Honey Kale and Cabbage Rolls
The kale, dill, carrots, celery, cabbage and shallots were all grown in our spring garden! Yum I love cabbage rolls. This is a good springtime dish because if you drizzle each serving with locally produced honey before serving, the honey helps fight against sneezing and seasonal allergies. And it also makes the whole dish taste fantastically sweet and delicious!
You can make this vegan by eliminating the grass fed beef and cheese.
Make a sweet and sour tomato sauce by sauteeing 1 small chopped onion, 2 small chopped shallots and 3-4 smashed garlic in 1 tblsp butter and 2 tblsp olive oil. Cook until fragrant. Add 1 large can of chopped organic tomatoes, 1 cup of chicken or veggie stock, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp turbinado sugar, (or any sugar you have) Season with celery salt and pepper, and a big sprinkle of fresh or dried dill. Simmer and set aside until you are ready to assemble.
For the filling: Saute 1 small sweet onion in olive oil, add 1 lb. grass fed organic ground beef, salt and pepper, cook till browned and crumbly. Once the beef and onion is cooked, drain off the excess fat and add chopped celery, chopped carrots, chopped shallots, and cook until fragrant. Add 1 can of organic beans, rinsed and drained, I used black beans and pinto beans leftover from tacos the other night.. Season with 2-4 crushed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1 tsp Hungarian paprika, and a bit of dry dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Meanwhile, cook some Jasmine or Basmati rice, and start another pot of water to cook and soften the cabbage leaves.
Remove core from the cabbage and place it in the boiling water, let the outer layers soften for a minute or two and loosen the leaves one at a time with tongs, and reserve to a plate. You want them to cook more in the baking part of this recipe. This step is just to soften them so you can roll. Once cooled, cut away the big center part of the stem of each leaf about halfway up. Soften the kale leaves one at a time in the same pot for a few minutes each and cool on the plate.
In a casserole, add a few tblsp of the tomato sauce to the bottom layer.
Mix the cooked rice with the cooked, seasoned ground beef mixture in a bowl, and roll into the cabbage and kale leaves. I like to place 1 kale leaf on the bottom, add a cabbage leaf over it and roll it all together to have two colors of green on each roll. Place in the casserole , seam side down and continue until the pan is nicely packed together. This packing together assembly also helps the rolls hold together while baking. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Top with grated cheese if desired.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until bubbly and a bit browned. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream and drizzle each serving with honey. YUM!