Every so often I like to spice up my stack of recipes with something I wouldn't otherwise make. So, I go a-hunting for something to freshen up my routine. This is one of those things. I am forever grateful that I started this blog, as it's encouraged me to try my hand at so many new dishes I would never have even come across, and this is one that (I think) you should get excited about.
Originally I found the recipe in a cookbook which I recently purchased at a car boot sale (recipes hardly get worse with time, so why pay more for new books?!), but have since adapted the recipe to make it suitable for my diet. At only 81 calories per serving, this is by far the least calorific evening meal I've found. Although the portion sizes aren't incredibly large, you can pair this with other foods such as a baked sweet potato to create a larger meal.
This does take a very long time to make - about an hour and a half in total, so make sure to start well in advance of meal time, otherwise you may end up with a very hungry family!
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
8 cabbage leaves
2 medium onions
400g chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove
100g mushrooms (optional, but calories included above)
50g brown rice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil
450ml vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1.) Finely chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms. It's not necessary to do this first, but I find cooking far less stressful when I do this!
2.) Boil a pan of water. Pop the cabbage leaves in and blanche for 3-4 minutes.
3.) Remove the cabbage leaves and put to one side.
4.) Place the extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in a frying pan and heat. Once it is heated add one of the onions, the garlic and the mushrooms.
5.) Whilst they start to brown, pop the kettle on to make up your vegetable stock.
6.) Once the onion, garlic and mushrooms are soft, add the rice. Briefly stir (making sure it doesn't burn) before adding 300ml of the stock.
7.) Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
8.) Whilst this is cooking, heat some oil in another pan.
9.) Put the other onion in the pan once the oil is heated. Stir until the onion is soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, the rest of the stock and the basil.
10.) Leave to simmer for roughly 8 minutes.
11.) Season the rice with salt and pepper to taste.
12.) Place a cabbage leave on a clean flat surface or chopping board. Put 1/8 of the rice mixture in the centre of the leaf.
13.) Fold the leaf up so that you have a small parcel. Do this for all of the leaves.
14.) Place them in an ovenproof dish, such as a pyrex one.
15.) Pour the tomato sauce over them.
16.) Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for an hour.