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Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

I will confess something: rolling anything always makes me panic. Whether we’re talking pie crusts or cabbage leaves, I need absolute silence and complete mental focus in order to complete the job. Usually, I will get the hang of it after 1/3 or so of whatever I’m working with has already been clumsily rolled, and by then, I too irritated to enjoy it. Why not enjoy all the hearty flavor of stuffed cabbage rolls with none of the fuss or failed attempts? Here, I combined cabbage, Eastern European spices, rice, tomato sauce and vegan crumbled protein into a warming, satisfying dish that is my favorite kind of peasant food, very reminiscent of the stuffed cabbage rolls my grandmother made. For this, I was excited to try the new Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, which manages to be both gluten- and soy-free, made instead with pea protein, something that seems to popping up in many of the new vegan protein replacements.  I enjoyed the Beyond Meat, it had a great chewy texture, and it was nice to have a gluten-free alternative to ground seitan. I could see using this again. Maybe a moussaka next?

Unstuffed cabbage Rolls
Makes 5-7 servings

4 cups brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup low sodium vegetable stock, plus more as needed
1 yellow onion, cut in half then in thin half moons
1/2 green cabbage (about six cups), thinly sliced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. dried dill
1/2 T. caraway seed
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 T. olive oil
1 package Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumble (Beefy flavor)
28 oz. ground or crushed tomatoes
1 cup defrosted peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegan sour cream, optional

In a large skillet, warm up the vegetable stock over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cabbage, stirring frequently for about five minutes, until beginning to soften. (Add vegetable stock by the tablespoon as needed to keep things from sticking.)

Add the garlic cloves, dill, caraway seed and red pepper flakes, cooking another five minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small or medium skillet over medium heat. Add the Crumbles and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Add to the large pan with the cabbage along with the tomatoes, defrosted peas, cooked rice, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until everything is heated through and the cabbage is softened to the degree that you want. Serve warm. It is especially delicious topped with vegan sour cream. Enjoy!

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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