Do you ever crave lasagna but don’t want to eat all of the extra carbs? Well then this Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is the perfect solution for you.
Leafy green cabbage replaces wheat pasta for a light and satisfying meal that’s flavorful enough to make you forget all about the carbohydrates.
Although, I should probably clarify that it’s not entirely free of carbohydrates so that the Carb Police don’t come after me. The lentils and brown rice have a decent amount, but they’re the good kind, known as complex carbohydrates, which have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, improve digestion, and boost metabolism. Do not fear the complex carb!
But let’s move on from the carbs and talk about the real star of this casserole: green cabbage. Along with kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts, cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables which contain phytochemicals that are linked to lowering the risk of cancer. It also happens to be very affordable and is currently in season, making it a perfect option to serve at the dinner table right now.
To use it in this casserole, we start by blanching it in boiling water for about 5 minutes. From there, we assemble the sauce, which is loaded with vegetables like diced tomatoes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, brown rice and lentils. Then we layer the cabbage in a casserole dish with the sauce in between, top it with just enough cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.
Outside of chopping the vegetables, it’s fairly easy to make and depending on how many mouths you have to feed, there should be enough leftover for the next day or even the next month, as it also freezes well.
It’s a great source of vegetarian protein, packing in 20 grams per serving, and a little fresh parsley is the perfect simple, yet elegant way to finish it off.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you would like to freeze the leftovers, allow it to cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in the oven at 350º for 20-30 minutes before serving. *3/4 cup dry lentils yields approximately 2 cups cooked **1/2 cup dry rice yields approximately 1 cup cooked. I like to use Trader Joe's frozen brown rice in this recipe to save time.
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