Sweet and Sour Cabbage 'Rolls'

I used to have a separate nutrition blog where I mostly shared recipes, along side some sports nutrition strategies. It was a pretty successful blog with a following, but over the last 6 years it has been severely neglected. Moving to Vancouver and re-establishing my business sadly took a toll on it. I tried bringing it back a few times, but having separate spaces stopped making sense pretty fast. Funny enough, I got business advice almost 10 years ago from someone who said I really need to have everything under one roof… I didn’t take that advice, until now!

This recipe was originally posted a few years ago on that other website, and I have actually been getting emails asking where it disappeared to, since the other website is no longer online. So, this is the first of many recipes I will be re-posting. That said, I did make a few small modifications this time around and took some new photos!


Both my mom's and dad's family origins are in various areas of Eastern Europe. As a result, cabbage rolls was a common meal for me growing up, either made by my parents or one of my grandmothers. One thing I really wish I had done, was to have my grandmothers share some recipes with me... Sadly, I was very uninterested in cooking until my mid 20's. By then, I was already living abroad so the opportunities to connect with them in the kitchen were very limited (and they both past away at the end of 2015).

My version of cabbage rolls is the lazy version - I had full intention of actually making rolls, but I kept procrastinating and eventually went with the quick and easy method - deconstructed rolls! 

This recipe makes A LOT of food, so expect leftovers, which freeze beautifully for those crazy busy days when you get back home from work/training and the last thing you want to do is cook, but still need good, wholesome home made eats. I have not tried it myself (yet), but I am sure this recipe will work really well in the slow cooker too - if you give it a try, let me know!

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Sweet and Sour Cabbage 'Rolls'

Makes ~6-8 servings   |   Hands on time: ~15 minutes   |   total time: 45-50 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 1 small cabbage, roughly sliced

  • ~450g lean ground beet (grass fed preferred)

  • ~450 ground pork (you can also use either pork or beef, instead of a combination of the two)

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 1.5 tbsp brown or coconut sugar

  • 1 tsp all spice

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)

  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1.5 cups sauerkraut 

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat, add meat and cook until browned. Drain and set aside

  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil and onion in the pot. Cook until translucent, then add the all spice, paprika and sugar. Mix to coat the onion

  3. Add the meat back into the pot, as well as the cabbage, stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and sauerkraut

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste

  5. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, then add the rice

  6. Turn the heat down to low and add the rice. Keep simmering over low heat for another 30-40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked


As mentioned above, this recipe makes A LOT of food… Its even better the next day and will freeze fairly well for a quick meal when you don’t feel like cooking or when you are short on time. Its not the quickest meal to make, but its mostly hands off - Just get the hands on part out of the way, then do other things as the flavors party in the pot. And speaking of pots - I hope you have a large one. You’ll need it!