Fall is quickly coming to a close but there are still vegetables that are at their peak during this season worth learning about!
Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that is loaded with great health benefits that you will want to add to your regular diet. This round shaped vegetable with layers of leaves is related to kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. It is a hearty veggie that’s easy to add to your regular routine because it’s inexpensive, easy to find, and versatile. Although you can find it in your produce section year round, it is best during the late fall and winter months.
This mild flavored vegetable is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and is packed with valuable antioxidants. One of the greatest advantages of adding cabbage to your diet, red or green, is its outstanding cancer preventing qualities. According to whfoods.org, the uniqueness of cabbage in the area of cancer prevention is due to three types of nutrient richness—antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and glucosinaolates.
Cabbage also offers digestive tract support, helping to keep bacteria levels in the stomach in balance and protecting you from unwanted stomach issues. It also provides cardiovascular support in the from of cholesterol reduction.
While green cabbage is the most common form of this cruciferous vegetable, studies have shown that red cabbage has added nutritional benefits. The red color of cabbage indicates higher levels of protective phytonutrients.
Cabbage is readily available at your local grocery store and can be served raw, steamed, baked, or sautéed. Grab some cabbage this week and boost your protection against disease by tossing it into a salad, adding it into a soup, or steaming it for a side dish.
Check out the recipe below with sweet potatoes—perfect for the season!
Stuffed Cabbage Recipe with Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Stuffing
- Cook fresh, large head of cabbage. Trim the bottom root and cut an X into the center core. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the head of cabbage for about five minutes until soft; remove and drain well.
- Make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. For the filling you'll need:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
- 1 red onion, peeled, diced
- 1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 sausages- these can be sweet Italian, chicken apple, turkey, buffalo, cut into chunks (Sausage optional. Serve with Hummus on the side as an alternative)
- Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- 1 cup natural apple juice or cider
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- Sprinkle of sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel
- To add in later:
- A handful of raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
Throw the vegetables, apple, and sausage into a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the apple juice, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and spices and toss well to coat. Roast in the oven till soft- about 40 to 50 minutes. Stir a few times during roasting to distribute the sauce and seasoning.
- Meanwhile make your sauce. To make your sauce you'll need:
- 1 24-oz jar or can of strained tomatoes- I use Bionature Organic Strained Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Sea salt, to taste
Combine the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and stir. Cook over medium heat until simmering. Cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste test before using in the recipe. If you like a bit of spice, add a dash of hot pepper- but please taste test first.
- To assemble:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil four serving dishes or one medium-large baking dish. When the cabbage has cooled enough for you to handle, cut another 1/2 inch or so off the bottom core if you need to and gently peel off the leaves one at a time; set the leaves aside on a plate or board. Trim any large leaves that may have a thick spine. Smaller leaves can be combined- use two to make one roll if you need to.
Combine the roasted vegetables and sausage with the cooked quinoa- start with a cup and see how much you need. If you want to stretch the filling, use more quinoa. Add a handful of raisins and stir in.
- To stuff:
- Lay a cabbage leaf on your work surface and add a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold in the side of the leaf and roll it up; tuck it into the prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining leaves and filling.
- Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, till heated through and bubbling.
- You can make this stuffed cabbage ahead of time, if you wish; cover and chill. Add an extra 10 minutes or so to the baking time.
- Makes 4 to 6 servings.