend until smooth and no chunks remain and set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and add onion, peppers, and garlic.  Sauté until onions are translucent and cooked through.  Remove from heat.
  6. Add rice and meat to onion mixture and season with salt, pepper, and oregano and set aside.
  7. Take cooked cabbage leaves and remove thick spine from the leaf.  Place a couple of spoonfuls of rice/meat/onion mixture in the middle of the leaf.  Roll leaf forward to seal rice in, then fold each side in towards the middle and continue rolling the leaf to completely seal its contents.
  8. Place rolled, stuffed cabbage in a shallow roasting pan.
  9. Once all leaves have been stuffed, pour sauce mixture over rolls.  Cover with remaining leaves to act as a barrier and protect the rolls below.
  10. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through and the sauce has solidified a bit.

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

Note: If oregano is not your thing and thyme is, then use it!  Mix it up!  I used a red pepper but a green pepper would give it a different flavour.  For a Mexican change-up, add jalapeño peppers, cumin, and salsa.  For Vegan Paleo dieters, replace the rice with cauliflower “rice”.  If you’re lazy like I am most of the time, slice the cooked cabbage into ribbons then mix all ingredients together and pour on the sauce creating a Cabbage Roll casserole.  The combinations are endless.

vegan, cabbage rolls, recipe, healthy, diet, weight loss

So the next time you need a warm, comfort food without the excess weight gain, guilt, and bloat, give this recipe a try.  You might just discover as I have, that you can be comfortable and healthy at the same time!

~ True North Nomad

Do you have a “healthy” version of a comfort food?  Tell us in the comments below.

Boil True North Nomad, uncovered until AL DENTE – enter your email address top left, bottom right or bottom centre of this post and click “Follow” and never miss an impassioned tale again! 

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39 responses to “Comfort Food – Vegan Cabbage Rolls

  1. This recipe looks really good. We sell a version of vegan cabbage rolls with a red beans and rice filling. I think the walnuts and aminos in your version will lead to a really “meaty/traditional” taste.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds like a super interesting recipe to try! I’ve never seen a cabbage roll recipe like it.

    Would lentil or carrot soup be something you’d eat for comfort food? Even if they are cooked, there may still be something good in them (and always fibre), but they are so warm and thick and comforting without being evil.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This looks delicious and I will have to try this for sure. After the start of spring yesterday, it’s raining with snow in the forecast for later this week lol. But it’s not uncommon for us to experience all seasons in one day at times.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are so many delicious vegan and raw recipes out on the world wide web – there are endless options. Hope you try these and enjoy! Take care!

      Like

  4. Sounds nice, I will give it a try ( without the mushrooms).
    I have nice receipe too, a spread for bread or crackers or ( esp) rice-waffles.
    You need some empty clean jars,
    half a bag of cashew nuts ( but other nuts will do as well), salted or unsalted as you prefer.
    A small jar of sundried tomatoes, drained from oil.
    2 cloves of garlic ( or more)
    some oregano
    half a teaspoon cayene-pepper
    oliveoil (virgin)
    (salt)
    (kurkumin)
    (ginger or gingerpowder)
    Crush the nuts in your high speed blender till powdery. Add a little bit of olive oil. Blend.
    Add the tomatoes and the garlic and the herbs and blend them till you have a dark red/orange mass. ( If the colour is light then next time use less nuts) Try how it spreads, if crumbly add some more olive oil.
    Take a bit to taste.
    Add more of the ingredients till it taste as you like it ( I vary every time I make it).
    Fill 2 to 3 jars with it, make sure no air is inclosed. top of with some olive oil.
    Kept cool it stays okay for about 4 weeks. And it is realy delicius on rice waffles.
    And if the tastes in your family differ you can use the plain receipe and add ingredients after smooting it out on your bread or waffle.

    Liked by 3 people

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