Monday, August 13, 2012

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

I made these for the very first time last week & they were a surprise hit in my house.  Hubby and Baby E couldn't get enough of them.  I decided to make a second batch this week and I have enjoyed them heated up for a quick and filling lunch.  The rice with the lentils make this a complete protein-packed meal.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls
adapted from the Green Door Restaurant Cookbook 
(a must visit in Ottawa! Click here.)

To prepare the cabbage...
 Remove the core from a head of cabbage & carefully peel each leaf away from the head making a tidy stack of leaves as you go

Once you get to the innermost part of the cabbage, cut it into four wedges and proceed with the blanching

Blanch the cabbage by placing the stack of leaves and wedges into a large pot half filled with boiling water and covered with a lid (it is not necessary for all of the leaves to be submerged; the steam will do the job for you) for 3-4 minutes until the leaves start to become translucent

Remove the cabbage leaves and put them into a sink of ice water...this time they need to be fully submerged

Once the cabbage has completely cooled, remove it from the water and drain it.  Chop the wedges and add them to the filling.
For the filling...
 In a medium bowl mix:
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup green lentils
1/2 cup olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
a pinch of dried oregano
a pinch of thyme

Now the fun part!
Place a spoonful of filling (2-3 tbsp) into a cabbage leaf and roll it up folding in the sides as you go.  Place seam-side down in a dutch oven that is safe to use on the stove top.  Keep going until all your leaves are rolled.

Cover the rolls with a mixture of tomato sauce and water so that they are fully covered.  Place a fire proof plate on top of the rolls to keep them weighted down.  Place the lid on the dutch oven and heat the sauce over medium heat until bubbling.  Turn down heat to low and continue to simmer until the rice and lentils are tender (about 40-50 minutes).  You can take the lid off and continue to simmer for a few minutes at the end to allow the sauce to thicken.  Yum. 

There, now doesn't that look pretty?
Ready to go into the oven...

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