Weekday Vegetarian: Vegan Cabbage Rolls
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
My husband has a standing lunch each Friday, and when he goes out I make myself something that I know he's not so crazy about. This week it was cabbage rolls.
But rather than stuffing them with ground beef as is traditional, I stuffed them with the leftover lentils and rice that I had from my mujadarra yesterday. I had exactly enough for two cabbage rolls, which was perfect.They worked out really well. They were filling and satisfying without the heaviness that you usually feel after eating regular cabbage rolls. I just made a quick tomato sauce to pour over them before I slipped them in the oven and then just cooked them until the cabbage was done and the insides were heated through.
I added some capers to add a bit of piquancy to the sauce. It occurred to me after I made them, that some golden raisins would have nice mixed in with the lentils and rice. If you have pre-cooked rice and lentils, it makes a pretty quick med-week dinner.
If you want to serve more than one person, just double or triple the recipe. I baked mine, but if you want to, you can always steam them and then pour the sauce over them when they are cooked. They would take about 20 or 25 minutes to steam.
Vegan Cabbage Rolls
2 large cabbage leaves
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3/4 cup canned tomatoes, chopped, with a bit of their liquid
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the oven to 350F. Heat a pot of water until just boiling. Slip a cabbage leaf into the water and cook until it has softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the second leaf. Set aside.
2. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the stock and capers and cook for another five minutes or so.
3. Lay a cabbage leaf out on your work space. Mix lentils and rice together, adding a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Spoon half of the mixture onto the thick bottom of the cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf over once, then fold the two sides in, and finish rolling. Don't make it too tight or the cabbage might split. Repeat with the second leaf.
You can put them in a small casserole dish, rolled side down and then pour the sauce over them, covering the cabbage so it doesn't dry out. Place in the oven and bake until the cabbage is cooked and the rolls are heated through, about 30 minutes.