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    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Toasted Pine Nuts and Mushrooms~Vegetarian/Vegan

    September 2, 2020

    My mom made these often when we were growing up. The recipe hails from her best friend Peg. who was the sweetest woman on the planet.  She was of Polish descent, and she introduced us to these as Halupkis, although I have since learned that the Polish name is Golabki. No matter what you call them, for me they are comfort food and conjure up memories of being at Peg’s house each weekend, eating Halupkis, telling stories and playing games with her kids.  She made her cabbage rolls with ground beef and pork and always served them on a bed of sauerkraut. Peg is no longer with us, so  we make these to honor her.

    This is my vegan/vegetarian version.  I do not use a ton of spices when cooking vegan/vegetarian, because you discover by eating a plant based diet that food actually tastes pretty darn awesome without all the extras, like butter, oil, etc.  I do recommend a pinch of salt here and there, and that of course is up to you and according to your health concerns.

    This recipe comes together quickly, and while the cabbage is steaming, you can assemble the rice/lentil mixture, and toast the pine nuts too.

    The first time I made this I used my slow cooker. The second time I used the Insta Pot, and most recently I baked them in the oven. I will give you times and temps for all three! I think my favorite is the oven-baked version.

    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Toasted Pine Nuts and Mushrooms~Vegetarian/Vegan

    Ingredients:

    One large head of green cabbage  (use white cabbage which is your basic cabbage, as it is the sturdiest and the leaves hold up well to steaming)

    1 cup cooked canned brown lentils, rinsed.  You can purchase here 

    1 cup cooked white rice (you can also use brown)

    1 cup diced mushrooms

    1/2 diced onion

    1 cup toasted pine nuts (place in a non-stick skillet and heat until they are golden and aromatic, about 5 minutes)

    1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

    1 jar of Marinara sauce (24 ounce) – Barilla and Wegmans are great vegan sauces- look for a sauce with no added meat broth

    Jar of prepared sauerkraut, optional

    Instructions:

    For the cabbage leaves:

    Cut the core out of the top of your cabbage. Insert a sharp knife about an inch and a half away from the core, and slant it towards the center. Go around in a circle with your knife until the core is removed and at least 2 inches of the cabbage is exposed.

    In a large pot add about an inch of water. Bring to a boil. (You can also use a steamer pot which I show above). Add the cabbage to the pot, cover, and let steam for about seven minutes. It will take anywhere from  5-10 minutes until you are able to remove the first leaf.  With a pair of tongs, peel off the first leaf. It will come of quite easily. Keep steaming the cabbage until you have removed all of large leaves – you should be able to remove at least 15-20 large leaves.  Lay each leaf out on a towel to dry.

    To a large bowl, add the rice, lentils, onions, mushrooms, pine nuts, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.

    Take one leaf, outer side down and place on a clean work surface. Scoop two to three tablespoons of the rice mixture and put it in the center of the leaf. Fold the stem end up and cover the mixture, then tuck each side in. Continue rolling lightly until completely rolled up. Set aside, seam side down. Finish until you have used all of your leaves (you will probably have leftover rice mixture).

    Cooking:

    For the Insta Pot: Add a generous amount of Marinara sauce to the bottom of the Insta Pot with about 1/3 cup water. Start layering the cabbage rolls, seam sides down. Add a bit of sauce between each layer. Top with  more Marinara Sauce, Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes. You can add optional sauerkraut on top of each layer for additional flavor.

    For the Slow Cooker: Add about 1/3 cup of Marinara sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer on the  cabbage rolls, seam sides down. Add Marinara on top of each layer, ending with a generous amount of Marinara on top. Cook on high setting for 5 hours, low 6-7. Add the optional sauerkraut on the bottom (on top of Marinara) for great flavor.

    For the Oven: In a glass or ceramic baking dish, first add Marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan then layer sauerkraut on top.  Layer the cabbage rolls on top of the sauerkraut, seam sides down. Top with more Marinara. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

    *Note: I have tried to steam the cabbage leaves in the Insta Pot with NO success. Steaming them on the stove top allows you to remove each leaf as it is softened by the steam, one at a time, whereas the InstaPot tends to “cook” them and they stick together.  Go with the Stove Top! I have also made this many times with no Sauerkraut and it is quite delicious.

    Enjoy!

    5 from 1 vote
    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Toasted Pine Nuts and Mushrooms~Vegetarian/Vegan
    Author: Gay Van Beek for Canterbury Cottage Designs
    Ingredients
    Ingredients:
    • One large head of green cabbage use white cabbage which is your basic cabbage, as it is the sturdiest and the leaves hold up well to steaming
    • 1 cup cooked canned brown lentils rinsed. You can purchase here
    • 1 cup cooked white rice brown is also an option
    • 1 cup diced mushrooms
    • 1/2 diced onion
    • 1 cup toasted pine nuts place in a non-stick skillet and heat until they are golden and aromatic, about 5 minutes
    • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika optional
    • 1 jar of Marinara sauce 24 ounce – Barilla and Wegmans are great vegan sauces- look for a sauce with no added meat broth
    • Jar of prepared sauerkraut optional
    Instructions
    Instructions
    For the cabbage leaves:
    1. Cut the core out of the top of your cabbage. Insert a sharp knife about an inch and a half away from the core, and slant it towards the core. Go around in a circle until the core is removed and at least 2 inches of the cabbage is exposed.
    2. In a large pot add about an inch of water. Bring to a boil. (You can also use a steamer pot). Add the cabbage to the pot, cover, and let steam for about seven minutes. It will take anywhere from 5-7 minutes for the first leaf to come off. With a pair of tongs, peel off the first leaf. It will come of quite easily. Keep steaming the cabbage until you have removed all of large leaves – you should be able to remove at least 15-20. Lay each leaf out on a towel to dry.

    3. To a large bowl, add the rice, lentils, onions, mushrooms, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
    4. Take one leaf, outer side down, and place on a clean work surface. Scoop about two to three tablespoons of the rice mixture and put in in the center of the leaf. Fold the stem end up and cover the mixture, then tuck each side in. Consider rolling lightly until completely rolled up. Set aside, seam side down. Finish until you have used all of your leaves (you will probably have leftover rice mixture).

    Cooking:
    For the Insta Pot: Add a generous amount of Marinara sauce to the bottom of the Insta Pot – about an inch. Start layering the cabbage rolls, seam sides down. Add a bit of sauce between each layer. Top with more Marinara Sauce, Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes. You can add optional sauerkraut on top of each layer for additional flavor.
    For the Slow Cooker: Add Marinara Sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer on the cabbage rolls, seams sides down. Add Marinara on top of each layer, ending with a generous amount of Marinara. Cook on high setting for 5 hours, low 6-7. Add the optional sauerkraut on the bottom for great flavor.
    For the Oven: In a glass or ceramic baking dish.. first add Marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan then layer sauerkraut on top. Layer the cabbage rolls on top of the sauerkraut, seam sides down. Top with more Marinara. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
    Recipe Notes

    *Note: I have tried to steam the cabbage leaves in the Insta Pot with NO success. Steaming them on the stove top allows you to remove each leaf as it is done, one at a time, whereas the InstaPot tends to “cook” them and they stick together. Stick with the Stove Top! I have also made this many times with no Sauerkraut and it is quite delicious.