Friday, January 14, 2011

Italian Stuffed Cabbage

In years past, I have joined two different CSA's.  In case you haven't heard about them,  they are Community Supported Agriculture - farms that sell a share in the farm to members who then receive a box of produce every week.  The members do not have a say in what they get, but the beauty is that everything is in season, usually local, and usually organic.

A friend told me recently about a CSA called Abundant Harvest Organics that delivers organic produce to locations all over southern California, and better yet, five minutes from my home.  It didn't take long for me to sign on the dotted line!  I picked up my first box the other day.  When I saw the huge cabbage right on top, I knew just the meal I wanted to make.  The best part of CSA boxes is the creativity they inspire.  I hope to share many ideas spawned by the wonderful bounty I will receive in the weeks to come.

Italian Stuffed Cabbage

This recipe could easily be made with ground beef or turkey.  Trying to cut the saturated fat and cholesterol from my diet, I chose Yves Meatless Ground, a ground meat substitute that is easily found at Trader Joe's and large supermarkets.

1 head cabbage
1 12-ounce package Yves Meatless Ground
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/3 cup white rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like heat)
1 14-ounce jar pizza sauce (like Ragu)
2 ounces part-skim Mozzarella cheese, finely shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil spray; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Gently place entire head of cabbage into the water.  Boil for about 4 minutes, or until the leaves begin to come off.  Remove the cabbage from the water and peel off 12 large leaves.  Cut the thick part of the stem out and leave the rest of each leaf intact.

In a mixing bowl, combine Meatless Ground, tomato sauce, rice, onion, garlic, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Place 1/4 cup mixture in center of each cabbage leaf and fold up into a package.  Spread half the pizza sauce evenly over the bottom of the baking pan.  Place the cabbage rolls on top, then spread the remaining pizza sauce over the rolls.  Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle rolls evenly with Mozzarella cheese.  Place back in the oven for 5 minutes, uncovered, until cheese is melted.  Makes 4 hearty servings, 3 rolls each.

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