Do you want to get a little more vegan into your culinary repertoire? Getting a little resistance from the spouse? Then this is the dish for you!
by Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef Every time I make them for a live show, someone in the audience (usually a man,) always insists, “These are not vegan.” The filling is meaty and oh, so savory. With a sweet and sour tomato sauce kicker, everyone will soon be asking, “When are you going to make those cabbage rolls, again?”
- 2 tsps Safflower oil
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 pkg Tempeh, flavor of your choice
- 2 tsps Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbls Tomato paste
- 1 cube Vegan Beefless Boullion
- 2 tsps dried Thyme
- 2 tsps dried Summer Savory
- 1/3 c Water
- 1/2 c Brown Rice, Barley, Quinoa, or grain of your choice, cooked
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat safflower oil and sauté onion until soft.
- Crumble tempeh into pan and sauté until browned.
- Add garlic, sauté just until fragrant. Do not allow to brown.
- Add remaining ingredients to pan and cook 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- Set aside to cool while making your sauce.
- 15 oz. can Tomato Sauce
- 1/3 c raw Brown Sugar or Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1 Tbls Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- In a small saucepan, whisk tomato sauce and sugar together.
- Heat through to dissolve sugar.
- Turn off heat and stir in vinegar.
- Season with salt.
- 1 small head Green Cabbage, remove tough outer leaves, stem core, and large leaf “vein.” You will need appx. 8-10 cabbage leaves.
- Medium stock pot filled with water, brought to boil.
- 2 Tbls Kosher Salt
- Large bowl filled with ice water, Bain Marie (water bath)
- 9×13 baking dish, rub lightly with Safflower oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- When water comes to a boil, add salt: stir to dissolve and add cabbage leaves.
- Cook until leaves just start to wilt, 3-5 minutes. *Leaves will continue to cook in oven, and you don’t want your rolls to split during baking.
- Remove leaves from water and plunge into the bath to stop cooking.
- Remove from bath and pat dry.
You’re ready to roll!
Add just enough sauce to cover bottom of baking dish. Place one leaf on cutting board. Use the natural curve of the leaf to your advantage. Concave side should be up. Fill with 1/4 to a 1/3 cup of filling, depending on the size of the leaf. Try to make rolls as close to the same size as possible, to ensure even cooking. Tuck top and bottom of leaf in, over filling, and roll into a mini “burrito.” Place seam side down in prepared baking dish. When pan is filled with completed rolls, add remaining sauce and cover with parchment paper and then foil. Always avoid letting foil touch acidic ingredients like tomato sauce. Place baking dish on sheet pan and bake 40 minutes or until cabbage is tender and sauce is bubbling. Remove covers and continue to bake 10 minutes to slightly thicken sauce. Let stand 10 minutes. Lemon flavored cashew cream and chopped flat leaf parsley make a wonderful garnish for this dish.
Tasty Tip-This filling is great in a bell pepper, too. Cut peppers in half, remove stem and seeds and blanch a few minutes longer than the cabbage leaves, as peppers are thicker.
Phyto Facts-Cabbage is the super star, super food here! The list of ailments this cruciferous veggie prevents, treats and heals is almost endless. The familiar smell it releases is sulphoraphane. This phytonutrient prevents and treats hormone based disease and discomfort: prostate, lung, cervical, ovarian and breast cancer as well as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PMS and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Cabbage has so many phytonutrients that prevent hormone receptor damage as well as osteoporosis and inflammation in the brain that can cause mood swings and irritability. Cabbage contains phytoestrogens, benign plant-based estrogen, genistein, diadzien, equol, enternolactone, and lignans. All of these phtyos work together to bring balance to every hormone our body produces. Arthritis and asthma sufferers get great results by adding cabbage juice to their nutrition program. It’s all based on inflammatory response in the bodily systems. Remove the inflammation, remove the disease. Cabbage also regulates the pancreas and liver for maximum blood sugar stabilization and fat burning detoxification. Cabbage juice is a great way to speed the body’s natural detox response. The combination of the fermented grains and soy in tempeh, the allium compounds in both onions and garlic and the lycopene in the cooked tomato sauce gives us a powerful defense against every type of cancer known. Lycopene can reduce sun damage as much as 40%, thus acting like an internal sun block. Quercitin in the onions and garlic prevent clotting disorders, stress and sports related injuries, trauma and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Catechins, a type of polyphenol, are a super phytonutrient in a category of their own that gives us fat burning acceleration, protects us from stroke and plaque buildup. The benefits are seen in both the brain and heart. This recipe stops cholesterol damage and protects the arterial system throughout the entire body. Lastly, apigenin, in the summer savory, thyme and parsley, is more happy hormone magic! It’s not the “luck of the Irish,” it’s the great gifts from nature! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook | TheMedicineChef.com
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!