Stock Photo titled: Polish Cabbage Rolls.  Zawady   Central Poland, USE OF THIS IMAGE WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED Low-Fat Cabbage Rolls


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Serves 4 to 6


Cabbage rolls were always one of my family’s favorites.  Talk about comfort food!  And you don’t have to sacrifice flavor and satisfaction to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol.   I think you will find this low fat version every bit as delectable.


The Cabbage:


1 large head of common cabbage – (the smooth type)



Rinse the cabbage and using a small sharp knife, cut out the core.  Place the cabbage under the faucet and let cold water run down into the hole where the core was.  This will somewhat help to loosen the leaves.  Place the cabbage in a pot large enough to hold it comfortably and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook, covered for about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the size of the cabbage.  Turn off the heat and allow the cabbage to sit in the water just until cool enough to handle. 


Remove from the pot and again hold the stem end under cold running water to help loosen the leaves.  Gently remove the outer leaves until you have about a dozen.  Set the removed leaves aside.  Chop the remainder of the head finely and set aside to use in the stuffing.


The Stuffing:


1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 red, ripe bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon dry mixed herbs – (Italian Seasoning)

1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed

1 teaspoon paprika

A pinch of dry chili flakes – (optional)

About 3 cups cooked long grain rice *

2 egg whites

Fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Defatted beef or chicken stock(or canned commercial) - vegetarians and  vegans use Court Bouillon


Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and gently sauté the onion and garlic until pinkish and translucent.  Add the celery, ripe pepper Italian seasoning, dill weed, paprika, chili flakes about a cup of the chopped cabbage.  Continue to sauté until all the vegetables are tender but not browned.  Add a few spoons of stock or broth if necessary.   


When the vegetables are sufficiently done, remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and the egg whites and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


The Sauce:


The pan juices

Enough additional broth or stock to make 2 cups of liquid total

About 1/2 cup of thinly sliced small mushrooms


To Assemble:


Lay a cabbage leaf on a flat surface in front of you with the stem end pointing toward you.  If the stem is thick and tough, cut it out with a small sharp knife.  Put about two or three  tablespoons of the filling and roll up the leaf, tucking in the ends.  Place the rolls in a baking dish, preferably Pyrex as they are finished.  Sprinkle the tops of the rolls lightly with paprika.  When all rolls are finished, pour enough stock or broth into the baking pan to come about half way up the sides of the rolls.  Cover with foil and bake in a 350°F - (180°C or Gas mark 4) oven for forty-five minutes to an hour.  Remove the foil and bake for another ten minuets or so, just until the top are lightly browned.  Remove the rolls to a serving plate and keep warm.

The Sauce:


The pan juices

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

Enough additional broth or stock to make 2 cups of liquid total

About 1/2 cup of thinly sliced small mushrooms


Put the pan juices and flour into a heavy skillet and whisk together over a medium heat until well blended and bubbling.  Add the broth continue to whisk until smooth and glossy, about five minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring gently, until the mushrooms are cooked to desired degree of doneness.  Pour over the cabbage rolls and garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley.  Serve hot.


* Brown rice is better however, if you are one of those who simply can’t stand it, go ahead, use white rice.  The rice should be slightly undercooked since it is going to be cooked again in the cabbage rolls.


The English Country Kitchen


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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