Stuffed cabbage rolls, or golabki as it’s known in Polish cuisine, are one of the ultimate comfort foods. A filling of rice, ground pork and ground beef is rolled up in cabbage leaves and then simmered for hours in tomato soup. The result is out of this world. But enter the real world of 2015. Few of us have the time or the desire to spend hours in the kitchen. If you’ve ever had the privilege of enjoying this stuffed cabbage delicacy, this quick-and-easy one-pot meal will bring you back there. If not, you’re in for a treat!
This recipe makes a superb Zone meal on many levels. It’s grain free, has an abundance of colorful vegetables and berries and is loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Grass-fed beef is recommended to keep the fats in the meal Zone friendly.
Unstuffed Cabbage with Beef and Tomatoes
Yield: 4 3-block meals
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 lb. ground grass-fed beef (90/10 or leaner)
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small to medium head of cabbage, chopped (about 8 cups)
- Onion powder to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 cups blackberries (or raspberries, strawberries or blueberries)
- Optional, desired amount of cooked Zone PastaRx Orzo
- Heat the olive oil in a large cooking pot or stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the ground beef and chopped onion. Sauté 5-7 minutes, lowering the heat a little bit if needed, until the pink color disappears from the meat and the onions are beginning to take on a translucent appearance.
- Add the diced tomatoes, water, chopped cabbage, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Go a bit heavy-handed with the onion and garlic powders and keep it on the lighter side with the salt and pepper.
- Simmer 30-35 minutes with the lid tipped on the pot leaving about an inch open at one edge to keep most of the moisture in.
- Stir occasionally until the cabbage is cooked through but not mushy.
- Divide between 4 pasta-sized bowls or dinner plates.
- Have 3/4 cup berries for dessert with each serving to complete the meal.
Serve 1/2 meal of the cabbage, beef and tomato dish mixed with 1/2 serving (30 grams dry) cooked Zone Orzo or top 1/2 serving Zone Orzo with 1/2 meal of the cabbage mixture. Make it your own by varying the proportions of the orzo and the cabbage mixture. Whichever proportions you prefer, you can keep the berries for dessert and still have a Zone-balanced meal.