St Patty's day approaches and I have to admit, I know nothing about Irish food. In fact, I have only eaten Irish food once before, at a local restaurant, and it was God awful. While I am not suggesting this is typical of Irish food, it is my very limited experience with it.
I have had a head of cabbage in the fridge for a week or so and decided that I would give stuffed cabbage a try. That is traditionally Irish, right?
I really had no idea what I was doing and just made this up as I went along. I am sure there is an easier way to do this, if you know of one, please share!
The dish was quite tasty. The cabbage maintained some of its integrity and crunch, which I liked, and there was none of the terrible smell of cabbage cooking you sometimes hear about. The filling was very similar to the filling in the Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna I have bee somewhat obsessed with lately. I added kale to the mix, too- kale stuffed cabbage? How can you go wrong?!?
But, back to St Patty's day--I am really looking forward to it this year. While I am not Irish, and unsure if I will indulge in any Irish food I am quite excited to head to New York City to meet up with my dear friend JL of JL Goes Vegan. The day holds a lot of promise- shopping, meeting up with Christy Morgan aka The Blissful Chef, and author of Blissful Bites, who will be in town as part of her book tour.
And as if that is not enough, we will end the day with dinner at the fabulous Candle 79. I really cannot think of a better way to spend a day!
And speaking of Blissful Bites- stay tuned for my review and a chance to win your very own copy!
Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage
1 head green cabbage
1 cup quinoa
2 kale leaves, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a saute pan add the quinoa, kale, oregano, vegetable stock and 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from the heat and add the vegan cream cheese, tomato paste, parsley and salt and pepper and stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.
While the quinoa is cooking core the cabbage as deeply as you can. On the stovetop bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge the cabbage into the boiling water for a minute or two, remove it and then remove the outer leaves (they should come off easily). When you have removed all of the leaves that come off easily (do not force them or they will rip) re-submerge the cabbage and repeat the process until you have removed the majority of the leaves (the very small ones would be difficult to stuff and roll).
Allow the leaves to cool and remove any of the core/ thick center vein that remains. The leaves should be pliable and roll easily. Mine ended up with a small "V" a the bottom of each leaf.
Place one leaf on a flat surface and place quinoa mixture on the lower half of the leaf. The amount of quinoa you use will be dependent on the size of the cabbage leaf-- do not over fill, you should be able to roll them easily.
Once the mixture is on the leaf roll away from you, folding in the sides as you go until the filling is encased. Place in a lightly greased baking sheet with the seam side down. Repeat until all leaves are filled.
Top with the rest of the marinara sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the rolls are heated through and the sauce is bubbly.
Note: This recipe made 15 rolls with a little bit of leftover quinoa filling which was quickly eaten by my daughter!