Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Now that fall is here, my weekends are getting shorter and I have less time to cook. Maybe it’s the shorter days or it could be my ambitious nature with a tendency to over commit myself. It’s definitely the later. I just want to squeeze all the energy out of a day and be as productive as possible. Every weekend I have an incredibly long, detailed list of projects to complete and events to attend. Last weekend I saw friends every night, went hiking and apple/pumpkin picking on Sunday, finished editing some photos and managed to do all the laundry in our house. Where do I fit in the cooking time?! These cabbage rolls are time consuming but they were manageable when I broke down the steps.

I had to make the rolls in three stages throughout the weekend. On Saturday morning I cooked the cabbage, then made the filling later in the day and finally rolled everything together on Sunday night. It was quite the process! You can use any kind of cabbage with this recipe. I chose purple simply because I love the gorgeous color.

Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Not only is this meal vibrantly colored, it is also packed with nourishment; proving that eating a variety of colors is always a win. Purple cabbage is rich in vitamin C, with just 1 cup containing 80 percent of our recommended daily value. Vegetables and meat are natural allies and they need each other for proper absorption in our bodies.

Beef and pork have significant amounts of iron. And since our world suffers from iron deficiency, we need all the help we can get. A decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption may be the reason we’re lacking in the iron department. Iron and vitamin C work synergistically. Vitamin C increases the intake of iron by capturing it’s most absorbable form. By combining cabbage and meat in this dish, you’re receiving much more iron then if you were to eat a steak on its own.

All the flavors blend beautifully in this dish. Making each individual roll takes some time though. This is not a quick dinner. You’re going to need an open Sunday afternoon and some patience. Turn on some tunes or better yet, grab some friends to help. A couple of Podcasts kept me entertained as I folded each roll.

Vitamins and Minerals: Working Together,

Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Makes 4 servings.

1 head purple cabbage
6 cups water
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 medium onion
2 carrots
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp fresh dill – finely chopped
1 tsp coconut oil

►Remove the core from the center of the cabbage using a paring knife.
►Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a simmer. Put whole cabbage into pot and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. The leaves will begin to soften and loosen away from the head. Carefully pull off the outer leaves and put on a plate near the stove. Cover the pot again for a few minutes and repeat this process until all leaves are removed.
►Brown the beef and pork over medium high heat in a frying pan for 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Remove meat from pan and reserve the fat for sauteing the vegetables.
►Food process the garlic, onion and carrots until finely chopped. Add to the meat pan and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Toss in the meat and squeeze lemon over everything. Stir in the fresh dill, cooking for 2 more minutes.
►Remove filling from burner and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
►Prepare the cabbage while you wait. Cut out the tough stems on each leaf.
►Now to stuff the leaves. Place a spoonful of filling into each cabbage leaf and roll as you would a burrito, closing both ends. You can stick a toothpick through if it does not stay.
►Lightly grease an 8.5″ x 11″ baking dish with coconut oil. Place all cabbage rolls in dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until thoroughly heated.
►Serve drizzled with lemon butter and fresh dill.

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