Monday, March 11, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (the healthy version)

 

      Mike LOVES cabbage. I had never had cabbage until I met him. (I guess my parents didn't like it??) The first time I had cabbage his mom had fried it. It was delicious. Then, we tried stuffed cabbage that, once again, his mom had made. Again, very good. We don't have it very often, but when I came across this recipe on Skinnytaste I immediately thought it was something that I would do for him. While also, ultimately, keeping it healthy for me. ;)

     The recipe didn't seem that difficult, however, it definitely took some time. In fact, after rereading the recipe, Mike ended up having to make this one. We wouldn't have eaten until 8 o'clock if I did it.

My schedule is awful these days. Mike works nights, I work days,
and I have an hour drive home from work every day. So, on the days Mike
goes into work, I hit up the gym when he heads into work. On the days Mike doesn't
work, I hit up the gym on my way home from school. This leaves little time
for meal preparation. Luckily, I have an awesome man who doesn't mind cooking
and is actually really good at it. Is that how you wanted me to say 
that, babe?

     The casserole turned out really good. I even made the comment to Mike that it was one of the first things that we made that actually looked like the picture!! What an accomplishment!! It tasted good, too. I have to admit it isn't my favorite cabbage recipe (or maybe that's just because someone else didn't make it) but it was definitely good. And it makes a ton!! Plenty of leftovers, for sure. 


Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (the healthy version)
INGREDIENTS:
     1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
     2 tsp. olive oil, divided
     1 large onion, diced
     1 tbsp minced garlic
     1/2 tsp. dried thyme
     1 tsp. paprika
     salt and pepper, to taste
     1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
     1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
     1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
     1/4 cup water
     2 cups brown rice, cooked
     2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large baking pan with nonstick spray. 

     Brown ground beef in a skillet, remove and set aside. In the same pan, add 1tsp olive oil and diced onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Pour in water. Simmer about 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

     Cut cabbage in half and cut out the core. Roughly chop into 1 inch pieces. Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the cabbage. Cook over medium heat until cabbage is wilted and half cooked turning frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When meat mixture has cooked and thickened, stir in brown rice. Add half the meat mixture to the casserole dish, then top with half the cabbage. Then layer again. 

     Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes or until casserole is starting to bubble. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
     

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