Monday, January 28, 2013

My Take on Cabbage Rolls

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Hi everyone!  I'm here to share my latest freezer cooking batch.  I took a trip down to BJs with the family and decided to make some Asian Marinated steak, Cabbage rolls, and I also bought some marinated pork loin to freeze down.  I got kinda busy afterwards so I didn't make all these meals until a few days later; I just got home from work one day and spent about 2hours getting these meals together.  It was 7 meals all told (plus I had leftover meat mixture so I got another 2 cabbage roll meals the next day after buying more cabbage), so for less than 2 hours of work I was pretty happy with that!

 I got this cabbage roll recipe from one of my coworkers mother who makes them.  I found lots of recipes floating around out there but wanted to try something that was "tried and true"- and her recipe did not disappoint! I made a few little changes here and there so it's not exact and I'm sure hers taste better but I was definitely pleased with them.

Here's the modified recipe (mostly from memory so use your imagination), for appx 40 cabbage rolls (5 meals or so)

5 heads of cabbage
5lbs of meatloaf mix
3C of cauliflower rice (the original recipe called for real rice, but since we're doing atkins I substituted cauliflower rice instead)
3 sauteed onions (or onion powder)
Various spices (see below)
6 eggs
Jar of Spaghetti Sauce (appx 3C)
Half and Half (appx 1/3C)
3 Boullion cubes
3 cans of Campbells Mushroom Soup

First things first- I got all my labels printed and packaging ready.  I figured I'd make enough for 4 cabbage roll meals and 4 asian steak meals, just in case I had extra.  As I mentioned above I had extra meat but ran out of cabbage so I bought some more cabbage the next day and made two more meals (one we had for dinner that night and the other one I froze).  I put the cabbage rolls in 8x8 GLAD Ovensafe Bakeware (LOVE this stuff, totally reusable and can go straight from the freezer to the oven so long as you put it on a baking sheet).  I put the asian steaks in ziploc bags.

First up I bought 3 heads of cabbage that all needed to be cored and then boiled for a couple minutes each.

Once they were boiled I could peel off the leaves and lay out to cool on some paper towels.

While I was boiling cabbage I got to making some cauliflower rice.  I actually bought 4 HEADS of cauliflower and made a HUGE amount of cauliflower rice.  I only used about one heads worth of this in this recipe, but I wanted to save/freeze the rest for another day since I liked it so much the first time we had it.  It'll be good with stir fry I think!

Once the cabbage was cooling and the rice was all ready I started adding spices to the meat.  Since I forgot to buy onions (duhhhhh oops) I had to improvise.  I added onion powder, garlic, chili flakes, paprika, salt, dried parsley, thyme, and pepper.  I also added 6 eggs and the cauliflower rice and started mixing. (I need a bigger bowl, by the time I added the cauliflower rice in there I was spilling all over the place lol).

So then it was time to roll the cabbage.  Just take a leaf and slice out the middle core.

Add a few tablespoons of your meat mixture to the center then roll, tuck in the sides and finish rolling.

On the bottom of your pan add a couple leaves of cabbage (PS no I'm not sponsored by GLAD haha)

Here are all the rolls in the dish, I was able to fit 8 per pan.  If I make these again I might fill up a 9x13inch pan instead of the smaller ones, this is about enough for 1 meal for 2 people (my hubby eats a lot ha); so next time might make sense to freeze down less meals but bigger portions.

Last was the sauce.  The original recipe called for Golden Cream of Mushroom Soup, but I couldnt find that at BJs so I just figured the only difference between that and regular cream of mushroom was probably chicken stock?  I have no idea, this is just what I guessed.  Do you know the difference?  Enlighten me!  Anyways, I added some boullion cubes to a few cans of cream of mushroom and dissolved them.  Next I added some tomato sauce and some half and half to make a sauce which I layered on top of my cabbage rolls.

So that was it!  Not too difficult really, a little more assembly than most meals but nice because I didn't have to cook/ sautee anything.  Cooking instructions on the picture above :)

Next up was the Asian Marinated Steaks which were super easy.  The recipe is in THIS cookbook.  Basically it was soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and siracha.  I just mixed it all in a measuring cup.  Then I added two steaks per ziploc bag and divided up the marinade among the four bags.

And that was it!  Here are all my meals ready to go in the freezer (minus the extra cabbage rolls I made the next day of course).  So now I probably won't make another freezer meal batch for another month or so because we're pretty well stocked up right now.  The nice thing about this is that I have such a good variety or meals in the freezer that I won't need to buy dinners for the next month- just breakfast and lunch food so it saves lots of money!  I hope that gives you an idea of how I fit everything into my schedule and how easy bulk cooking can be.  Stay tuned for a giveaway in the next few days :)

These are the storage containers that I recommend for making these recipes. The OvenWare trays and Ball Freezer Jars are all reusable and the bags are heavy duty and freezer proof.

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