Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

By Amari Thomsen, RD

Think beyond coleslaw and sauerkraut and use cabbage in a more creative way!

These stuffed cabbage rolls feature delicious crunchy cabbage coated in a sweet red wine tomato sauce. Use these rolls as a tasty appetizers or a healthy lunch! Not only is this recipe low in calories and fat, it’s also packed full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene and cabbage is a great source of the antioxidant isothiocyanate. And did I mention all the vitamins and minerals packed into these little rolls? Enjoy a hefty dose of vitamin K and vitamin C with each bite!

To save time, you can assemble these rolls ahead of time, store them in the fridge, and bake them right before serving!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Crushed Tomato Sauce
Serves 5 (2 rolls per serving)

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head Savoy cabbage (3-4 lbs), stem removed
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey breast
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, chopped

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Directions

Filling

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine water, rice and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low for 35-40 minutes.
  • Fill a large pot half way with water. Bring water to a boil. Add head of cabbage and let boil for about 5 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet covered with paper towels. As the cabbage leaves soften, carefully remove them using tongs (you don’t want to tear them) and place them on the baking sheet. You need 10 large leaves total.
  • Remove remaining head of cabbage and drain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, combine 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion, and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have given up most of their liquid.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until browned and cooked through. Add garlic, sage, rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Add red wine and cook for another 5 minutes or until all of the wine has evaporated.
  • When rice is done, add meat mixture to rice pan.
  • In skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Thinly slice and chop the remaining cabbage (you’ll need 3 cups). Add it to the skillet along with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage begins to brown. Add cabbage to the rice and meat mixture.

Sauce

  • Preheat oven to 375*F.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in empty skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft.
  • Add wine and crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Let sauce simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

 finished-stuffed-cabage-rolls

Assembly

  • In a 9×13 inch pan, spoon a couple ladles of tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • On a clean work surface, using one cabbage leaf at a time, place 2-3 spoonfuls of the filling on top of the cabbage leave. Tightly roll the mixture up, folding in the sides of the leaves as you go like a burrito.
  • Place cabbage roll seam side down into the baking dish. Continue until all leaves and filling are used.
  • Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the rolls.
  • Bake uncovered at 375*F for 40 minutes basting the rolls every 15 minutes with additional sauce.

 

Amari Thomsen

Amari Thomsen

Registered Dietitian

Amari Thomsen is a Chicago Registered Dietitian and owner nutrition consulting private practice, Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and later completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science. Through Eat Chic Chicago, Amari offers individual nutrition coaching for weight loss and specialty diet management, personalized grocery store tours, group seminars and healthy cooking demonstrations. Amari is also a freelance writer and nutrition blogger for local organizations and brands that support healthy living. She has previous experience working with Whole Foods Market, Naked Juice, KIND, and Lifetime Fitness. Learn more about Amari and Eat Chic Chicago at www.eatchicchicago.com.

Penne Puttanesca

Penne Puttanesca

by Leslie P. Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD, LDN

I’m not Italian, but I aspire to be. This recipe has been tweaked and, I like to think, perfected over the course of a decade. We even searched for a better one in Italy and couldn’t find it. It’s quick, easy and the robust flavor will knock your socks off!

Ingredients

12-16 oz penne pasta

1/2c high-quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp anchovy paste

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 tbsp dried oregano

24-28oz plum or diced tomatoes

1/2c pitted and chopped Kalamata olives

2-3 tbsp capers, drained

1/4c fresh, Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions
Get your pasta water boiling.
Now start your sauce by putting high-quality extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with red pepper flakes. Heat to medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes to infuse your oil. Now add chopped garlic, dried oregano and anchovy paste (it’s not overwhelming, I promise). Mix well to get the paste dissolved and now add your tomatoes, along with Kalamata olives and capers. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
When your pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly. Pour pasta into sauce mixture and parsley. Mix and serve very hot.  Wowsers–so good! I like to serve with grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on top. If you’re not feeling like pasta, it’s fantastic as a sauce over grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Leslie Schilling

Leslie Schilling

Dietitian

Leslie is a Memphis-based dietitian specializing in wellness, disordered eating and sport nutrition. She owns Schilling Nutrition Therapy, LLC, and YourSupperSolution.com. When she’s not counseling, planning super meals, or hanging out with her family, you can find Leslie using her social media channels and speaking platforms to deliver science-based, non-diet lifestyle messages with a dash of humor.

Instagram: http://instagram.com/leslieschilling/

What is Lycopene?

What is Lycopene?

Maybe there’s a reason superheroes wear red capes! Lycopene [pronounced lie-kuh-peen], the naturally occurring compound that gives tomatoes their rich red color, has some pretty super powers. Natural chemical reactions in your body create free radicals, which move around the body setting off chain reactions that can damage cells and promote disease. Lycopene is an antioxidant compound in tomatoes that destroys these free radicals. Like other antioxidants, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

According to the American Cancer Society, lycopene helps prevent damage to our genes. Eating plenty of lycopene-rich foods, like tomato products (canned tomatoes, marinara sauce, salsa, and tomato soup), may lower risk of lung cancer and could protect against aggressive prostate cancer. Studies also show that people who eat plenty of plant foods rich in carotenoid antioxidants like lycopene have a lower risk of heart disease.

While this powerful antioxidant can also be found in foods like pink grapefruit, watermelon and papaya, around 80% of the lycopene in the American diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products. Cooking tomatoes makes lycopene more available to the body, so marinara sauce and tomato soup actually have more lycopene than the same amount of fresh tomatoes (see chart). Eating your tomatoes with a little fat, like a drizzle of olive oil or a slice of avocado, also increases the amount of lycopene your body can absorb.

 

Amount of Lycopene in Common Foods

  Serving Lycopene (milligrams)
Tomato puree 1 cup 54
Tomato sauce 1 cup 46
Tomato juice, canned 1 cup 22
Vegetable juice cocktail 1 cup 18
Tomato soup, canned, condensed 1 cup 16
Stewed tomatoes 1 cup 10
Watermelon* 1 ½ cups 9-13
Canned tomatoes 1 cup 6
Tomato, raw 1 cup chopped 4 ½
Pink grapefruit sections 1 cup (with juice) 3
Papaya 1 cup chunks 2 ½
Ketchup (catsup) 1 Tablespoon 2
Baked beans, canned 1 cup 1
SOURCE: USDA FOOD COMPOSITION DATABASE
*USDA AGRESERACH MAGAZINE, HTTPS://AGRESEARCHMAG.ARS.USDA.GOV/2002/JUN/LYCO

It’s better to get lycopene from food, not supplements. There are other compounds in foods like tomatoes that may help lycopene do its health-protecting work (every hero needs sidekicks!). So try these tips to get more mighty lycopene in your diet:

  • Enjoy red sauce, like marinara or spicy Arrabbiata, on whole grain pasta.
  • Pour salsa on burritos and tacos.
  • Add tomato puree to vegetable soups, stews or chili.
  • Serve tomato soup with a salad or sandwich for a quick, easy meal.
  • Try canned tomatoes in sandwich fillings, casseroles, dips, and curry dishes.
  • Drink a small glass of tomato juice with a savory meal.

Villainous free radicals are at work in your body every day. Call on lycopene’s antioxidant power to help protect your cells!

REFERENCES:
HIGDON J. CAROTENOIDS. OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY LINUS PAULING INSTITUTE MICRONUTIENT INFORMATION CENTER. UPDATED AUGUST 2016. AVAILABLE AT: HTTP://LPI.OREGONSTATE.EDU/MIC/DIETARY-FACTORS/PHYTOCHEMICALS/CAROTENOIDS#FOOD-SOURCES
PEISCH SF, VAN BLARIGAN EL, CHAN JM, STAMPFER MJ, KENFIELD SA. PROSTATE CANCER PROGRESSION AND MORTALITY: A REVIEW OF DIET AND LIFESTYLE FACTORS. WORLD JOURNAL OF UROLOGY. 2017 JUN; 35(6): 867-874. HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PMC/ARTICLES/PMC5472048/
ARNOLD J. WATERMELON PACKS A POWERFUL LYCOPENE PUNCH. AGRESEARCH MAGAZINE. 2002. AVAILABLE AT: HTTPS://AGRESEARCHMAG.ARS.USDA.GOV/2002/JUN/LYCO
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Sharon Palmer

Sharon Palmer

RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™

Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™, is an award-winning food and nutrition expert, journalist, and editor. She is author of The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, 2012) and Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes (The Experiment, 2014). Sharon also is editor of Environmental Nutrition, nutrition editor of Today’s Dietitian, blogger for The Plant-Powered Dietitian, and publisher of her monthly The Plant-Powered Newsletter. Living in the chaparral hills overlooking Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, Sharon enjoys visiting her local farmers market, gardening, and cooking for friends and family.

A Can of Tomatoes gets Dinner on the Table!

A Can of Tomatoes gets Dinner on the Table!

by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

We often hear that “fresh is best,” but did you know that canned options are not only convenient, but also offer similar health benefits as fresh fruits and vegetables? While there are hundreds of varieties of canned foods available, today I’d like to applaud canned tomatoes for their versatility. A simple can of tomatoes can help provide you with all the inspiration you need to get a delicious, healthy meal on the dinner table in minutes. Some of my favorite tomato-rich dishes include soups, stews, casseroles, and pasta dishes.

While canned products often have the reputation of being high in sodium, consumers today are offered a variety of low-sodium options, such as reduced sodium canned tomatoes, marinara sauce, tomato sauce, salsa, and tomato soup. So you don’t have to worry about upping your salt intake when you feature tomato-centric dishes on your menu.

Tomato products are also packed in nutrients, such as fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Research also shows that when tomatoes are heated—as they are in canned and processed tomatoes—the powerful antioxidant lycopene is more bioavailable in the body.

You can stock up on tomato products—canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, tomato paste, salsa, tomato juice, tomato soup—to kickstart your meal because they have a long shelf life. Canned tomatoes are also versatile since they fit well in a variety of delicious, ethnic recipes. If you aren’t already incorporating canned tomatoes into your recipes, it’s time to get started with three of my favorite plant-powered recipes.

Tortilla Soup

Looking for a recipe to kick off your Cinco de Mayo festivities? Give this delicious Tortilla Soup a try, which features a can of diced tomatoes.

Makes 10, 1-cup servings

INGREDIENTS

Tortilla Strips

Three 6-inch (15 cm) corn tortillas
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder

Soup

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup (164 g) frozen corn
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
4 cups (948 ml) water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base
Two 14.5-ounce (411 g) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
One 15-ounce (425 g) can black beans, with liquid (or 1¾ cups cooked, with ½ cup water)
2/3 cup (37 g) plant-based cheese, optional
2/3 cup (60 g) chopped green onions, white and green parts

INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
    2. Slice the tortillas into thin strips. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then sprinkle the chili powder on top. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes, until brown and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn off the oven.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare the soup by heating the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
    4. Add the garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, zucchini, corn, crushed red pepper, and cumin and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
    5. Add the water, broth base, tomatoes, and black beans. Stir well and cover. Simmer over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
    6. Ladle about 1 cup of soup into soup bowls, and garnish with a few tortilla strips, 1 tablespoon of plant-based cheese, and 1 tablespoon green onions. Serve immediately.
    7. Store leftover soup (without garnishes) in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat the soup and garnish with the tortilla strips, cheese, and green onions.Variation:Substitute cooked or canned white beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans for black beans, or use a combination.
Sharon Palmer

Sharon Palmer

RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™

Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™, is an award-winning food and nutrition expert, journalist, and editor. She is author of The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, 2012) andPlant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes (The Experiment, 2014). Over 850 of her articles have been published in national publications, includingPreventionBetter Homes and Gardens and Yoga Journal. Sharon also is editor of Environmental Nutrition, nutrition editor of Today’s Dietitian, blogger for The Plant-Powered Blog, and publisher of her monthly The Plant-Powered Newsletter. Her specific expertise is in plant-based nutrition, including flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets. She serves as the consultant dietitian for the Oldways Vegetarian Network, an editor for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s website eatright.org, and judge for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. Sharon is regularly invited to speak on food and nutrition at a number of events across the country. She is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm for sustainable, delicious, healthy food. Living in the chaparral hills overlooking Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, Sharon enjoys visiting her local farmers market, gardening, and cooking for friends and family.

Mediterranean Beef with Mixed Olives and Feta

Mediterranean Beef with Mixed Olives and Feta

MEDITERRANEAN BEEF WITH MIXED OLIVES AND FETA

A flavorful twist on beef stew with the help of your slow cooker.  Recipe courtesy of Beef – It’s What’s for Dinner.

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 POUNDS BEEF STEW MEAT, CUT INTO 1/2 TO 3/4-INCH PIECES
  2. 2 CANS (14-1/2 TO 15 OUNCES EACH) CHILI-SEASONED DICED TOMATOES, UNDRAINED
  3. 1 CUP ASSORTED OLIVES, PITTED, CUT IN HALF
  4. 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
  5. 1/4 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
  6. COOKED BASMATI RICE
  7. 1/2 CUP CRUMBLED FETA CHEESE

INSTRUCTIONS 

Place beef, tomatoes and olives in 3-1/2 to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or on LOW 8 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.) Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over rice, as desired. Sprinkle with cheese.

  • TOTAL RECIPE TIME: HIGH 5 TO 6 HOURS OR ON LOW 8 TO 9 HOURS
  • MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
 
 


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