Lazy (wo)mans cabbage roll casserole

I’m totally with the angel on this one. I’m exhausted. But I don’t have a nice fluffy cloud to nap on. Just 2 more days until Christmas and although tired, I’m pretty pumped about it.

I had leftover ribbon from the blondie jars and a bunch of toilet paper rolls in recycling so I decided to make napkin rings! Our table is going to be quite festive this year!

The tree is up, the candles are in place, the freezer is bursting at the seams with countless desserts and appetizers, menu cards have been printed and pebs keeps giving me this curious look…

Finding the time to eat healthy

With all the hustle bustle around the holidays it can be challenging to eat healthful. Some people have problems with forgetting to eat. This is not my problem. My stomach can only go so long without sustenance, no matter what state my life is in.

For example: when I broke my wrist snowboarding last year the first thing I said when we got into the car to drive to the hospital was “I’m hungry. Think we can stop somewhere?” Of course Kevin thought I was nuts and refused, so instead I snacked on handfuls of cashews, raisins, almonds, and 2 apples while reciting all the nutrient benefits of each food and how it was going to support my healing.

For some of us the holiday season can be highly stressful to the point where finding the time to eat or remembering to eat becomes a pretty big issue. Generally we get home after a long day and end up eating out of an ice-cream bucket or stopping off at NewYork Fries (I’m guilty of this) before heading home. While these activities are fun and completely acceptable once in awhile, relying on these foods daily may not be the best choice. So how do you prepare a quick and easy meal that wont cut into your to-do list but will be healthful and tasty?

  • Leave precooked rice or quinoa in the fridge (will keep for up to 3 days). You’ll be amazed at how many meals you can make with these cooked grains. Chop up some veggies, add dressing and grains and you’ve got yourself a pretty good salad. Or heat up the grains, add some chickpeas, cilantro and braggs (soy sauce) and you have yourself a makeshift stir-fry.
  • Home made frozen meals are the key to success. It’s too late to start now, but next time you know life is going to get really busy, plan ahead by prepping a couple of extra meals on the weekend and freezing in glass or disposable aluminum tins (do not heat up in the aluminum)
  • Some great places to pick up food on the go is The Coup or Main Dish
  • Be creative. I’m a firm believer of the 5 ingredient dinner. It takes time to master but the more you practice the faster and more creative you’ll become. Give yourself 5 minutes to pull together 5 ingredients. A trick of thumb is to chose 1 protein, 1 grain (precooked or not), if the grain isn’t cooked, chose a liquid (a good one is water & chicken stock cube), and 2-3 veggies. Throw it in a pot with a punch of spices and see what happens.
  • Last but not least you could always make a lazy (wo)mans cabbage roll casserole! Has a slight ring to it, don’t you think?

Lazy (wo)mans cabbage roll casserole

Kick the rice cooking, cabbage blanching, sauce making, and meat cooking to the curb with these extremely quick and easy way to prepare cabbage “rolls”. Throw it in the oven and forget about it!

Ingredients

  • 1 head purple cabbage, chopped
  • 1 lb raw ground meat (I used grass-fed lean bison but beef, elk, or yak would work well)
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • 1.5 – 25oz jars of pasta sauce (I used Eden Organics)
  • 1/2 package of Daiya mozzarella cheese – soy and dairy free! (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Lay cabbage on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. In a large bowl combine ground meat, quinoa, zucchini, onion, garlic, oregano, and salt with your hands or a large spoon.
  4. Layer meat mixture on top of cabbage.
  5. Pour sauce over top before covering it with a layer of cheese.
  6. Cover and cook for 1.5-2 hours (meanwhile start wrapping those presents, cleaning the house, taking a nap, chasing the kids…)

You can remove the lid for the last 20minutes of cooking if you want your cheese to be a bit crispy. I did and it turned out really well.

Makes 10 servings

…now on to brave the mall. Wish me luck!

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