SPICY QUINOA STUFFED CABBAGE LEAVES
A hearty plant-based dish that is great to share with friends during the winter months.
Benefits: Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Great for gut health, being an excellent form of fiber to maintain regularity and glutamine, which helps to maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining.
Quinoa is ranked high amongst the healthiest foods for good reason. It is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, therefore highly beneficial part of a vegetarian and vegan diet.
Recipe (serves 6):
1 head of cabbage (you may not use the whole thing)
1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 onion diced finely
1 tin of chickpeas
1 cup roasted pumpkin cubes (or another pre-roasted veg aubergine and peppers work well here)
1 dessert spoon harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup veg stock
1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
1 handful raisins (optional)
100 g feta (optional)
1 tin of tomatoes
Veg stock 400 ml
Salt & pepper
First, make the tomato sauce: In a small pan add the garlic, cumin, and paprika with a little oil.
To this add the tomatoes and fill the tin with boiling water to dissolve the stock cube into. Allow to simmer gently for 20 mins.
Separate the cabbage leaves, remove tough stems and blanche them whole, In a large pot of seasoned boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes until slightly softened, but still bright green. Drain and plunge into cold water to stop cooking.
Next prep the Quinoa filling: Fry the onion in a frying pan with a little oil.
After 5 mins. Add chickpeas, and roasted pumpkin cubes.
In a jug, stir the veg stock, harissa and tomato paste, add this to the chickpea mix and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing flavours to infuse. Turn off the heat.
Chop parsley and stir into the quinoa add the chickpea mix, feta and raisins if using, and a drizzle of olive oil to moisten a little, and maybe a little of the tomato sauce to bind.
Take a large oven proof dish and pour a little tomato sauce into the base.
Take a heaped desert spoon of the Quinoa mixture into the base of the cabbage leaf and fold the sides in as you roll up. Place seam side down in the dish and continue to stuff the cabbage leaves, placing them as snuggly as you can together.
Pour over the tomato sauce and a drizzle of oil.
Return to the oven for 30 mins, until cooked through.
Place in the middle shelf of the oven at 180degC for 30 mins, or until bubbling
Optional extra here is to drizzle with some cashew cheese. (For the cashew cheese, take 150 g cashews -soaked for min 2 hrs, with 1 cup of water and juice of half a lemon, blend with a hand mixer until smooth, adding a little more water to reach pouring consistency, warm through in a saucepan)