Friday, April 15, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage

Growing up, my Polish grandma always called them "gumpkie" (pronounced like "goo-ump-key") but recent searching has revealed that it's actually called "golabki" but, as I searched Wiki for the correct spelling, looks like it is pronounced how I pronounced it.

Anyway....I used this recipe as a base, and made a few alterations, such as figuring out what temp to bake it at since I didn't see it in the recipe, and I got like 15 rolls out of this recipe and used less meat and need to make more sauce because even using a full can of diced tomatoes, wasn't enough.  So, below is my recipe, and I should have added some more salt/seasonings, but it was definitely a success for a first try.

  • 1 head of green cabbage (or you could use 2 heads just so you make sure you get enough of the larger outer leaves because as I was trying to roll the last 3-4 rolls, I had some smaller leaves)
  • 1.5 pounds of meat mixture (I used 3/4# of ground pork, 1/4# ground veal and 1/2# of spicy sausage mix)
  • 1/2 head of a large cauliflower, either shredded in the food processor or finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I just used a spoonful of the jarred minced garlic which is one of the best creations ever!)
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ground pork rinds (I used this in place of almond flour because while I don't care for pork rinds as a snack like a lot of PB people do, they do make a great substitute for bread crumbs!  I just tossed some in the food processor)
  • 1 TB Italian seasoning (use whatever herbs you have on hand)
  • 1/2 TB garlic powder
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (it was fun to use a jar of tomatoes I canned back in the summer with tomatoes from my garden)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 TB minced garlic
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • Salt & pepper
  • (Again, you may want to add a can of tomato sauce or something, depending on how many rolls you get from this recipe)
The easiest way to separate the cabbage leaves is to cut the stem off and steam the head for about 15 minutes, and while you're doing that, you can get everything else done (like feed the cauliflower through the food processor, btw, I used raw cauliflower, but I've read some recipes that steam it first) and mix the meat and everything....

  • In a frying pan, combine the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning with a tablespoon or so of EVOO and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.  Remove from heat when finished.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, pork rinds (or whatever binding agent you use, such as almond flour), the egg and garlic powder and mix thoroughly.  Add the cauliflower and onion/garlic mix.
  • Separate the cabbage leaves and line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with a few of the outer leaves as this will prevent the rolls from burning on the bottom.
  • Lay a cabbage leaf down flat and place a few tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center (I used my cookie scoop and got 3 scoops in each leaf) and tuck in both sides and start rolling from the seam to the top.  Place seam side down in baking dish.
  • Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls and loosely cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the cabbage leaves are tender and the meat mixture registers around 165-170.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Primal cookies!

    If you know me, you know I have a sweet tooth.  Cookies, chocolate, jelly beans, Costco cake (seriously, those things are like 5 pounds of nothing at all good for you but oh so delicious, except last time I had some, oh it was too sweet) and thankfully, making the switch to PB doesn't mean giving up treats!  Enter the readers of Mark's Daily Apple and their awesome reader-created (free!) cookbooks

    I was very excited to download the coconut cookbook, as I have recently purchased a bag of coconut flour and been wondering just what to do with it, and when we had a pot luck today at the box, these cookies were a big hit.  And while I can't provide a link because it's a PDF file, I'd like to thank whoever this Julie Miller is that submitted this delicious recipe.

    Soft Coconut Flour Pumpkin Cookies

    Dry ingredients:
    • 1/2 C coconut flour (it's a good idea to sift the flour as coconut flour can be kind of lumpy, and, if you have coconut flour and you won't be using it for a little while, store it in the freezer so it doesn't turn rancid)
    • 1/4 t sea salt
    • 1/4 t baking soda
    • 1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
    Wet ingredients:
    • 1/4 C butter or coconut oil, softened (I used 1TB of butter and the rest coconut oil and melted it enough so it wasn't all liquid, but soft, and while I love coconut oil, I hate how as soon as it hit the cold of the eggs, it solidified, so it just means some extra whisking but it's still good)
    • 1/2 C canned pumpkin puree (finally, the case of organic pumpkin I bought on Amazon is finally coming in handy!)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/4 C honey (I was going to use this awesome orange blossom honey I got at the farmers market last year, but that stuff wasn't cheap, so regular old honey it was, I'll save the good stuff for just topping things)
    • 1/2 t vanilla
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper as sometimes the coconut flour products will stick to the pan (and for the record, the cookies came right off with the parchment paper).

    Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl and the wet in a larger bowl.  Remember, if you use coconut oil, chances are you are going to have some solid clumps when everything is mixed together, so break those chunks down.  Then, stir in the dry into the wet and mix.  You want the dough to be wet, but not so wet that it drips all over the place.  When you scoop the cookies out, you shouldn't expect them to move around too much (and if it's too thick, add some more coconut oil, or pumpkin, or a splash of water will work just fine, and if it's too thin, toss some more coconut flour in there). 

    Drop the cookies by spoonfuls onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet.  (I used a cookie scoop, I think it's a tablespoon?) and I got 16 cookies out of it.  If you want more, just make them smaller.  Spread about an inch apart, they won't spread too much when they bake (and I pushed the tops down a little with a spoon to flatten them out a bit).  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  (I baked them for 15 minutes then turned the oven off and let them sit for another 2-3 minutes in the oven).  Remove from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

    The result?  Not overly sweet, SUPER moist between the pumpkin and coconut oil, and when I made them last night and wrapped them after they had cooled, they looked a little wetter this morning (if that makes sense), so you may want to refrigerate them if you are making them the night before something.  But they still tasted great today.

    Will definitely make these again, and this is a recipe that can easily be doubled or even tripled if you're baking for a crowd, and if you're a Grokette like me, you won't feel guilty about indulging in these!

    A Two-fer! Steak and cauliflower

    I must give credit where credit is due, and because I'm too lazy to copy/paste/type out recipes, links you shall receive!

    First, when I switched to the primal lifestyle, I was worried "what will happen to all of the food magazines I subscribe to and all of my cookbooks?!" but the more I transition it into my daily life, I realize that, for the most part, it's very simple!  Granted, the recipe for pretzels I pulled out just because they looked so good fall NOWHERE in my new way of eating, but rules were meant to be broken, right?  ;)  Besides, if I make (and subsequently) eat homemade pretzels even once a year, eh, it's not going to kill me.  And flipping through months of unread magazines the past few days has given me some new ideas, two of which I used to cook a fantastic, and primal-approved, meal.

    First up, Rachael Ray's pinwheel steaks.  I followed the recipe except instead of using jarred peppers (because I'm not going to spend money on a jar of peppers when I only need 1 pepper and I don't like roasted peppers, so I made my own (super simple, btw, just slice a pepper in half and place the cut side down on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil and place under the broiler for about 15 minutes or until the outside is charred, then place the peppers in a bowl and wrap with plastic wrap and let it steam until the skins easily peel off), and I added goat cheese.  Why, you ask?  Umm, because it's goat cheese, duh!!  The steak was fantastic, and while I don't really like arugula, the pesto came out nice except it was super thick, despite adding more EVOO, but still good.  Will definitely make this again.

    Next up is roasted cauliflower with dates and pine nuts.  Yes, I'm that strange girl who doesn't have ketchup in her fridge (eww, HFCS!) but has dates and pine nuts.  Originally I was going to use the cauliflower to make cauliflower pizza again, but saw this recipe and was intrigued.  I could have cut the cauliflower a bit smaller, and maybe brushed it with some EVOO before roasting for extra flavor, but it was good, and while the pine nuts got a little bit more toasty then I would have liked, thankfully they didn't burn (those things are expensive!!) and the dates?  Gave it a wonderful flavor. 

    Very happy with both of these dishes and will definitely make again!