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Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Gluten free stuffed cabbage with quinoa and sweet potato stuffing
Quinoa stuffed cabbage. How's that for nontraditional?


It was a dark and stormy night... 

Wait. This is a recipe post. Let me start again. Got your cocoa? Are you settled?

Chapter 1.

The tight blue tiled kitchen glowed in the afternoon sun that slatted through the western facing junipers and spilled across the cupboards in a honeyed glaze so dazzling she had to lower her eyes to keep from squinting as she grabbed a frayed dish towel and cracked the oven door an inch. The scent of sweet potatoes, apples and onion laced with garlic, nutmeg and cinnamon filled the room. She tugged her worn wooden spoon from the mustard crock and stirred the tender jewels bathed in apple juice. For the first time in days she felt connected to something tangible.

Chapter 32.

How does a person know this? To peel a cooked cabbage leaf so gently and not tear it. To spoon a spiced and savory filling into its center, wrap and roll it, snugging it into the curve of a empty dish. A row of translucent bundles. Plump. Expectant. Longing for sauce. Which Sophie, Irina or Josefa first boiled a cabbage and thought to stuff a single leaf? What brilliance is this, what simple wisdom born of practicality - or whim? Is memory in the head or in the heart?

Perhaps it lingers in the hands.

Chapter 13 1/2.

When the outside world turns on its axis and flirts with the taste of hate and the ancient flame of violence is paraded as remedy, when the color of your skin or your eyes or your state divides you from your neighbor and you tread in the quicksand of suspicion and anger- let go, Brother. Just breathe, Sister.

Trust the faith you so fervently stoke. If your faith is true and clear will it fail you? Or  the harder, deeper question is, will it blind you?

Listen as a child, aware of the bigness, the intricate complexity that weaves a reality not always aligned to your expectations. Loosen your grip on your assumptions.  Think about the stars and how your very atoms are stuff of the universe.

Beware of darkness. Choose love.

Stuff a cabbage leaf.



Gluten free stuffed cabbage with quinoa and sweet potato stuffing
Stuffed cabbage waiting for sauce.


Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Recipe with Roasted Sweet Potato

Traditional stuffed cabbage recipes often feature rice and crumbled beef,  but I decided to change things up and create a stuffing with caramelized roasted flavors instead. 

Note: I've added sweet sausage to this filling, but you easily keep it vegan. Just omit the sausage and serve with a side of hummus.

Originally posted October 2008.

Ingredients:

1 large cabbage
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
1 red onion, peeled, diced
1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 sausages- these can be sweet Italian, chicken apple, turkey, buffalo, cut into chunks
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup natural apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar
Sprinkle of sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel
A handful of raisins or dried cranberries
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

For the sauce:

1 24-oz jar or can of strained tomatoes- I use Bionature Organic Strained Tomatoes
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Sea salt, to taste

Instructions:

First: Cook your cabbage. You'll need a fresh, large head of green cabbage. Trim the bottom root and cut an X into the center core. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the head of cabbage for about five minutes until soft; remove and drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Make the filling. Throw the vegetables, apple, and sausage into a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the apple juice, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and spices and toss well to coat. Roast in the oven till soft- about 40 to 50 minutes. Stir a few times during roasting to distribute the sauce and seasoning. Meanwhile make your sauce.

Make the sauce. Combine the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and stir. Cook over medium heat until simmering. Cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste test before using in the recipe. If you like a bit of spice, add a dash of hot pepper- but please taste test first.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Lightly oil four serving dishes or one medium-large baking dish.

When the cabbage has cooled enough for you to handle, cut another 1/2 inch or so off the bottom core if you need to and gently peel off the leaves one at a time; set the leaves aside on a plate or board. Trim any large leaves that may have a thick spine. Smaller leaves can be combined- use two to make one roll if you need to.

Close up of quinoa stuffing
Quinoa stuffing with sweet potatoes.


Combine the roasted vegetables and sausage with the cooked quinoa- start with a cup and see how much you need. If you want to stretch the filling, use more quinoa. Add a handful of raisins and stir in.

To stuff:

Lay a cabbage leaf on your work surface and add a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold in the side of the leaf and roll it up; tuck it into the prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining leaves and filling.

Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, till heated through and bubbling.

You can make this stuffed cabbage ahead of time, if you wish; cover and chill. Add an extra 10 minutes or so to the baking time.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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