Trying to eat healthier this new year? We'll help with this great recipe for cabbage rolls filled with lean turkey and quinoa.
Losing weight and eating healthier are probably the most common New Year's resolutions out there, and that’s very admirable.
The first way to fail immediately at these goals, though, is to restrict yourself to bland, boring dishes – thinking that is the only way to stay within the healthy lines.
I’m here to tell you otherwise! These skinny quinoa cabbage rolls are not only filling and about as healthy as you can get, but they also pack a spicy punch that makes the flavors the opposite of boring.
There are a few different pieces to these rolls. For starters, you need a good filling.
For my version I cooked up a small batch of quinoa and then let it cool a bit. If you have any leftover quinoa, you can definitely use that – or you could even use something like rice or any other grain as a substitution.
Stir the cooked (and cooled) quinoa together with the ground turkey, red onion, egg, milk, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and a big pinch of salt. It might sound weird to add milk and an egg to this filling, but it gives the final filling some needed binder.
The second thing you’ll need to prepare is the sauce. I used a basic tomato sauce for mine, starting with Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes, and then adding some dried spices, red wine vinegar, and chicken stock.
Just stir all this stuff together!
Now let’s deal with the cabbage. This might look difficult, but trust me, it’s doable. The key thing to remember is that cabbage leaves are pretty sturdy. Also, if they do rip a bit or fall apart, that’s totally okay. The leaves don’t have to be perfect to work.
You need 12 big leaves for this recipe. To make them flexible, just boil them in simmering, salted water for about three minutes. Then drain them and let them cool so you can work with them.
To make a roll, take one cabbage leaf and spread it out on a clean surface. Add a heaping spoonful to the center of the leaf. You can really stuff these guys!
Then just fold the leaf around the filling. Like I said, it’s okay if the leaf tears a bit. No big deal!
As you finish each roll, place it in a large 9x13" baking dish. Here are all my finished rolls. Depending on the size of your cabbage leaves, you should get 10-12 rolls out of it.
Pour the tomato sauce over the entire thing and bake the dish at 400ºF for 40 minutes. Obviously you need the turkey to be cooked all the way through, so maybe cut into one to make sure. That should be plenty of time though.
When the rolls are done, remove them from the baking dish and pour all the tomato sauce into a medium saucepan. It’ll be a pretty runny sauce at this point.
To quickly thicken the sauce, stir a few tablespoons of cornstarch into a few tablespoons of cold water in a separate, small bowl. Then stir that slurry into the tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and it should thicken quickly.
Serve the cabbage rolls with the thickened sauce over the top and garnish each serving with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.
If you're a fan of cabbage rolls, you have to give this a shot!
Nick thinks that getting skinny can still taste good! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.