Cabbage Rolls

I remember Mom making cabbage rolls when I was little but I would never even try one. As I got older and became a vegetarian, cabbage appealed to me when it came to coleslaw but not much else. I’d still help Mom steam and separate the cabbage but I no longer ate meat and thought cabbage rolls would not be my thing, rice was still inedible to me.  As my first experience with eating and making a cabbage roll, I am pretty proud. The filling is hearty and healthy with kale, rice and ground round. The tomato sauce is Asian inspired, spicy with peppers and ginger and sweetened slightly with hoisin sauce. The whole thing came together to make a satisfying and filling meal. I chose not to steam the cabbage to retain some more nutrients but I had to cut the rib out of part of the leaf to roll them. It’s up to you if you prefer to steam the leaves first but I don’t think it’s necessary. Makes 10-12 cabbage rolls.

Cabbage Rolls

  • 10-12 leaves from a Savoy cabbage

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, low salt
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled trimmed and flattened
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tbs hoisin sauce (if you don’t have any mix 1 tsp of sugar with 1 tbs of soy sauce)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water


  • 4 servings of rice prepare with water and oil
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 1 package of Yves Veggie Ground Round ( I used the Italian flavoured one but the Asian flavoured one would work great)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups of cooked veggies (I used 4 cups of kale as it was on hand, but diced carrots, green/red peppers and/or mushrooms would all work well)
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • salt and pepper


Prepare the rice with 2 cups of water a tablespoon or olive oil and 1 cup of rice.

Start the tomato sauce. In a medium large sauce pan add the whole contents of the canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, ginger, jalapeno and old bay seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to medium.  When onions are cooked through and the tomatoes are breaking down, add hoisin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add water and blend in a blender or with a hand blender until the sauce is smooth. Continue to cook the sauce on the lowest setting while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

When the rice is done dump into a large bowl and add the green onions and garlic, combine well.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan cook onions over medium until browned. Add veggies and old bay seasoning and cook until tender. Add the ground round and heat through. Add ground round mix to cooling rice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 350.

Pour 1/3 of the tomato sauce into a prepared lasagna dish.

Spoon approxiamately 1/2 cup of the rice mixture into each leaf, cup bottom of the leave over the bottom, and fold in right and left sides. Continue to roll up cabbage and place in dish with the seal facing down. Cover with the remaining sauce.


Bake covered in tin foil for about 45 minutes to an hour. The cabbage should be tender but not mush and the sauce should be bubbling. Let rest fro about 5 minutes before serving.


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