I am soooo absolutely DELIGHTED to be sharing this amazing recipe! I’ve been working on my substitutions, and to my pure joy, I’ve found the ultimate replacements to create a dish so FIT, it will leave you thanking the heavens above. But seriously, this is, I think, my FAVORITE of all the recipes I’ve made. Get ready to start doing cartwheels;)

I’ve been in the kitchen all weekend coming up with new, excited, healthy food to share with you guys, including some fun Super Bowl party YUMMIES, that won’t have you feeling like a football.

LET’S START WITH MY ULTIMATE BEEF STUFFED CABBAGE

Soooooo, are you familiar with traditional stuffed cabbage recipes? Yes I know, effing delicious. Well, the only thing…..is that, in these recipes, the meat stuffing will usually call for breadcrumbs, and rice.
Yeah, NO. I thought to myself….how could I make this healthier, without sacrificing texture, the binding, and consistency?
Well….
Keep reading;)

Ok so a couple things before we start making a mess in the kitchen….

– make sure when buying that cabbage, that you purchase Japanese cabbage.
– also when buying canned tomatoes (any style, or sauce) make sure that you look at the nutritional facts, a lot of them can be loaded with too much sugar. Look for this ratio: 6-8 carbs/ 2 dietary fiber.
– this is a 3 part assembly, so try to stay organized. Don’t try to do everything at once.
– the meat: the leaner the better, pork tends to be a lot fattier.
– don’t be too lite on the spices, they add a lot of flavor without having to use so much salt.

Alright, you good? Make some room now….. 😉

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

– 1 tbsp of olive oil

– 1 small/med chopped onion

– 1 lrg can crushed tomatoes plus the juice

– 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

– 1/4 cup raisins

– 2 tbsp red wine

– 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp crushed garlic

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DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE

In a med sized saucepan, heat oil @ med heat, and add chopped onions. Cook till soft, about 5-8 min. Add in tomatoes and sauce, vinegar, garlic, salt, peeper, crushed pepper, raisins.
Bring to a boil, add wine.
Reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 mins.

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While that is simmering, you can bring a lrg pot, or Dutch oven of water to a boil.
Core the the bottom part of cabbage, and place in boiling water.
The key is to soften the leaves, so it’s easy to wrap, not to totally cook the cabbage.
Only have in there for approx 4-5 mins. Then remove from water, and pat dry. Set aside.

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I found a great super lean ground beef from whole foods, but really you could use whatever. Your prerogative 🙂 but be aware of the fat content. This can go from super healthy to cow status if you use something really fatty.

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

– 1 lb or package of 85% or leaner ground beef

– 1 lrg beaten egg

– 1/4 cup chopped onion

– 1 tsp crushed garlic

– 1/4 cup almond meal/flour

– 1/4 cup steel cut oats

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 1/2 tsp oregano

– 1/2 tsp thyme

– 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

– 1/4 tsp cumin

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DIRECTIONS FOR FILLING

Did you notice the ingredients!? NO RICE, AND NO BREADCRUMBS!
W are subbing the oats for the rice, and the almond flour for the breadcrumbs! I know, you are VERY welcome;) these substitutions were excellent.

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Alright… In a lrg bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Beat the egg in a separate little dish, and pour in last.

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Here comes the fun part… Time to get dirty.
Get your hands in there people. Well, make sure you’ve washed them first dirty girls:)
Combine really well please.

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THE ASSEMBLY

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a catch oven, cover the bottom with some of you sauce.
Lay out one or two sheets of cabbage. Cut out the hard triangular rib from the base of the leaf. Place about a small palm full of beef mixture onto the leafier side of the cabbage, and begin to roll. Tucking in sides as you work to the other side.

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Aren’t they pretty?
Place stuffed cabbages neatly in the dutch oven, over the sauce. Once you have run out of filling and leaves, pour the rest of your sauce over them, making sure they are all saturated.

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Cover with lid tightly, and place in oven, and cook for ONE HOUR.

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I mean… C’mon! This is a gorgeous dinner. People will freak out. Top with fresh chopped parsley, and fresh shaved pecorino. Pair with a great glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. HEAVEN!

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This recipe easily serves 4 people. Maybe even with a bit of leftovers!
These stuffed babies are packed full of protein, and fiber.

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Don’t bother telling your friends how healthy this dish is, they won’t have a clue, the replacements have created that perfect texture, and consistency that I was looking for.

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Ahhhh, enjoy every bite. The sweetness from the raisins, and the kick from the red pepper, keep your palate wanting more:) and the best part is, that you won’t feel guilty at all if you wanna dive in for seconds!

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Enjoy babes, please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts and questions! I’m here to answer;) Xo, P