Stuffed Cabbages with Tricolored Quinoa and Ground Turkey
With my youngest, Alex the Athlete home for the holidays but still working hard daily on the Winter Training Packet for the Sports Team, and my eldest, Sooky, the Stylist working all kinds of busy days at the Salon, it seems that everyone is particularly eager to enjoy really healthy meals for dinner.
So, now there is Quinoa among the most popular of the newer mainstream healthy foods well liked at my house.
Did you know that 2013 is the Year of the Quinoa, observed by the United Nations? It is true.
It took me a bit of time to get the pronunciation down properly given many words in English tend to be pronounced as they are spelled and Quinoa properly pronounced like “Keen-Wa” just didn’t seem to flow easily, though I think it sounds lovelier.
One of the fun food shopping destinations with Alex and me when she arrives home is Trader Joe’s. We always seem to find some interesting selections as part of our dining preparations and this works well since we value our meals together.
This time before Alex arrived home I made an earlier purchase at Trader Joe’s of their Tricolor Quinoa so one evening we added some chopped and sauteed sweet peppers and onions into the side dish. The flavor of the cooked mixture in the Tricolor Quinoa seemed like it would be a good fit for stuffed peppers or cabbage, last night I decided on the cabbage. Being in the healthy flavors mode I thought the ground turkey would be great instead of using ground beef in the combination.
I used both water and chicken stock for cooking the Tricolored Quinoa and used the rest of the stock as part of the stuffed cabbage cooking liquid. Using tomato sauce in the mixture and, also with the cabbage water and stock worked very well towards creating the stuffed cabbage cooking liquid.
The tomato sauce flavor mellowed into all of the other flavors, and the end result, served with a dollop of sour cream topped off the overall exceptional flavor.
As I write this Post the temperature and chill is gathering, the wind is whipping and producing that sound like old man winter is on his way and my thoughts drift to dreaming of a White Christmas. In addition, dreaming of enjoying something else comforting and warm, like Stuffed Cabbages with Tricolor Quinoa and Ground Turkey served with a big dollop of sour cream.
- 1 medium size head of cabbage, cored
- 1 cup of tricolored quinoa
- 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken stock for cooking the quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus another 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 gold pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, medium size, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce, or more
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- For cooking the stuffed cabbages in the oven:
- 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 cups of the cabbage water
- Into a medium size sauce pan add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken stock then stir in 1 cup tricolored quinoa, bring to a boil, stir, cover pan and reduce heat to a simmer, cook quinoa until done about 10-15 minutes, transfer to a large bowl
- Pour olive oil into a small sauté pan, add in the chopped green and yellow peppers and onion cooking on low heat until softened through, about five minutes
- Stir the peppers and onion mixture into the cooked quinoa
- Cook the ground turkey in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until done, stir into the quinoa and pepper mixture, then stir in four tablespoons of tomato sauce, adding in just a little bit extra if needed for moistening mixture
- Stir in salt and pepper, check seasoning and adjust according to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Drop medium size cabbage into a large pot of boiling water and cook until cabbage is softened and pliable about fifteen minutes, remove whole cabbage from heat while continuing to simmer the water
- Peel off each of the cabbage leaves and drop back into the simmering water and cook until softened, but not overcooked, around five to seven minutes, using tongs or a slotted spoon remove the cooked leaves and transfer to a baking sheet to cool
- Meanwhile, into another large bowl mix together 2 cups of the hot cabbage water with one cup of chicken stock and one and a half cups of tomato sauce, stir well, then pour enough of the sauce mixture to cover a long glass casserole dish around a half inch
- Begin filling the cabbage leaves with the tricolor quinoa and ground turkey mixture rolling up and folding in the top seam, as each stuffed cabbage is rolled, place into the glass dish on top of the sauce, seam side up
- Once the cabbage leaves are stuffed pour the remaining sauce mixture over the cabbages, cover with aluminum foil
- Set the casserole onto a baking dish then bake in a 350 oven for about 90 minutes. Serve cooked stuffed cabbages with a large dollop of sour cream