300 calorie meal.
Sounds tantalizing, doesn’t it?
What if I told you that 1 serving of these cabbage rolls weren’t 300 calories, but 260? And I’m not talking about a tiny wee portion either.
Ridiculous, right? Ah, I know!
I’m not one to let calories dictate what I do or do not eat. Getting stuck in that game is something I’m not interested in doing ever again. But, when I listen to my intuition, without counting or calculating, I naturally tend to prepare meals for myself that are around the 350 calorie mark.
Reminding myself that I don’t need to overeat (even if it’s just on vegetables the extra mass is very hard on our bodies) allows me to leave the table feeling satisfied but not stuffed to the brim and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Doing this keeps my digestive system motoring along nicely and doesn’t give me that bloated gut feeling that so many of us struggle with. Small meals more often is the name of the game!
What about you, do you listen to this same intuition when it comes to the size of your meals?
The thing I love about these healthy cabbage rolls is that they’re grain-free. No rice or quinoa, just roasted veggies, ground turkey and sauce. Simple, delicious, and very satisfying!
Kevin and I enjoyed these babies last night and shared a spiced carob cookie for dessert. It was the perfect end to a beautiful day.
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- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 1 zucchini, cubed
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 parsnip, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 large green cabbage
- 1 lb. (453 grams) lean ground turkey
- 3 cups homemade marinara sauce – see note
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Combine all roasted vegetable ingredients on a baking sheet and toss until all veggies are coated in oil. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating veggies halfway through. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, remove the core from the cabbage (images below). To do this, score a square into the bottom of the cabbage to remove as much of the core as possible.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place cabbage in the water and cover with a lid. Continue to boil and cook for 6-7 minutes.Lift the cabbage from the water with tongs or two spoons and allow to drain in a colander. Begin to remove leaves carefully. When you get to the layer of inner leaves that are still a bit crunchy, add back to the water and blanch for an additional 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add turkey to a pan and cook over medium heat, rotating often. Set aside once grounds are about ¾ of the way cooked.
- Change temperature of the oven to 375F and pour 1 cup of marinara on the bottom of a shallow casserole dish.
- Combine 1 cup of marinara with roasted vegetables and turkey. Stir to combine.
- Taking one cabbage leaf at a time, cut out the stem of the leaf (image below) and scoop about ½ cup of the turkey mixture onto the far end of the leaf. Roll up and place (stem side down) in the prepared casserole dish. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Once complete, pour additional 1 cup of marinara on the top of the casserole and bake; uncovered, in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat, allow to sit for 5 minutes and serve.
This may look like an overwhelming recipe, but I assure you, it’s not. Begin by getting your mix of roasted vegetables in the oven. Once that’s done, it’s smooth sailing!
You’ll want to remove the core from the cabbage as I’ve show below. Once that’s done you can set that baby in boiling water and let it sit for awhile. Alternatively, some suggest throwing the cabbage in the freezer overnight then letting it thaw the following day. Had I planned this recipe far in advance I totally would have done that instead. But I didn’t so blanching was my method of choice.
Now, you can skip slightly cooking the meat. I like my cabbage rolls a bit crumbly (I think it’s a texture thing). Also, if you just slightly cook the meat you won’t have to cook the cabbage rolls as long… and I like that! Doesn’t have to be fully cooked, just about 3/4 of the way will do the trick and add good flavor.
Once the cabbage is complete, let it cool down slightly in a colander.
Then remove the leaves and place on a plate.
Combine the veggies, homemade sauce or you could just use any ‘ol store-bought pasta sauce. Be sure to look for a sauce that doesn’t have sugar. There are loads of them surprisingly.
Remove the stem from the cabbage with a little knife, then add the mixture.
Roll that baby up and place in your casserole dish.
Once you’ve made all 12 rolls, cover with sauce and place in the oven.
If you’ve chosen to pre-cook your meat, cook for 40 minutes. If you’ve chosen to add the raw meat to the roasted vegetable mixture the rolls will need about 2 hours. Now, can you see why I precooked? 2 hours is just too long for this lady!
Do you listen to the natural queues and appetite of your body? If not, are you willing to explore the process of taping into the queues your body signals to you?