Don’t you resent the fact that we often have to choose between comfort food and healthy food? I am usually the one torn between something warm, creamy and delicious and a bowl of salad, especially in the winter. Cabbage rolls is one of those nostalgic dishes that many of us love and although it’s not horribly unhealthy it could definitely lose a few … hundred calories. Also, it’s a major pain to roll! However, when I last posted my family’s recipe you guys went crazy. It’s been re-pinned 47K times which makes me very, very happy. So I decided to do something even better and bring you a “lazy” version of this deliciousness. Oh yeah…lazy and SKINNY.
I’ve made the lazy version loads of times in the past but I never tried to skinnify it. I always use two types of meat – beef and pork – and rice to stuff my rolls with. This time I decided to go with ground turkey breast and quinoa. I’ve had a head of red cabbage in my freezer for a month or so…or maybe it was three months. I bought it for a slaw and never used it so I chucked it in the freezer. I can’t stand wasting food so I decided to use frozen red cabbage in this recipe instead. You can definitely use fresh but I would recommend pre-cooking it first or your cabbage will remain crunchy and that’s no good, at least not for the comfort food taste we are going for here.
I really wasn’t sure about the end result as there are A LOT of substitutions here but what I got when I pulled them out of the oven was the uncompromising flavour of cabbage rolls. My verdict is that the truth is in the sauce. The tangy tomato and sour cream sauce is what gives the cabbage rolls their undeniable taste. That and the love. Don’t forget the love.
- 1 cup- quinoa
- 1½ lbs-ground turkey, lean
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp-olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp-butter
- 1 small head of red cabbage, frozen and defrosted
- 1 tbsp-flat leaf parsley, fresh or dried
- 1 tsp-salt
- 800 gr/2 cans- canned chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp.- tomato paste
- 1 container of concentrated chicken stock by Knorr or a bullion cube
- 1 cup-creme fraiche or sour cream, full fat
- 2 bay leaves
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions, drain and cool slightly.
- Chop onion finely, use food processor if you have one and cook in 1 tbsp. olive oil and butter over low heat until soft but not coloured for 7-10 minutes.
- Chop cabbage finely, preferably in a food processor to speed up the process. If you use fresh cabbage cook together with onion in the above step.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C
- In a large bowl combine quinoa, onion, cabbage, turkey and parsley. Add salt and pepper.
- Form patties and brown on both sides in olive oil. The patties should be browned so they hold shape but don't need to be cooked all the way through. The patties are quite fragile so take care when flipping them.
- Work in batches to avoid overcrowding.
- Process chopped tomatoes in a food processor till smooth. In a small saucepan combine tomatoes, concentrated chicken stock and tomato paste.
- Heat while stirring continuously until the chicken stock dissolves into the sauce.
- Take off the heat and stir in creme fraiche.
- Pour over the lazy cabbage rolls, add bay leaves and cook uncovered in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.