Thursday, March 14, 2013

stuffed cabbage casserole




Green cabbage.  Let me count the benefits!  Ok, with St. Pat's Day on Sunday, you can obviously see my cabbage wasn't slow cooked with corned beef, simmering in a rich, stout beer.  Although cabbage cooked that way is without a doubt delicious - if you're looking for a scrumptious, healthy, nutritious option, and adore cabbage, {as I do} - I've got a savory dish you are going to love!  You will think you're eating a stuffed cabbage roll, without all the work.

In my ongoing effort to bring you some of my healthy and nutritious creations sandwiched between a parade of divine sweets, this dish is another favorite of mine.  A bit newer to my repertoire then some of my other creations, I've been making this over the last year or two, with delight every time.  I love when I can divide up portions, freeze some, and eat the others over the entire week.  This recipe fits the bill!






Loaded with fiber, and antioxidant benefits - cabbage is fully packed into this layered casserole.  A great low-cal option, one cup of cooked cabbage contains only 33 calories.  Did you know cabbage is also an excellent source of vitamin C?  Yep! - more vitamin C than the amount found in oranges.  In combination with all the other smart choices found in this lovely dish, Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is a perfect addition to your healthy menu!

Since the nutritional benefits of cabbage are found more by steaming, the sauté method used in this recipe is very similar.  When sautéed in a touch of olive oil, the cabbage takes on a delectable sweetness, which is so darn good! If you sauté too much cabbage to fit into the casserole, don't worry, just put it in a bowl and enjoy later in the week.  I actually cook more on purpose, just to have a nice size sautéed bowl of cabbage deliciousness later in the week!

By the way, you don't have to be eating healthy to enjoy this casserole.  That's just an added benefit. :}  Have a beautiful weekend!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Until next time...when I bring you a Caramel Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake for National Caramel and Chocolate Day {yes, a national day in the foodie world, reserved just for caramel and chocolate!}...mangia!  xox

Carol






Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 large head green cabbage, coarsely chopped {approximately 3 1/2 pounds chopped}
2 tablespoons {more or less} extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground pepper, for seasoning the meat and cabbage to taste
1 pound lean ground beef {I use Laura's Lean Ground Sirloin, 96% Lean, 4% Fat}
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 - 14.5 ounce petite diced tomatoes {I use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes}
1 - 15 ounce tomato sauce {I use Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce, no salt added}
1/4 cup water {just enough to rinse out the tomato sauce can}
canola or olive oil cooking spray, for your baking dish or pan
2 cups low-fat shredded cheese {I use Sargento 4-cheese Italian blend}

Create the Stuffed Cabbage Casserole:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with oven rack positioned in center of oven.

2.  Cook rice according to package directions, enough to yield 2 cooked cups.

3.  While rice is cooking, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves.  Coarsely chop. Heat about 1 tablespoon evoo in a large saute pan or dutch oven with lid, add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks.  Season the cabbage while cooking with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Set aside when done.

4.  Heat 1 - 2 teaspoons evoo in a large frying pan {amount will depend on how lean your ground beef is}.  Add ground beef and cook until nicely browned, crumbling as it cooks.  Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.

5.  In the same frying pan, add a little more evoo, if needed.  Add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat until translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook approximately 2 minutes more.  Add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground beef.  Fill the tomato sauce can with about 1/4 cup water, swish to rinse can, and add to the pan.  Let the mixture simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15 - 20 minutes.  Last step, stir in and combine the 2 cups of cooked rice.

6.  Spray a large glass 13" x 10" casserole dish, or a 12" cast iron pan, with non-stick spray.  Layer half the cabbage onto bottom of casserole dish or cast iron pan.  Using the back of a spatula, press down the cabbage to slightly compress.  Layer half the meat mixture on the cabbage, the other half of the cabbage mixture, slightly compressing once again, and finish off with remainder of the meat mixture.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and heated thoroughly.

7.  Remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes, so the cheese begins to melt.  Keeping the casserole in the center of the oven, turn on the broiler, and broil just until the cheese becomes slightly browned.  Serve hot.

8.  The casserole keeps nicely in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for one week, or can be frozen.

Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.

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77 comments:

  1. It's not easy to make cabbage-dishes look good, but you've manged to do just that! This looks delicious, Carol!

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    1. Thanks so much, Val, that was sweet of you to say! I almost called it cabbage lasagna! ;}

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    2. That's what it looks like a lasagna! Yumm!!!

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  2. Truthfully, I've never had stuffed cabbage, but this looks so tasty! Can I come for dinner...I'll bring Baileys mousse for dessert?! ;)

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    1. I'll be getting the better end of that deal, Laura, after drooling over your Baileys mousse! Come on over!!!

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  3. That's just what I was thinking--cabbage lasagne! I think I will cut carbs by eliminating the rice, but it sounds good!

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    1. Hi Anon! That would work fine, and be just as delicious, to cut out the brown rice...but on the other hand, it's only 1/4 cup per serving. :} Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to comment!

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  4. This made my mouth water it looks so good. I am going to have to try this one.

    http://www.atmycounter.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Deedra!! Let me know what you think, once you have a chance to try it!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this healthy entree! Although I love your sweets - We can't live on desserts alone ;-)

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    1. Absolutely true, Saint Patty! I have to eat this way most of the time, so I can have my sweets! ;} Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  6. I've only had rolled cabbage before, but never had stuffed cabbage casserole like this! There's always something new to try. The last picture looks so good - it looks like that plate is ready for me! ;)

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    1. Thanks so much, Nami! You will have to give it a try sometime, it's really good! I'll save that plate just for you!!

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  7. OH my goodness I love this idea! I do stuffed cabbage leaves, but this looks 100x better Carol!

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    1. Carrie, it's a great family dish...which I know you have! ;} If you like doing cabbage rolls, you will love this! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  8. So enticing! It sounds alot like old fashioned stuffed peppers but this a fun new twist!

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    1. Happy Friday, Chris! It's very much like stuffed peppers, great analogy...with lots of cabbage goodness added!!

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  9. Carol that seriously looks so delish! I am such a fan of cabbage, serious yum!

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    1. Jocelyn, if you like cabbage, trust me, you will love this! Since I've been making this, I never cook cabbage any other way, even if it's not going into this casserole! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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  10. This is the alternative to cabbage rolls. Awesome Carol! Love the ingredients and such a refreshing change from the usual cabbage recipes.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Paula! A real change...almost with a little Italian flair! :) A friend of mine called it Irish Lasagna! I thought that was a perfect name! lol

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  11. What a yummy comfort casserole! Almost like a cabbage roll but in a casserole :P

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    1. Exactly, Natalie! It's extremely comforting...but with none of the guilt! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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  12. Oh my! I love Cabbage Rolls, but I never make them because of the "fussy factor"...if my kids could burn down the house in the time it takes me to make something, it doesn't get made :)

    This is a genius idea. And my husband, who is a HUGE cabbage lover and is sitting next to me on the sofa, just requested I try this next week. As always Carol, you're an inspiration!

    Have a fabulous weekend and Happy St.Patrick's Day :)

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    1. Oh goody, Tracy!!! I can't wait for you to make it...you and your husband will love it...and the kids will too, if they like cabbage! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Wishing you a fabulous weekend, and Happy St. Patrick's Day too, Tracy!!! xox

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  13. Oh, my gosh, I've never thought of making a cabbage casserole, but yours is absolutely tempting me! I love this veggie...and that cheesy topping looks amazing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Liz! It's a great way to enjoy cabbage and the melted cheese finishes it off perfectly. Thank you for stopping by!

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  14. I think we going to love this dish, we cook a lot of cabbage and we love it. Good idea for family dinner, everything in one pot! Thank you and wishing you a very good weekend! Yelena

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    1. Nothing like a one pot dinner! So happy you like it, Yelena! Thank you for your kind words, and you have a beautiful weekend as well!

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  15. What a fantastic recipe!! Do you know how much time I will save next time I make "sarma"?! LOTS! (Sarma is what Macedonians call a stuffed cabbage roll)
    This is so much easier than all the work I put in with stuffing and rolling each cabbage leaf.

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    1. Happy Saturday, Kate! Thanks so much for your comment...and although I can only imagine how delicious your stuffed cabbage rolls are, this is such a great alternative! Thank you for stopping by!

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  16. Gorgeous recipe and food styling. Sometimes when I shoot things in a big cast iron skillet it can be really tricky to get the right perspective OR make things not get lost into that black skillet hole. You nailed this - love the images, Carol!

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    1. Averie, what a sweet comment! Thank you so much for your kind words, and you are right, it was tricky! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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  17. Comfort food at it's best! Agree with Averie -- you've captured this dish beautifully :)

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    1. Good morning, Kiran! Thank you so very much for your sweet comment! So appreciated!!!

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  18. Carol, my family would love this - Katie makes stuffed cabbage rolls for her German husband. I bet they'd love this recipe. I'm going to share it with her. Thanks for another great (and beautiful) recipe!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jeannie! Katie will love it, if she makes cabbage rolls! It will also fit nicely into your low carb eating! Happy St. Patrick's Day to the most Irish girl I know!!! xox

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  19. Stuffed cabbage rolls have always been a favorite of mine. This has all the flavors but not near the work involved in making them.

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    1. Hi Karen! Thanks so much! You are absolutely right...not near the time it takes for stuffed cabbage rolls!!

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  20. I have to make this for Dad. He dozen't like brown rice can I use white?

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    1. Absolutely, Jeannette (aka Mom)! He will love it!

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  21. Carol - my mouth is watering! This looks soooooo delicious! My hubby would die for this. Lovely photos! Hope you are enjoying your St. Patrick's Day!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I will be happy to make this for your husband, if I can PLEASE have some of your Italian horn cookies, which looked incredible!! Have a great week!

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  22. I LOVE this idea Carol! Love stuffed cabbage rolls but don't make them too much because I don't want to roll them! This is so much easier!

    Nazneen

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    1. Thank you, Nazneen! Happy Monday! If you love cabbage rolls, you will love this too! None of that rolling...just chop the head of cabbage all up in no particular way, and throw it all together! Hope you have an opportunity to give it a try!

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  23. This sounds delicious! If I wanted to make it ahead of time, should I bake it and THEN keep it in the fridge until I need it? Or should I compile it, wrap it up, stick it in the fridge and bake it right before I need it? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Mrs. Schneider! Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your comment! I've never made it ahead of time, but I see absolutely no reason why you couldn't make it in the morning for dinner, or a day ahead, or even in stages. I would refrigerate it, and cook it prior to serving. One thing to remember, it will take longer to cook/heat through from a cold state, so adjust the cooking time accordingly. Enjoy!!!

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  24. I shall be making this soon! Thanks.

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    1. I'm honored! Thank you so much, Kahkasan! Enjoy!!!

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  25. This recipe was excellent. Definitely a keeper. Pinned this one for sure and shared on FB.

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    1. Thank you so much, Daphne! I'm so happy you enjoyed it - and especially that you stopped by to let me know! So appreciated! Thanks so much also for pinning and sharing on FB! That just made my evening! Have a great weekend!

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  26. Made this tonight, Carol! It was great. Will definitely keep the recipe to use next year when I have leftover cabbage from St. Patrick's Day!

    Erin

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    1. Hi Erin! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and let me know - I sincerely appreciate it! Now I'm craving it again...may have to make it again before our expected snow on Sunday! Have a beautiful weekend, Erin!

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  27. This looks wonderful and like the perfect dish for a cold evening like today! Thank you for these mouthwatering pictures!

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  28. I made this tonight and it was a big hit! I used condensed tomato soup instead of the tomato sauce, because that is how my mom made her cabbage rolls. It was perfect! My husband said to put this one in the keeper file. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

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    1. Good evening, Elaine! I love that you incorporated the condensed soup like your mom made her cabbage rolls! Memories are what makes recipes so special! I'm so happy you enjoyed them, and the recipe made it to the keeper file! It was my pleasure sharing - and thank you, Elaine, for stopping by to let me know!!!

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  29. Hello! I stumbled upon your blog when I was exploring some of the blogs that my followers also follow, and I have to say - you post about some beautiful, delicious looking recipes! I wanted to invite you to share this recipe - or any healthy meal/snack you've enjoyed over the past month - at my link-up (http://bit.ly/YCpeHq) to celebrate National Nutrition Month. I think my readers would love this recipe!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and your kind words, Jess! I appreciate the invite with this recipe! It definitely fits under the delicious, healthy and nutritious description for National Nutrition Month. Thanks so much again, and have a great day!

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  30. I have been living thousands of kilometers away from my mom's delicious cooking, and I have been craving stuffed cabbage for the longest time. I recently found your recipe, which looked yummy and easy to prepare. I just made it and let me tell you, it tastes like HOME! Thank you!

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    1. Good morning, Angela! Thank you so very much, for taking the time to come by and tell me how you enjoyed it! That's a pretty hard task to try to have a recipe that tastes like a mother's! I'm honored! Have a wonderful day, and thanks again!!!

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  31. This casserole looks so good, only problem family wont eat any type of rice or grain for that matter, could you makeit withbout?

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    1. Anon, yes, you can absolutely leave out the rice. Not promising the same results, but if your family won't eat rice, definitely don't add it. Enjoy!

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  32. what are the calories?

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    1. Anon, since this wasn't a published recipe from a cookbook, I do not have a calorie count. There are a number of websites you can do this by putting in each ingredient you are using, obtaining the total, and then dividing it by the number of portions. Enjoy!

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  33. I've never been a big lover of cabbages but when I saw this picture, I actually drooled! Looks fantastic and delicious!

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    1. Thank you, Rowena...what a lovely comment! This recipe gives the cabbage such a delicious, sweet taste. I'm sure it's due to the sautéing in olive oil, rather than boiling, which removes so much of the flavor. You'll have to try it, and treat some Italians to a new recipe! ;)

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  34. Looks like pizza. Love cabbage, and your right, its better for you than pizza. I love iron skillets, because, all the mess is in one pan, and they make me feel at home.

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    1. Thanks, Anon! It's so delicious...hope you have a chance to try it, especially if you love cabbage! I love iron skillets, too...makes everything taste better! :)

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  35. Gonna try this one but will substitute the meat with soy!! Thank u!!!

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  36. Gonna make this for sure.....but....what is evoo?

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  37. My mother's secret for delicious cabbage rolls was to put at least a 2 tbsp of sugar into the tomato sauce. Makes it less acidic and everyone wonders why the cabbage tastes so good. I love the idea of cheese on top and will definitely try this.

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  38. I followed this interesting link from Pinterest. and glad I did! My Nana used to make the BEST cabbage rolls, but only once in a while as it was a lot of work. Yours looks easy enough for a weeknight, very clever Carol :) I'll be trying this soon, Thanks!

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    1. Hi Teresa! So happy you found this recipe! It's delicious, healthy, and very easy make! Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy!!!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol