Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls -- Grain Free

This evening I was in the mood to have stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner. I seem to be on a cabbage roll (hee hee) these last couple of days. I used a head of napa cabbage in my Wonton-less Soup last night and then used an entire head of savoy cabbage to make my stuffed cabbage rolls this evening.  I revised my regular Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe that I posted last March (2012) for St. Patrick's Day before I went wheat and grain free.  I've embedded that original recipe above if you want to check it out as well as see the photos and different steps.  In order to keep them grain free, rather than adding regular rice, I added cauliflower rice (grated raw cauliflower) in its place.  My old regular recipe also had a little brown sugar for a touch of sweetness...and I replaced that with grated carrots to provide not only a touch of natural sweetness, but a bit of color as well.  I made a few other tweaks to my old recipe and also chose to bake them in the oven rather than cook in a pot on the stove like I usually do.  

They turned out good -- hubby said they were "excellent"...and considering he is not wheat/grain free, that's a pretty good compliment coming from him!  The only thing we added to them while we ate, was a touch of sea salt.  I enjoy having the light tomato infused broth in my bowl when I eat them. One last suggestion is that this is probably not a "weeknight/after work recipe" as it is a bit more time consuming to put together than most you might want to reserve making this on a weekend if you decide to try it out.  I snapped a few photos as well as my new grain free recipe below. Enjoy!

Rolled and ready to be topped with tomatoes and baked... 
Topped with fire roasted tomatoes, dotted with butter and ready for the oven...
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Grain Free


10-12 medium-large cabbage leaves (more or less depending on how large)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika (I used Hungarian sweet paprika)
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
1 pound ground beef (I used 90% lean grass fed)
1-1/2 cups cauliflower rice (grated raw cauliflower)
2 medium carrots, grated, optional
1 large egg
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes or diced fire roasted tomatoes (I used diced fire roasted)
3 tablespoons butter, diced


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Remove the core of the cabbage and immerse it in the pot of boiling water.  After boiling for about 5-10 minutes or so, the leaves will begin to soften and separate from the head; remove the loosened cooked, tender leaves with tongs to a platter and place in a colander in the sink to drain (make sure they are soft and pliable or you won't be able to fold and roll them). When you've cooked and removed enough leaves for your cabbage rolls, set them aside and reserve the remaining cabbage to be chopped and used to place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish (or a casserole big enough to hold one layer of cabbage rolls).

In a medium skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent; add dried spices (paprika, dill weed, optional allspice and cayenne), stirring over low heat 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Remove from heat; stir in the fresh parsley and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, raw cauliflower rice, grated carrots, egg, cooked onion mixture, salt and pepper.  Mix together thoroughly and divide with a knife while in the bowl into the number of cabbage leaves you plan to make (approximately 10-12).  Rough chop the remaining head of cooked cabbage and place in the bottom of the casserole, making a bed to place the cabbage rolls on while they cook.  Begin making the cabbage rolls:  Lay a cabbage leaf on a cutting board or work surface and place a portion of the ground beef filling in the center of the cabbage leaf (either remove the tough vein by cutting a small "v" and discarding the thick white core/vein, or slice a thin layer off of the tough portion so it is flexible enough to roll up).  With the ground meat filling in the center of your trimmed cabbage leaf, begin rolling the cabbage leaf over the beef mixture, tucking and folding in both sides while continuing to roll forward until snugly closed.  Place seam side down in casserole dish on top of chopped cabbage.  Repeat rolling and placing cabbage rolls in single layer in casserole.

Carefully pour chicken stock over the cabbage rolls.  Spoon crushed or diced tomatoes over the cabbage rolls; dot with butter, and cover.  Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until done.



CyberSis said...


I haven't made cabbage rolls in ages. For one thing, I know how much work they are! :-) But so worth it! I'd been wondering how cauliflower rice would work in them. Well, wondering no more ... these look fabulous!

One of my favorite grain-free discoveries is the humble cauliflower. You can make it do so many wonderful things! This sounds a little silly, but I think of it as a sort of mild-mannered Clark Kent, who takes on a whole 'nother personality at the drop of a hat. But with cauliflower, it's *multiple* personalities! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! I do love cabbage rolls, too, and probably would make them more often if they weren't so time consuming. That is why I made sure to put a little "disclaimer" of sorts on my blog that it is probably not a recipe you want to make on a work night during the week...LOL. Hahaha -- love your cauliflower metaphor! But it is spot on -- I am convinced that cauliflower can me morphed into so many different, if we can just get it to morph into chocolate, too! P.S. -- I'll let you know about the Lo han when I get it and try it out! ;-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi GG,
I like to thank you for your very kind words yesterday. I appreciated very much indeed! You are a very warm person!
"stuffed cabbage rolls "(what a transition)
What a coincidence , I have a big fat cabbage sitting in the fridge.
My sous-chef is not happy being in the kitchen that much, so I am thinking of building this dish like a lasagna, that would make it easier for people with bad hands.
I noticed that you use DILL often is that herb used often in Greek Cooking?
I am really curious about adding cauliflower to this dish, which I adore.
Do you find *grass-fed* meat at Costco? If I had a big freezer I would buy it in bulk , there are a lot of suppliers on line.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! Your version of cabbage sounds quite tasty...and much quicker to make as well. Dill is something that my father liked and we ate it in a number of different dishes. He also used to love fresh tomatoes from the garden, diced and tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and dill. I know it is in a number of Greek dishes, includes tzatziki sauce (made with yogurt) as well as a cucumber salad my Dad loved called cacik (cucumber, yogurt, dill and I believe some garlic and olive oil). I think it gives a fresh taste to many foods...but not if it is overdone. Less is more. I buy my grass-fed beef at my local grocery store in 1-lb packages. I did not care for 2 different local farm brands at all but like the Maverick brand (which I think is from Colorado). I don't eat enough beef to buy big quantities of it at one time. As I have mentioned before, beef is not my preferred meat (since childhood). I have found organic beef at Costco, but not grass-fed. Your cabbage fixed lasagna style sounds intriguing! :-)

unter der laterne said...

But you dish looks so much prettier! It is beautiful! My mother prepared it often!
By the way, maybe you misunderstood, I am using your ingredients for this dish, but I am layering them! LOL.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! I did misunderstand -- I thought you might be adding layers of cheese in your "stuffed cabbage lasagna". I didn't realize you were using the same recipe! :-)

LianaW said...

About how many portions does this recipe make. I love the flavors represented here but I have never had stuffed cabbage. I am cooking for just 2 of us. We do love meat, but I don't want to have food for 3 days. Thanks,

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Liana -- It makes 10-12 stuffed cabbage rolls (depending on how much filling you put in each leaf). I would consider 2 rolls a serving (so this recipe would make 5-6 servings. You can cut the recipe in half if you like (just buy a smaller head of cabbage or use the rest of it for something else...soup, etc.). Hope that helps! :-)