How did Monday come around so quick? The weekend flew by. Was it the same for you?
Our weather has been a little crazy. Overall, December was fairly warm, then January hit and along came a major cold snap. Yesterday, it warmed up to the forties and rained all day.
Needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside where it’s warm, dry, and cozy. In addition to making me want to snuggle under a blanket, this weather also makes me crave comfort food. Of course, I’m still trying to balance out my diet after an over-indulgent holiday season, so that can be tricky.
These Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls are just what I’ve been craving! They’re healthy, delicious, and perfectly comforting on a cold winter day.
Traditionally, most cabbage rolls are meat filled. Just do a little Google search, and you’ll see what I mean. I love experimenting with flavors, so I decided to give my version a spicy, vegetarian twist.
There are a few steps involved in this recipe, but don’t be intimidated. They’re all really easy.
You’ll start by cooking a batch of quinoa seasoned with Moroccan-inspired spices: cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and turmeric. You will love these flavors! I finished the quinoa by adding chickpeas and raisins.
I know what you’re thinking – raisins are disgusting – but hear me out! I’m not a huge raisin fan either, but the golden raisins in this dish are a wonderfully sweet counterpart to the other spices. They plump up while cooking and are not all that raisiny in the end … I swear! If you are truly raisin adverse though, feel free to replace them with another fruit. Chopped dried apricots would be delicious, too.
Once you’ve made the filling, you’ll wrap it up in blanched cabbage leaves, then cover the stuffed leaves with a quick and easy tomato sauce. After a quick bake, these Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls are ready to eat.
Make these spicy cabbage rolls the next time you’re craving healthy comfort food!
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 large head cabbage
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion to oil and saute until edges begin to brown.
- Stir garlic and spices into onion.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add quinoa, golden raisins, and broth to onion mixture.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover pot.
- Cook until quinoa is tender, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove quinoa from heat and stir in chickpeas and cilantro.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add garlic and spices. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Stir tomato sauce and sugar into garlic mixture.
- Heat to a simmer, then cover pan.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat, stir in parsley, and season to taste with salt. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- While the quinoa and sauce cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Remove core from cabbage and discard.
- Add cabbage to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove cabbage from water, then remove tender outer leaves.
- Set leaves aside and return cabbage to boiling water.
- Cook for a couple minutes, then remove cabbage from water and peel off more leaves.
- Repeat process until you have 12 large cabbage leaves. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Cover bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
- Trim any thick stems from leaves. Do not cut completely through leaf.
- Place a leave on a flat surface with the stem end facing you.
- Top leave with 1/12 of the quinoa mixture.
- Fold stem end over filling, fold in sides, and then roll up leave completely. (Similar to how you'd fold a burrito.)
- Place rolls, seam side down, in baking dish.
- Repeat process with remaining cabbage leaves.
- Pour remaining tomato sauce over cabbage rolls.
- Cover pan with tin foil and bake until hot, about 30 minutes.
- Serve cabbage rolls immediately. Enjoy!
- - If you cannot find a large cabbage, purchase 2 smaller cabbages. Otherwise, you won't be able to get enough large leaves.
- - You'll have some cabbage leftover from the center of the head. Use it in soup, stir fry, fried rice, and any recipe calling for cabbage. Just keep in mind that it's already partially cooked.
What are your favorite comfort foods?