Saturday, March 1, 2014

Unstuffed Cabbage with Quinoa


This is a recipe from a friend. She told me it was part of an effort to try to find healthier versions of recipes she loved as a kid in the 70's. It's taken me longer than is reasonable to finally try it, but I'm so glad I did! It is really, really good. I made a couple changes from her recipe: I chickened out on using the whole can of tomato paste (I used half), I didn't simmer it as long as she indicated because my cabbage was done sooner, and instead of serving it with rice we ate it over quinoa because it's easier on my husband's blood sugar than rice.

Even if you think you don't like cabbage this might be a really good recipe for your to try. After all the simmering the flavor of the cabbage mellows a lot and just blends with all the other flavors in the dish. I've decided that next time I make it I will double the recipe and freeze a bunch in portions for easy lunches and quick dinners. I love recipes I can make into my own frozen meals--so much better tasting, better for you, and cheaper than buying frozen meals at the store.

I didn't mention that this is very, very easy to make. Enjoy!

Unstuffed Cabbage with Quinoa (adapted from Women's Day or Family Circle, date unknown)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups shredded green cabbage, about 1/2 head
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoons salt
thinly sliced green onions for serving, optional

1. In a 12-in non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink; drain fat, if necessary. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, and sugar. Mix welll to fully incorporate the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in half of the shredded cabbage, and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining cabbage, and cover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. 

3. While the cabbage mixture simmers, in a medium pot, bring the quinoa, salt, and 1 1/3 cups water to boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.

4. Serve the cabbage mixture on top of the cooked quinoa or mix them both together before serving. Serve with the thinly sliced green onions, if desired.

Makes about 6 servings (1 cup cabbage mixture to 1/2 cup quinoa)

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