Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black-eyed Peas, Mushroom and Rice-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I grew up watching my mom cook recipes from her battered version of the Better Homes and Garden's Cook Book.  She used this book so much that it had formed a layer of flour on it, as well as several burns from getting too close to the stove.  Several years ago, she gave me my own copy, and I am on my way to using it just as much as Mom did.  My version doesn't have any burns or layers of flour on it, but there are a few stains from drips and spills, and about a hundred post-it notes poking out of it.

I was flipping through it again for inspiration the other day and decided that my next mission is going to be to "Veganize The Plaid Cookbook."  I thought this would be simple because there are so many ways to "veganize" a dish by simply taking out the meat or dairy.  However, this technique is not really going to work for the sections entitled "Eggs & Cheese," "Fish & Shellfish,"  and simply "Meat."  So, we'll just skip those sections and try stuff from everywhere else.

Although, come to think of it, this first recipe I veganized is actually from the "meat" section.  It's called Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and the main stuffing ingredient is ground beef.  Well, that's easy to substitute!

And here's how I did it:

1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz package of baby bell mushrooms, sliced thickly
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 Tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

8-10 medium red cabbage leaves

First, start the rice.  While that's cooking you can work on the other ingredients.

Heat the oil in a medium pan and cook the onions in the oil over medium heat.  When they start to turn soft, add the garlic and cook for one minute more.  Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic.  Add the Italian seasoning, stir and simmer over low heat until the rest of the ingredients are ready.

In another large pan, cook the mushrooms in the olive oil until they get soft and start to exude their juices.  Add the black-eyed peas and rice and stir together with the spices.

In the meantime, boil a pot of water and dip the cabbage leaves into the water about three at a time for two minutes until they just become limp.

To make the rolls, drop a spoonful of the black-eyed pea and mushroom/rice mixture onto the middle of one of the cabbage leaves and carefully roll it like you might with a burrito.  When all the rolls are made and placed into a casserole dish, pour the tomato topping over them and if you choose, sprinkle some Daiya vegan cheese on top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!  Classic Better Homes and Gardens cooking at its best.  Delicious.

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