Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I spent most of the day yesterday grocery shopping and cooking just so that we could eat black eyed peas and cabbage for good health and wealth!  It was a lovely day.  My friend DK came over and made the black eyed peas and corn bread for us and I made cabbage rolls and salad.  Mmmmm, it was yummy!  And the best part is that I have left overs for a few days.  No cooking today, just a day watching football!

I'll share my recipe with you.  It changes almost every time I make it (depending on what is fresh in the fridge.)

Cabbage Rolls

Carefully unroll the leaves of the cabbage.  Blanch a few leaves at a time in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Take them out and cool.

Saute onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and kale (I had some so I used the leaves from 2 stems-not too much.)  I added chopped cabbage towards the end.  Remove from pan.

Mix ricotta and tofu.  They will become almost indistinguishable.  Thus masking the tofu for those who don't like it, but adding tons of protein!  I also added fresh chopped parsley.  Next, I separated it equally into 2 bowls because I made a vegetarian and a real sausage version.

For the veggie version, I used 2 Italian Tofurky Sausages and cooked them in a saute pan.  I added water to keep it from sticking but also to make a savory gravy. Once cooked, I added it to a bowl of ricotta/tofu and mixed.  Repeat the same process for the 2 links of real Italian sausage.

I cheated a bit (there was already so much work!) and used jar tomato sauce.  In an 8x8 Pyrex-type pan, spread 4-6 spoonfuls of sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Scoop the sausage/ricotta mixture into one leaf of the cabbage, roll it tight, and place it in the pan.  Continue this process until the pan is full.  Spoon more tomato sauce over all of the cabbage rolls and spread evenly.

Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  At that point, you can remove the foil and bake 10-20 minutes more to remove some of the liquid.  I added a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top too!  When the cheese is melted (or browned a bit, if that's what you like), then the dish is done.

We enjoyed a lovely family dinner with our guest, DK.  It was a great way to start the new year.

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