Healthy Winter Warm-up Recipe: Paleo Cabbage Rolls
With the holidays over and a new year beginning, we know that many of you, like many of us, are focusing on healthier eating. Since it’s winter, we find that we like to stick to dishes that make us feel warm and cozy while it’s chilly outside. This week, we have decided to feature a recipe from Olivia at This West Coast Mommy. Her cabbage rolls recipe is perfect for Sunday afternoon with the family. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but it’s also grain-free, sugar-free, paleo and Whole30 compliant. See below her guidance on how to make this dish for your family this winter (or any time of year).
The first step is to get the cabbage leaves off the cabbage without ripping them. I boiled the entire cabbage in a large pot for a few minutes and used tongs to carefully peel of the leaves one by one. If you plan in advance, you can also freeze then defrost the head of cabbage. When it’s defrosted the leaves should peel off easily. Once the leaves are off, use a paring knife to slice off the tough rib that runs down the middle of the outside of the leaf.
Next I started on the filling. I pulsed some cauliflower in my food processor until it was the size and texture of rice or couscous. I sautéed some onion, garlic, and cauliflower, then transferred it to my big mixing bowl to cool.
While I was waiting for the mix to cool I made the sauce. I sautéed some more onion and garlic in coconut oil, then mixed in a tin of crushed tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and the secret ingredient: coconut milk. Once the sauce was ready, I set it aside to finish up the filling.
Once the onion and cauliflower mix was cool, I added the ground beef, eggs, and seasonings and mixed it up with my hands.
Then I rolled the filling into each cabbage leaf, rib side down, like a burrito. After boiling, the leaves were soft and pliable and easy to roll. Fold the sides in about halfway down the leaf, then finish rolling. I trimmed a little bit of the edges and the end of the leaf to clean it up.
I used as much of the cabbage as I could so I didn’t end up with perfectly even rolls, but that’s okay. The inner, smaller white leaves are the most tender, and they made baby cabbage rolls perfect for the kids.
I spooned a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of my baking dish and arranged the rolls. Then I poured the rest of the sauce on top and baked at 350 for about two hours. When I took the cabbage rolls out, the sauce had separated a bit, but a quick stir made a nice chunky tomato sauce that paired perfectly with these grain-free cabbage rolls.
Special thanks to Olivia at This West Coast Mommy for allowing us to feature her recipe on our blog. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook for more delicious recipes.