A vegan stuffed cabbage that tastes like the original, full beef, delicious, meaty, juicy stuffed cabbage?
That tastes just like the one your grandmother used to make????
No, my friends. I’m here to tell you it’s not.
Allow me to go back in time a little and explain how this magical version of stuffed cabbage came to be.
A long, long, time ago…
In the city of Chicago there lived a “little” girl named Sharon #Chicagogirl. Sharon spent many years perfecting the art of making stuffed cabbage.
The problem was, making the stuffed cabbage was so much work…chopping and rolling and stuffing and toothpicking and saucing and praying (that the whole thing didn’t fall apart into a big stew).
Making stuffed cabbage was so much work that Sharon only made this family favorite once a year, for the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot*.
After much trial and error, Sharon finally came up with a recipe that was so popular her Father-In-Law declared them “The Best Stuffed Cabbage I ever Ate”. High praise indeed.
Then…as things tend to always get more complicated in Sharon’s life, her Dear Daughter, due to health reasons, became a PESCATARIAN! GASP!!!
For those of you that don’t know, being a pescatarian does not mean that you now worship some new deity, it means that you don’t eat beef or chicken.
Now, Sharon was faced with a dilemma. Sharon LOVES her Dear Daughter and knows that Dear Daughter LOVES the stuffed cabbage that she makes…once a year…
What to do? What to DO??!!!
Sharon thought and thought and thought and thought and thought.
It looked like an IMPOSSIBLE situation.
In the meantime…
Sharon went on a week vacation to a remote little town in Door County Wisconsin, with Dear Husband. As they keep Kosher, they had to bring nearly all their food with them. Sharon made a lot of “IMPOSSIBLE Burgers” from the ground packages and took them with along with a small portable electric grill. The burgers were fantastic, and they ate them for almost all their dinners when they weren’t having fresh fish!!! Super simple and delicious.
Then…there was a “lightbulb moment” for our dear heroine.
While walking through the serene and calming woods of Door County, Sharon had an epiphany.
IMPOSSIBLE Stuffed Cabbage!
If the IMPOSSIBLE ground beef was good enough for 9 burgers certainly, it would be even better in Sharon’s amazing stuffed cabbage!!!
Sharon was jumping for joy and scared all the small forest animals until her Dear Husband calmed her down.
Anyway. Back to the present.
I came home and decided to try the IMPOSSIBLE.
Now for the disclaimer:
Before I continue, I’d just like to say that this article is not about the benefits of eating meat vs vegan meat. This article is not about whether eating vegan meat is just as unhealthy as eating beef. This article is not about whether to become a vegan. This article is not meant to be a political statement.
It’s about pareve, meat-free, gluten-free AWESOME stuffed cabbage.
As Dear Daughter is a pescatarian, we’ve tried a lot of the different brands of vegan meat. We’ve also had to take into consideration that the products also had to be gluten free for me, the GFE (Gluten Free Eater). While eating healthier may not be the reason we’re trying the substitutes, we still will try to find the least unhealthy alternatives. Some of the brands are higher in sodium and fat. We were willing to try them to determine if the “extras” were worth the trade off.
Hands down, the best ground beef alternative was IMPOSSIBLE brand. We loved the texture and mouth feel of the product, and the taste was closest to real beef.
So…when it came to deciding on a pescatarian friendly alternative for the beef part of the stuffed cabbage the answer was simple. Putting together the vegan cabbage rolls was exactly like putting together the original. I was a little nervous as to how they would cook through. Normally, the fat and moisture in the original cabbage rolls helps to cook the rice inside. I wasn’t 100% sure that would happen with the IMPOSSIBLE alternative.
When the cabbage rolls were done cooking, I tentatively put one on a plate and cut into it. It looked just like a traditional stuffed cabbage roll!
I cut it into smaller pieces and had the entire family come over and taste it. I held my breath. This was the ultimate test. Would the IMPOSSIBLE Stuffed Cabbage taste as good as my famous beef filled ones?
They were AMAZING!!!
Hands down, the consensus was that you couldn’t even tell that they were vegan.
THEY WERE THAT GOOD!!!
Now, I had made this batch in my Instant Pot, but after years of making traditional stuffed cabbage in the oven I’m supremely confident that they would turn out just as well using that method.
So…without further ado…
- FOR THE CABBAGE
- 1 large head green cabbage, leaves softened and separated
- 2 12-ounce packages IMPOSSIBLE burger
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
- Nonstick baking spray
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves or duck sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a very large casserole dish or two medium casserole dishes with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- FOR THE CABBAGE
- In a large mixing bowl combine the IMPOSSIBLE burger, onion, garlic, and rice until thoroughly blended.
- Place a leaf of cabbage on a cutting board. Place around 1/2 cup filling on the leaf near the core part of the leaf. Tightly fold the cabbage over the filling. Fold the right and left sides of the cabbage leaf overlapping the center. Roll the cabbage and place seam side down in one of the prepared baking sheets.
- Repeat with the remaining filling and leaves.
- FOR THE SAUCE
- In a large bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce over the rolled cabbages.
- Double wrap the casserole dishes with aluminum foil to ensure they don't leak onto the oven. You can also additionally place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Serve hot with lots of sauce and challah.
- This dish can be made in an Electric Pressure Cooker. Make sure to seal the bottoms of the cabbages with a toothpick before placing in the EPC pot. After covering the cabbage rolls with sauce, lock the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook using manual high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the cabbage to release pressure naturally for at least 30 minutes.
- I prepare my cabbages by putting them in the freezer for at least 5 days then defrosting them. The leaves come out perfectly and are ready for rolling. You can also cook the whole cabbage in the pressure cooker, microwave or on the stovetop.
And…in the end…Dear Daughter was thrilled to be able to eat one of her all time favorite holiday dishes!
If you are looking for recipes for Yom Kippur you can find them by clicking on the photo below:
You can find more Sukkot recipes here:
*You can find more information about the Holiday of Sukkot on Aish.com