Growing up, my family made a lot of hearty dishes often inspired by my father’s German roots. Some of those dishes are favourites of mine today, however I am always seeking ways to make these classic recipes a little healthier. One of those is my Dad’s delicious cabbage rolls. I would get so excited when I knew these would be on the dinner plate; there’s something so comforting about this meal to me.
My healthier version deconstructs Dad’s cabbage rolls in favour of a casserole. I opt for ground chicken instead of ground beef for a leaner option and include nutrient-dense U.S.-grown brown rice (http://riceinfo.com); rice from the USA is as close as we Canadians get to it being local. Brown rice is a great source of fibre, it’s a slow-burning carb giving you long lasting energy, and not to mention is naturally gluten-free. It is also rich in B vitamins (energy), magnesium (metabolism booster), and phosphorus (strong bones & teeth).
Often, my hectic schedule doesn’t allow me to spend much time or effort in the kitchen. Creating a one-pot casserole is a time-saver and belly-pleaser. This dish is large enough to feed a family/guests or keep me stocked with leftovers for days.
The simplicity of this dish will amaze you. It’s my winter go-to as it’s rich in vitamin C from the cabbages and it’s hearty enough to stick to your ribs when the temperatures drop.
- 1 lb (450 grams) ground chicken
- 1 cup (250 grams) cooking onion, chopped
- 1 large head of cabbage, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 oz // 794 grams) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (250 grams) U.S. Long Grain Brown Rice
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 grams) salt & pepper, each
- 3.5 cups (794 grams) gluten-free chicken or beef broth
- grated mozzarella cheese (optional), for serving
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a medium saucepan, brown chicken and soften onions. Once cooked, transfer to a large mixing bowl, draining liquid if necessary.
- Add cabbage, garlic, tomatoes, rice, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Transfer to large casserole dish. Pour broth over mixture, do not stir.
- Cover casserole and bake for 1 hour. Remove, stir, remove and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until cabbage is softened and rice is tender.
- Serve while hot, sprinkling with cheese if desired.
For more info, visit www.riceinfo.com or on Twitter/Instagram @USARiceCan.