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Vegan Cabbage Rolls

~*~*~This recipe is gluten free and vegan~*~*~
As are all my recipes

Okay, so I haven't actually eaten a cabbage roll since I was about 8. I didn't like them then and never ate one again until last night. 

A week or so ago I was experimenting with a vegan "meat" sauce, needing to add a bit of protein to my day. So, I thought the meat sauce, which came out great,  might make a good cabbage roll filling and off I went to the drawing board! *literally*

Stuff you will need: to the drawing board!
*Sorry for the crappy pic quality, sometimes the blogbooster app doesn't like me*

Preparing the cabbage
  • First, I decided to use two big cabbage rolls instead of a billion tiny ones. I peeled two off to use as rolls and then two more to shred for the side dish (pictured below).
  • Boil the cabbage in a large pot, I like to use half (low sodium/unsalted) veggie broth and half water.
  • Cover pot, boil for five mins
  • While the cabbage is boiling, finely chop 1 medium red bell pepper, 1 small sweet onion (or a quarter of a huge one which are all I can really find), and a .5 cup sliced mushrooms.
  • Carefully remove cabbage from pot and transfer to strainer where you can run under cold water to keep them from overcooking.

Preparing the filling
  • Set cabbage aside while you saute the chopped veggies. I have a Misto non-aerosol oil sprayer so that I use minimal oil in my cooking, you can either use just a bit of oil to coat the pan, or pam or whatever. 
  • I spray the pan and then add the veggies.
  • Spray the tops of the veggies, then toss to cook evenly.
  • While that is cooking, I take some of the leftover veggie broth, and add it to a medium pot of it's own and once begins to simmer over low heat I add 1 cup of TVP (texturized vegetable protein). I get the dehydrated  stuff from a bulk bin or from Bob's Red Mill.  Once the TVP soaks up the broth, add a bit more, just enough to wet it and keep it from scorching the pot. 
Note: YOU CAN use morningstar/boca crumbles for this, but they are already flavored and are FULL of extra sodium and badness.
  • Add brown rice and veggies once they are tender.
  • From here, you'll just season a bit. Add .tsp basil, .tsp garlic powder, salt (to taste, I think I used a .5 tsp), then mix, adding a bit more broth to keep things mixing smoothly and evenly. 
  • Add a .5 cup marinara (I plan to eventually come up with one of my own but for now I use: Field Day Marinara, which is hands down the best store bought sauce I've ever had.) 
  • Add 1 tbls vegan steak sauce. 
Annie's steak sauce, I didn't use this, It is NOT GLUTEN FREE, but you can if you are only worried about it being vegan.

I was unaware it contained gluten when I ordered it so I ended up using some old A.1 we had, it did not list 'natural flavors' which are most likely meat derived but for some reason some bottles do? Can anyone  recommend a good vegan gluten free steak sauce or recipe for one?

  • Now, if you're able to get your hands on the ever so coveted Daiya, add a .25 cup to your stuffing mixture and mix over low heat. Here you might want to add just a smidge more marinara to keep everything the proper texture. 
NOTE: If you don't have daiya I recommend making a 'ricotta' to spread over top by crumbling firm tofu and cooking in a bit of oil. Add basil, oregano, and garlic salt, maybe a tiny bit of crushed red pepper. (This is the ricotta I use for my vegan lasagna.)

  • Now, after everything is cooked and the cabbage is ready to be stuffed, I just took a serving ladle and divided the mixture in half and put half into one cabbage roll, half into the other. Really I had a bit left over I just ate out of the pot. ;) 
  • I  then rolled them, placing them seam side down in the pan. (I used two spatulas beneath them to transfer from pan to plate, they didn't fall apart! Yay! 
  • Also, ladle the remaining .5 cup of marinara over top the cabbage rolls and use the last .25 cup of the daiya (or tofu ricotta) to sprinkle over top. This is what the rolls looked like when I was done:


...and here is what our feast looked like!: 

If you're interested, I had some zucchini and squash left over and some random bits of cabbage, I chopped and shredded the veggies, oiled my pan and sauted them a bit.I added some garlic salt and basil and would have added crushed red pepper if we weren't out, but black pepper had to do. It came out great and the two went well together!

These turned out so amazing that when I was almost finished eating, I told my boyfriend joey, "Why do I feel stoned?" he was like, "You're full, stop eating." Wow. I did write about this phenom in another blog post about satiety signals. It was so good I felt food drunk and was glad I stopped before I was overstuffed. 

If you try this be sure to post below and let me know how it turned out and any tweaks that you made!

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  1. Mmmm, that sounds like a must try as I love cabbage rolls, but have kicked beef out of my diet. Thanks for posting.

  2. OH MY! You have yellow squash at this time of year! I have been craving it for WEEKS and can't find it anywhere!

    The cabbage rolls sound wonderful! I will have to search for Daiya when I am in Calgary next time. Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. Thanks! Renee, daiya is soooo good. Even without the amazing flavor, the texture 'makes' a lot of dishes imo.

  4. Thank you for the comment on my blog. So true about never binging on the healthy stuff, like broccoli. PS - You have motivated me to make some cabbage rolls this weekend. Bought a beautiful head of cabbage tonight.

  5. This looks really good! I'm not vegan, so my cheese will be regular. And I like mushrooms, so I'll up those too.

  6. Lesliemartina, sounds good! I love mushrooms, I try and up the ante' on all my veggies! More is usually better, more fiber, more filling, good for you. :)



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