Friday, July 10, 2015

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Hello out there! Thank you so much for sticking with this blog during my 1 year hiatus (or maybe you just forgot to delete me from your reader - either way, thanks!)

It's been quite a year and I'll skip the details but we moved away from Idaho in August and landed in Michigan! I definitely left a huge piece of my heart there and vow to one day have an 208 area code once again. However, we're close to family now and west Michigan really is a treasure trove of beautiful nature and some amazing produce. We have truly enjoyed settling into life here and I feel fortunate and comfortable calling it home.

My cooking and eating habits have also evolved a bit more over the last year and I'm leaning much more toward vegan. I hope to take the leap soon and become 100% vegan at home with small variations for eating out, but it's a work in progress. I've also been in therapy for my eating habits (as many of you might remember, I'm maintaining an 85-90 lb. weight loss). Most of the time I'm in a healthy place where I don't over analyze each morsel of food that I consume. It's quite freeing to not be in a "constantly dieting" mindset. If you have an eating disorder, whatever it may be, I cannot tell you how beneficial therapy is. I'd also be happy to chat with anyone with questions, feel free to email me!

So I'm sure in the coming months I'll delve more into Michigan, veganism, EDs, our amazing travels out west and more. I recently accepted a part time job as my baby is now in pre-k and my hope was to be part time once she started kindergarten. I'm trying to slow down a bit and be more mindful of what I devote my time to. My blog brings me happiness, a creative outlet, so I decided it was time to resurrect it!

So on to this recipe! For the last 8 months I've subscribed to an organic produce delivery and almost every week there is a head of cabbage in my green box. I love slaw salads, but my husband and daughter do not. I googled cabbage recipes and of course stuffed cabbage was most common. Making stuffed cabbage rolls can be daunting, so I decided to do a deconstructed casserole version. And since I made it the first time, I've made it with a few variations, such as quinoa for the rice (we prefer rice) and quorn or beyond meat crumbles for the tempeh (we prefer tempeh). I also have found a great use for leftover Chinese take-out rice - this casserole! It's very hearty, filling and comforting and can take as little as 15 minutes to make, depending on your ingredients (quick rice, no bake-off). I top mine with a vegan "parm" made with walnuts and nutritional yeast (hence the green looking topping), but we've also had it dolloped with goat cheese or parmigiano reggiano. You can truly customize this with pantry staples and your taste.

**I'd love to be more active in the blogging community. If you'd like to leave your blog in the comments, I'll be sure to add you to my reader and start some conversations**

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Veggie by Season original recipe

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 head of cabbage, about 3 lbs., diced 
1 large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can tomatoes (I prefer whole San Marzano with basil)
2 c. prepared brown rice (or quinoa, I use short grain brown)
1 package of tempeh, crumbled (or faux beef crumbles)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano, Goat Cheese, or omit for vegan

Preheat oven to 400*
Preheat large, deep, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil.
Add cabbage and onion, toss and cook frequently until vegetables begin to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. 
Add garlic and a heavy pinch of salt and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
Add tomatoes (if whole, squish by hand or use a blender to reach desired consistency), rice, tempeh, oregano, fennel, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh ground black pepper. 
Turn heat to low, stir well to distribute, taste and add salt as necessary.
Top with cheese, if desired, and place skillet into the oven. 
Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges crisp and mixture is bubbly.
Serve immediately with additional pepper flakes and cheese. 


Devon said...

Welcome back! Glad to hear you guys are doing well :)

Charlotte said...

Welcome back!

janet @ the taste space said...

Welcome back. I also moved back to Toronto form Houston, so I understand how different it can be. :) I look forward to hearing more about your journey through life. If you have questions about going vegan, let me know but I love your stress-free approach to vegan at home and vegetarian outside.

Ashley B. said...

Glad to see some new posts! And welcome! I hope you enjoy the Mitten as much as I do!