Turnt Up Veggies

My husband never used to eat veggies. It was like a sinner in church when they were brought to the table. Garlic to a vampire. Me with a stove. But lately my hubby has been on the veggie train (*pats myself on the back*) It’s also been rainy with a lot of overwhelming adult stuff being thrown at us. So comfort food was a MUST!

Holishkls, Sarmi, Sarmale, Holubtsi, Hulubky, Sarma, Balandeliai, Golubtsy, Golabki or Kaalikaaryle. Whatever you call it, cabbage rolls are baller and one of our favorite cheap comfort foods!

We ended up using the extra smoked pork from our HUGE smokin’ adventure Sunday. Steamed some rice. And rolled them up in some cabbage leafs, the leafs were like boiled or poached or cooked… something happened to them to make them soft. This is why he writes the recipes. I’m just the delightful and totally lost commentary.

The cabbage leafs were soft and the meat/rice combo was so filling and warm. The sauce has some sour cream in it which is rich and delicious. I love the fact that this comfort food isn’t the typical winter food but it really hits the spot.

We also made “Romaine Lettuce Soup”. Okay. So I know you are looking at this sentence skeptically just like my husband looked at me. I just wanted to try something new from our “Chopped Cookbook”. IT IS AMAZING! It tasted like fresher and better broccoli soup. Logan said it was his favorite part of the meal. He then also confessed that he thought the soup was going to be boring and terrible. He said it sounded like “lettuce water”. It’s so nice to know my husband’s real thoughts about my food choices!

No matter what though, this meal is so comforting and warm. I hope that this is a staple in our house years from now!

From The Chef:

Ingredients for Golubtsi:

2 cups medium grain cooked white rice (from 2 cups uncooked rice – instructions below)
1/2 Medium Cabbage
1 pound ground pork
1 large egg
2 medium carrots, grated (4 for meat mix, 2 for “Podliva” sauce)
2 cups of your favorite mushroom marinara sauce
Olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sour cream
Salt

Cooking Rice and Cabbage

1. Steam two cups rice. 1 to 1 ratio of rice to water (or broth if you’re feeling fancy)

2. Remove outer cabbage leaves (around a dozen) and add to boiling water. Allow them to cook for 5-6 minutes.

Reserve about 3 cups water from the pot.

Stuffing/ Meat Mixture Prep

1. Grate and saute half of your grated carrots in approximately 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter over med/high heat. Once they are soft, add 1 cup of mushroom marinara sauce and saute another minute.

2. Add half of the carrot mixture to rice and meat. Add 1 egg and 1 Tbsp salt and combine.

Cutting & Stuffing Cooked Leaves:

Add between 2-3 tbsp of meat mixture to each leaf and gently roll like a burrito.

The Sauce

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Saute your remaining carrots with salt and pepper.. Add 1 Tbsp sour cream and 1 cup of mushroom marinara sauce. Warm and combine. Remove from heat.

2. Pour the sauce over your cabbage rolls and add reserved water until the rolls are almost covered.

The Oven

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cook the cabbage rolls for approximately twenty minutes or until the sauce begins to simmer. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook the cabbage rolls for approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

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Lettuce Soup:

Cut half a head of romaine into chunks. Cooks 4tbs melted butter & 1/4c of flour along with 1/2 chopped onion, 1tsp of salt and a couple grounds of ground pepper in a large pot over medium heat until the onion is softened, about 6 min. Whisk in 2c of milk and simmer for 10min. Stir in lettuce and cook, turning with tongs, until bright green, about 1min. Blend the soup until smooth, about 1min. Garnish with shredded raw romaine.

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Ta Da! Enjoy!

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