real food. real life.
Yes. You read that right. Cabbage roll casserole. Lasagna style. And I couldn't get a decent pic of this while it was hot. Sorry. The pictures here don't do it justice. It was much better than it looks. Seriously. Lee loved it and he doesn't put up things that don't look appetizing. I should've taken a pic of the leftovers while they were cold because it held together better and was soooooo good the next day. You'll just have to trust me on this one.
Here's a pic of it seconds before I ate it. All plated up.
Not sold on it yet? I know what you mean. I had my hesitations even at this point, before I tasted it. It looked like it was just going to taste like soggy vegetables. Not at all appetizing and not a good way to get someone to eat their veggies.
I thought for sure this one was a dud. But oh my goodness was I wrong!!! This was amazing. Seriously!! I am not lying - I would not post it unless it tasted good. Lee and I both were pleasantly surprised, and went back for seconds before I packaged the rest up for meals the next day. Which, of course, we had seconds again the next night because there was so much of it and it was so good!
This was by far a great tasting meal, easy to prepare, full of healthy ingredients, and super, super cheap. Like really cheap. Main ingredient in cabbage. Cabbage is always cheap.
It is much easier to make than cabbage rolls. If you've ever attempted this. It takes a while but is somewhat tedious. This is easier, but sorry folks... it took just as long to cook in the oven. It's best made on a day that you're home doing housework and you have a couple hours to let something cook away in the oven. The prep work for it is super easy - I did it with a baby attached to me in the carrier. If I can do that, you can do it!
Reason I made this: I am devoted to using up every last ingredient in my kitchen before going grocery shopping in an attempt to save money (which I must note here is totally working - I picked up 2 things from the grocery store on the weekend. 2 things! That's a record for me) The day I made this casserole my fridge consisted of 2 small green cabbages and 1 bunch of swiss chard. Yes, that is all. No other fruits or veggies. Not even a lemon. I always have lemons. I had no dry pasta in cupboard, my go-to for using up veggies. So, I had to think outside of the box. I still had some canned tomatoes in the cupboard, so here it is - Cabbage Roll Casserole - Lasagna Style. Try it!!
Total Time: sorry about this one...
prep: 15 minutes
cook:90 minutes... yikes, I know that's long.
2 small green cabbages
1 bunch of swiss chard (optional) or use another green/veg if you'd like to - I only used this to use it up!
lean ground meat (optional) I used a small bit of lean ground pork I found in the freezer - our last bit from the massive amount I bought from Costco
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup water or stock
Seasoning: a few shakes of paprika, sea salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, basil, drizzle of honey, 6 cloves garlic - minced, 2 green onion - diced *divide your seasoning if half*
What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) If using meat, brown and chop meat in a pan with a bit of oil.
3) Add one half of the garlic and green onion to the pan. Sauté a few minutes then add 1 can of diced tomatoes. Add half of all other spices. Add 1 cup water or stock, and rice. Stir a bit then simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until rice is cooked. This will be your filling and it is so yummy - combines 2 of my favourite things: rice and tomatoes. Yum.
4) While your filling is cooking, thinly slice your cabbage and any other veggies, like swiss chard. Place your first layer in your lasagna pan - cabbage. Lay it in until you've covered the bottom of the pan. It will look kind of messy but it doesn't matter. Don't worry.
5) When your filling is ready, you are ready to assemble your casserole/lasagna - whatever you want to call it. This is the layering that I chose and it worked well, from bottom to top: cabbage, half of rice mixture, swiss chard, rest of rice mixture, cabbage.
6) For the top, I mixed up the other can of diced tomatoes with the other half of seasoning. Pour it over the top, smooth over, cover and cook for 90 minutes!
7) Be sure to save the leftovers for the next day. It is even better the next day.
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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