Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Several months ago, my husband’s office staff got together for a pot-luck luncheon.  One of the dishes that was prepared for the luncheon was this one, that Mr. D. described as “layered like lasagna without the noodles”, and he declared that it was fabulous.  I suggested that he ask for the recipe which he did.  I want to thank Maggie for first making the dish and also Cheryl for sharing the link to the web site where I got the recipe.

This dish is basically a deconstructed version of stuffed cabbage, so if you love stuffed cabbage, you’re going to love this dish.  The idea is to layer shredded cabbage with ground beef, brown rice and a tomato sauce, then bake and finish off with melted cheese on top.

Just as good the second time we had it .

Just as good the second time we had it .

I had the remains of a large head of cabbage and wanted to do something with it besides make coleslaw, so remembering about this casserole dish I went looking for it.   Since the web site is called “Skinnytaste.com“, I felt pretty sure it would fit into my new diet routine.  Actually, I was browsing the web looking for a skinny person to eat, but this is what I came up with instead.  It will have to do!  🙂

To make a long story short, it turned out great.  Even though stuffed cabbage doesn’t usually contain cheese,  the addition of a cheese topping here seems like the finishing touch to a very delicious casserole.  A full recipe is meant to make 10 servings.  If this is too much you can make half the recipe, or make and freeze some.  It can be reheated for another time.  As you can see here I portioned the left-overs into individual casseroles for ease in reheating, covering with foil and reheating them in the oven.

STUFFED CABBAGE CASSEROLE

Servings:   about 10

Ingredients

Cabbage, onion, ground beef, tomato sauce, and seasonings.

Cabbage, onion, ground beef, rice, garlic, and seasonings.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp.sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 large head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can ( 14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can ( 15 oz ) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.   My dish was 13″ X 9″.

2.  Heat a large frying pan on medium heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, breaking apart as it cooks.  Remove and set aside.

Browning the meat

Browning the meat

3.  In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more.

Cook onion and garlic with seasonings.

Cook onion and garlic with seasonings.

Then add the diced tomatoes and juice,plus the tomato sauce.

Add the tomatoes and sauce.

Add the tomatoes and sauce.

Then add the ground beef and water to the pan.  Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened,  about 15 minutes.

Add the browned beef and water to the pan.

Add the browned beef and water to the pan.

4.  While it simmers, core and cup up cabbage.  Heat remaining olive oil in another large frying pan or dutch oven;  add the cabbage and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks.  Season with salt and pepper.

Saute the cabbage until wilted.

Saute the cabbage until wilted.

5.  When the meat and tomato mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups cooked rice and gently combine.

Add the cooked rice.

Add the cooked rice.

6.  To prepare casserole,  layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture.

Layering it up.

Layering it up.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Cover with foil and bake.

Cover with foil and bake.

7.  Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese.  Bake uncovered an additional 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly.   Serve hot.

Cover with grated cheese and bake until melted .

Cover with grated cheese and bake until melted .

This freezes well if you have left-overs.  To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a baking dish covered with foil.

SOURCE:   Skinnytaste.com

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Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This dish is intended to be cooked in a slow-cooker.   I can remember only one other time in my whole cooking-lifetime that I made stuffed cabbage rolls, and they, too, were cooked in a slow-cooker.   On reading this recipe I was intrigued by the promise of sweet – sour combination of flavors, so I decided to give it a try.

First off, let me confess that I don’t know my way around cabbage very well.   Mostly what I do with it is make coleslaw, and I let my processor do the shredding for me.  I also sometimes coarsely shred it with a knife to cook with Kielbasa. That’s about the extent of my cabbage repertoire.   So what I’m trying to say is that I’m not very adept at shaping and rolling a filling into a cabbage leaf.  If you are someone who can do this very well, please don’t laugh when you see the photos of my endeavors.  After all, pretty doesn’t taste any better, does it?

Secondly, there are several steps involved in getting everything ready to go into the crockpot–the recipe predicts a prep time of 20 minutes–but it took me much longer, about 30 – 45 minutes.  Plan ahead if you are going to make this, or assemble it the night before and start cooking in the morning.

INGREDIENT LIST

  • 1 small – medium head of green cabbage

    Have all your ingredients ready.

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced.  I used a large shallot.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cans tomato sauce, ( 8 ounce each)
  • 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 slices reduced-calorie wheat bread.  I used one multi-grain wheat thin.
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups cooked egg noodles

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Boil cabbage 12 – 15 minutes, then drain well.  Carefully remove outer leaves–you will need about 12.  Remove tough stem from each leaf and set aside.  Shred the remaining cabbage and place in the bottom of the slow-cooker.

2.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large  non stick skillet over medium heat; cook onion 5 minutes.

Cooking the onion , garlic and seasonings.

Add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute.  Remove half of this mixture and set aside.

Add tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar.

Stir tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar into skillet and remove from heat.

Use processor to make the meat filling.

3.  In a processor, pulse bread and milk until a paste is formed.  Add reserved onion mixture, beef, salt and pepper and pulse until well combined.

4.  With stem ends of cabbage leaves facing you, place 2 heaping Tablespoons of meat mixture in center of each leaf and roll up.

Meat filling rolled into the cabbage leaves.

5.  Place rolls, seam-side down, in slow cooker.  Pour sauce over all.

Pour tomato sauce over cabbage rolls in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.  Serve with egg noodles.

Serve over egg noodles.

Our assessment of this recipe:  First I think the name of this dish is a misnomer;  the flavor is more sweet than sour, but not overly sweet.  Secondly, we both thought the meat filling was very compact and dense.  If I were to make this again,  I would not mix the filling in a processor, but instead in a bowl, like making meatloaf.  It would then be lighter and more textured, perhaps adding some cooked white rice would help. The tomato sauce was flavorful with a faint hint of the cinnamon, which I thought complemented the cabbage.  When we ate the leftovers, I thought the whole dish tasted better the second time around, and the meat filling was more moist.

SOURCE:  Family Circle Magazine, November, 2012:  Slow Cooker Suppers