Rollin' in Cabbage
Updated: Feb 1, 2019
While I wish I were rolling in the kind of cabbage that means dough (oof, another food reference), as in money, I am not. But that works out for you because I probably wouldn't be writing this post if I were. This recipe is adapted from one found in Vegan Keto by Liz MacDowell. Her version uses walnuts to sub for meat. But since I'd had walnuts as my taco "meat" in a salad just prior, I decided to try it with jackfruit instead. I also punched up the spice profile a bit.
Although I've eaten vegetarian and/or vegan for years, jackfruit was new to me. Turns out it's a vegan staple for recipes that call for meat-like texture. Much like tofu, its own flavor is mild and it soaks up the flavor of your seasonings. It can be used to replace ground meat, pulled pork, shredded chicken. You name it. #vegan #keto
Cabbage rolls have a global presence at tables in the Balkans, Central, Northern, Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as West Asia and Northern China.
Fillings are traditionally beef, lamb, or pork seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. Grains such as rice and barley, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables are often included. Pretty much none of that works for vegan keto except the mushrooms and seasonings.
So to make it keto-friendly, this version uses cauliflower rice instead of grain rice. To keep it vegan, jackfruit stands in for animal flesh and a flax "egg" stands in for the chicken egg. Use organic ingredients whenever possible!
12oz of young green jackfruit, chopped. Get it at Amazon if you can't find it in your local international market.
4 large cabbage leaves. I used the regular green variety.
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb onion, chopped
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or other salt w/minerals)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 - 1 tsp paprika. I LOVE smoked paprika so I went full tsp
3/4 cup riced cauliflower (make your own or just buy it pre-made to save time)
1 Tb Italian seasoning
1 Tb dried parsley
1 tsp sriracha (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 flax egg (3 Tb water mixed w/1 Tb ground flax. Stir, let sit for a few mins to gel up)
1/2 cup low-sugar tomato sauce. I used whatever pasta sauce I had on hand. I also added about 1/4 cup red wine (not diehard keto, I know), some garlic powder and another dash of smoked paprika.
Preheat the oven to 350˚
Prep the Cabbage You'll need to parboil the cabbage to make it pliable for rolling. To do this, remove the core, cut around the thick stems at the base to loosen the leaves; peel off 4 leaves. You may have to carefully unfold the layers to prevent ripping. Place about 1/2" water in a pot large enough to hold the leaves. Bring it to simmer, place the leaves in and cover. Let steam for about 5 mins or until they're pliable. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, you don't want them getting too mushy.
Make the Filling
While the leaves are steaming, make your filling: heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder stir until onions are translucent. Toss in cauliflower rice and chopped jackfruit, parsley, Italian seasoning, flax egg and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and mix in sriracha.
Stuff the Leaves & Bake
By now your leaves should be cool enough to touch, especially if you gave them a cold water rinse. Divide the jackfruit mix into 4 portions. Spread out a leaf on your work surface and cut out the thick vein. You'll want to overlap the two sides of the leaf created by the cut to help keep in the stuffing. Place a portion of the filling in a line down the center of the leaf. Fold in the sides and roll like a burrito.
It may not be a perfect roll but as long as you can get them seam side down in your dish quickly, they should be fine. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls. Bake for 30 mins, or until the sauce bubbles and darkens.
Use this recipe as a guideline. I encourage you to make it your own and play with your favorite spices and flavor profiles.