Labour of Love!

My daughter’s boyfriend was having a birthday and his favourite food is cabbage rolls. Mine too…..but I HATE making them!

“Can you ‘help me’ make cabbage rolls?” she asked. “Of course…” I replied, knowing it is one of my least favourite things to make! In fact, I usually make a cabbage roll casserole so I don’t have to spend all the time and frustration rolling these things!!

One of the most challenging parts for me is getting the cabbage leaves prepped for stuffing. In the past, it meant putting the whole head into a pot of boiling water and taking leaves off one at a time as they softened. It was messy and I burned myself ALL the time!

This time, I decided to try putting the whole head in my Quick Cooker….the Pampered Chef version of an Instant Pot. So I did the first head for about 5 minutes, but the second I only did for 2. I found the 2 minutes worked best.

So, I cored the cabbage and then put the whole head in with the open end at the bottom.

I peeled the softened layers and cut the remaining core from the centre to make rolling easier. I put the core pieces that I cut out in the bottom of the slow cooker, along with some of the leaves that were too small to stuff.

While the cabbage was in the Quick Cooker, I made the filling.

I used a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, egg, raw rice, onion, garlic, and seasonings…..and mixed it all up with my Mix and Chop from PC. I removed some of the seasoned meat mixture before adding the rice, and made a special filling for me using riced cauliflower instead of rice to reduce the carbs. I added fresh thyme and oregano from our garden!

Then the stuffing and rolling began….

I layered the rolls in my slow cooker and smothered them in sauce.

The final result turned out not too bad, and I didn’t even miss the rice in mine!

I made a cabbage roll soup with the remaining cabbage that wasn’t used in the rolls!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 278 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 12 leaves cabbage softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • .5 lb ground beef
  • .5 lb ground pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped fine
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped fine

For the sauce:

  • 1 jar tomato or spaghetti sauce (no meat)
  • 1 can tomato soup condensed
  • added seasonings if using tomato sauce

Instructions
 

  • Soften cabbage leaves in boiling water or use a pressure cooker @ 2 minutes high pressure
  • Combine filling ingredients in large mixing bowl. I substituted riced cauliflower for the white rice in some of the rolls and cooked them seperately.
  • Once leaves are softened and filling combined, stuff rolls individually, cutting out the stem part of the leaves to make rolling easier
  • I found placing the filling in the upper part of the leaves worked best. I used my large Pampered Chef cookie dough/meatball scoop for uniformity. Then I folded the sides of the leaves over the filling and rolled.
  • Place smaller leaves and stem pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker to keep from burning or sticking.
  • Layer rolls on top and cover with sauce.
  • I cooked on high for 4-5 hours. But keep checking. You want them soft and well-done, but not dissolved.
  • Enjoy!! They are even better made a day ahead!

Nutrition

Serving: 2rollsCalories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 838mgPotassium: 913mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 749IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This is the Pinterest recipe that I based mine on https://sugarapron.com/2016/02/12/crock-pot-stuffed-cabbage-rolls/. As per usual, I modified mine, eliminating the sugar, adding additional seasoning, and probably quadrupled the original recipe!

Let me know if you try it!

I spent my afternoon……..vermicasting!!!

As the title of this blog states….I am in “Relentless Pursuit” of many things. One of the main ones is becoming less dependent on an increasingly polluted and manipulated food industry.

Oh, I am no where near where I want to be….but overall, I have made significant strides in this area, along with many other areas of my life in trying to live more chemical free and dealing things back to a more natural life-style.

Today I spent my afternoon out in the sun, sorting through my worm bin.

I have had these worms for a couple of years now, and honestly, it’s a miracle they’re still alive. But they are….and I feel that anything that has survived this long, overcoming the neglect and confusion that these worms have, well….they deserve a renewed commitment on my part.

Worm castings are an organic matter that is highly beneficial to our nutrient depleted soils. These worms are kept alive by feeding them our kitchen scraps….the more rotten, the better they like it. We keeping the peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, just about any organic scrap that isn’t dairy or meat. They turn it into the most amazing, nutrient-dense, organic food/fertilizer for the vegetation we are growing in our raised beds and many bins.

For bedding, I tear up LCBO brown paper bags, the cardboard trays from coffee shops, shredded envelopes, junk mail, newspapers and flyers…. You can also use dried leaves, twigs, straw, hay, mulch…..almost anything that hasn’t been poisoned by chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides etc.

So, in short…..they take our organic garbage and turn it into rich soil that, in turn, replaces not only nutrients in the soil, but microorganisms and necessary bacteria, microbiomes etc. which are so important in growing food and supporting our own healthy immune systems.

We spend SO much effort and money avoiding germs….we have antibacterial this, and antibacterial that….we are killing the good bacteria that are essential in equipping our own immunity to fight the onslaught of harmful bacteria and aid in producing the antibodies necessary to a healthy and strong immune system. According to many, including Dr. Stuart Levy, “Just as a child needs lot of exercise to develop strongbones and muscles, a child’s immune system needs a rigorousworkout to develop normal resistance to infections throughoutlife,” But no, we are bathing them in hand sanitizer and setting them up for future vulnerability.

But I digress…

We are concerned about waste, concerned about food shortages and food quality (or should be)……this is ONE SMALL WAY I am pursuing relentlessly, and healthier, more natural, synergistic lifestyle.

This is the bin of castings I harvested today…..

This is what my bin looked like afterward.

I credit my daughter, Stephanie, who inspired me to begin this process. She LOVES to garden, I really don’t…….but I’m getting there. This is an experiment on my part…..a learning experience, another step in my Relentless Pursuit and exploring my inner hippy!!! 🙂

Here is a link to just one article on Vermicasting…. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/vermicomposting/worm-castings.htm

Let me know what you think.