Cabbage rolls aren't exactly glamorous, but I've been wanting to try them for a long time. So when I found them on my Cookin' Mimi--my Secret Recipe Club blog for the month--I knew I'd found my recipe, though I almost abandoned healthy dinner in lieu of these peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
When I made these, I told my kids: "This might not look pretty, but I think you'll find that it tastes pretty good." I got some moans and groans and one comment, "Usually if it's not pretty, it doesn't taste good." But then (drum roll please), they tasted it (minus the cabbage if I'm being totally truthful). And (more drum rolling) they were like, "Actually, you're right--it tastes really good." Each one of them went through this and it was kind of funny--the unbelief followed by the conversion.
And these were perfectly perfect in every way. They were made for a slow cooker, but I put making dinner off so long that I ended up cooking them on a lower temp in the oven for a few hours and that worked too.
I love that they're a complete meal (except that my kids picked off the cabbage) and it's super simple and only takes five minutes to throw together (though cook time is long).
adapted from Cookin' Mimi
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 2-8 hours
Cost: $6.40 (about $1.10/serving)
cabbage: 1.00, beef: 3.00, rice: .05, onion soup mix: .40, cheese: .25, egg: .10, tomato juice: 1.50, onion: .10
1 head cabbage
1 pound ground beef
1/2 C rice (dry or cooked--both will work)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 C grated Parmesan Cheese (or something sharpish)
1 large egg
48 oz tomato juice
1 large onion, sliced (I totally forgot this until after it was cooked and it was still delicious)
Carefully peel the cabbage leaves off. Cut out the thick ribs. My cabbage was big so when I cut out the thick ribs, I just cut the leaves in half and this made nice-sized cabbage rolls.
Combine the beef, rice, onion soup mix, cheese, egg, pepper and ONE cup of the tomato juice into a bowl and mix it up.
Put a plop of this into each leaf and roll it up.
Place it in a baking dish or crock pot. Then pour the tomato juice over the top. If you don't totally forget the onions, add them too.
Cover and cook on low in a crock pot for 6-8 hours, or put (covered with foil or in a Dutch oven with a lid) in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2- 2 hours (a little closer to the 2 hours for softer rice; I did mine for 1 1/2 and the rice was a wee bit al dente, but still totally good).
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