A couple of weeks ago I was visiting home in Halifax and I was lucky enough to have a family friend make dinner for me. Knowing I’m a vegetarian, she made two batches of cabbage rolls: one traditional and one with lentils just for me. I was so touched that she thought of me and super excited because it’s something I had been wanting to try for a while.
These were vegan cabbage rolls because she wasn’t sure if I ate eggs or not. Feel free to add an egg if you want to keep it all together, but without an egg it still worked really, really well.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 large cabbage
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 cups of lentils (if you soak brown lentils, you will get a more “meaty” texture, but canned lentils work, too)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cooked rice or grain of your choice (you can cook in vegetable broth for a little extra flavour)
1 tsp chilli flakes (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
Fresh or dried herbs of your choice
1 zucchini, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutritional yeast or chia seeds (optional)
Your favourite tomato sauce (or make a homemade sauce)
What to do:
- Cook onions and garlic in a pan until soft
- Cook rice, or grain, and lentils according to package instructions
- Meanwhile, cut off the bottom of your cabbage and place into a pot of boiling water, stem down. Cook for about five minutes and peel off the soft outer leaves. Repeat until all useful leaves have been taken off.
- Place the leaves in a strainer and rinse with cold water.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. (NOTE: If you think your mixture, or your sauce, contain too much liquid, try adding some nutritional yeast or chia seeds. These both act as a thickener and are full of good nutrients).
- Get a cooking dish prepared for your cabbage rolls, adding a bit of oil at the bottom to prevent sticking.
- Place a cabbage leaf on your preparation service, concave side up. Fill with about 1/3 cup of your mixture near the stem end of the leaf. Begin folding the end of the leaf over the filling and folding in the sides as you go. Once you have a neat little cabbage package, place it in your pan. Repeat until cabbage and filling is gone.
- Once all of your cabbage rolls are in the dish, cover with sauce (enough to just cover each cabbage roll) and bake on low heat for about an hour.
- To serve, cover with a little extra sauce. These are great on their own or with a side salad.
This is a simple, delicious and healthy dish. You can try adding any vegetables you’d like. I think it’s a recipe you can really play around with.
What are you having for Meatless Monday? Let us know!
-Jessica Harding, associate web editor