Sunday, January 13, 2013

Meatless Monday...Quinoa & Tofu Stuffed Cabbage


What's on your plate for Meatless Monday? If you have a bit of prep time, I would definitely recommend this recipe! Best of all, most of the work can be done a day or so ahead...which works great if you are busy at the end of the day!

 Most cultures have their own version of a stuffed cabbage dish. They may differ in meats, spices, or sauces and each have their own unique name, but many have embraced this wonderfully versatile vegetable. The version I grew up eating was plain old “stuffed cabbage” and contained tomato sauce, white rice, ground beef, and Italian spices. Delicious yes, could they be more nutritious? Yes. And that is what I set out to do.

I substituted the white rice for quinoa for extra protein, fiber, and vitamins, but you could use brown or wild rice if you are more comfortable with that. This meatless dish gets a high dose of protein and calcium from the tofu (which I freezed beforehand for a firmer texture). Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs give this a wonderfully rich flavor and a healthy dose of lycopene and other antioxidants!

For those weary of tofu…give this recipe a fair chance! This dish got thumbs up from picky eaters and those new to tofu as well!

You will have part of the head of cabbage left over to use for coleslaw, in soups, or steamed as a side dish!
Before being "stuffed"

Quinoa and Tofu Stuffed Cabbage
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 head of green or savoy cabbage
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced onion
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 28 oz can of low sodium crushed tomatoes (garlic or basil preferred)
1 cup cooked Quinoa
½ package of tofu, coarsely mashed
¼ cup red wine
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp each: dried oregano and dired basil
½ cup of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, take off the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves one at a time, trying to keep them whole. You should be able to get 8-10 depending on the size of the cabbage. Set the remaining cabbage aside.
  3. Place cabbage in boiling water and cook 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and allow to cool completely.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook additional 30 seconds. Add half of the crushed tomatoes, quinoa, tofu, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut the stem off of each cabbage leaf and discard. Place 1/3 cup of tofu filling in each leaf, fold sides in and roll from the stem side. Place stuffed cabbage in a dutch over or frying pan with a lid. Cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle garlic powder and oregano and basil as desired. Place lid on pan and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle cheese over top, cover, and simmer for additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with a fresh garden salad and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving= 2 stuffed cabbage leaves

250 calories, 12 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 8 grams fat (1.6 g saturated), 7 g fiber, 400 mg sodium

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