Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I lost 22 lbs between early July and mid October. Then Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas came along. I weighed this morning and I've gained 5-6 lbs back. What does that mean? I will be buying massive amounts of produce, thus having veggie mania, plus logging everything in My Fitness Pal app again! I set a goal a couple lbs less than what I made it to last time. I feel pretty confident I can do it. There's nothing like putting on pants you wore in May-June, that are 2 sizes too big, and they hang off you. That's enough motivation right there!

In other news, I have 9 glorious days left of Christmas break. Main goal: Complete resume (ugh), and start application process. I am dreading this. I'm very excited about our move to Houston... but NOT excited about the process of getting there. In addition to the application process, I've been doing some major house cleaning... like scrubbing cabinets, floorboards, etc. Ahhh, the joys of getting a house ready to sell!

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Wow, that was like a journal entry above. Sorry about that. Let's get to THE RECIPE!! Y'all, this was seriously good. First of all, this was my first experience with a head of cabbage. I've always bought the shredded cabbage if I needed any. It was super easy to use it and then I cut up the leftovers. Also, the recipe called for raisins... I didn't have any so I used dried cranberries instead. Delicious! Don't leave them out. This is kind of like a mini meatloaf wrapped in cabbage! You can also prepare this beforehand, then just drizzle the tomato sauce mixture over the top when ready to bake.



olive oil spray
1 c diced onion
1 medium head green cabbage
1 lb lean ground beef (I use the 96/4%)
1/2 c cooked rice (I used some brown minute rice)
1/4 raisins (I didn't have any, I used dried cranberries)
1 tsp salt
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 c fat-free beef broth
1/2 tsp paprika (I used 1 tsp, we like spice!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" dish with cooking spray. Spray a medium skillet and heat over med-high heat. Add the onion, cook about 5 min, then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose--pull it off and out of the water using tongs. After another minute the next leaf will come loose. Remove and repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, but don't cut more than a third of the way into the leaf.  **This was so much easier than I thought it would be. 

In a large bowl, combine the beef, cooled onion, rice, raisins, and salt - I used my (clean!) hands. With the stem side of the cabbage leaf facing you, place about 1/3 cup of the beef mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over and roll into a little packet. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, broth, and paprika. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Original recipe found here.
After I peeled 8 cabbage leaves off the head of cabbage, there was enough left over to make a side out of it. I immediately took it out of the water, easily chopped it up, let it dry, then just sauteed it with a little light butter & olive oil, plus salt, pepper, and garlic powder. We drizzled some of the tomato sauce from the cabbage rolls over it. Delish!!

I also made some mushroom pizza bites. They are just baby bellas, stems removed. You bake the mushrooms for about 7 min @ 350 degrees. Then pull them out, add a little marinara, part-skim mozz, sliced olives, and turkey pepperoni. Broil on low for a few minutes. Mmmm.

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