Healthy alternatives for traditional Cabbage rolls


I need to admit that having a big box of chocolate bars at home, on the table waiting for kids is not a good idea and I didn’t have the strength to resist the temptation. So let’s hope I can sweat it out today.

In my last post I said I am resting on Sunday,well it’s not entirely true. I was “relaxing” in my kitchen and doing house work the whole day, but I finally had time to find a healthy version of one of my favorites Polish traditional meals.

Let me start from the beginning. Probably most of you are familiar with cabbage rolls. It’s one of the Polish traditional dishes. You may have tried different variations but basically it’s rice&meat(ground beef) rolled into cabbage leafs served with tomato sauce. It’s truly amazing and it’s not the worst choice you can put onto your plate but it can be very high in calories (depending on how you make it and if include meat of course). I think the worst part is that this is a very time consuming meal, takes almost a day with all the preparations to make it. And since I am not living in Poland anymore no one is making them for me;(. I can buy them, but then again, I have almost zero trust in prepared dinners.

So a while ago my mom came up with easy version of this-called ”cheated cabbage rolls”;). Everyone loves them. Taste is the same.

I had a cabbage in my fridge waiting for me until I will get around to it, so finally on Sunday I made them and created a vegan version for myself.

Cheating cabbage rolls (Vegan and Non vegan version)

½ cabbage

¾ cup of rice (I used brown rice)

ground beef or if you are vegan TVP works great here ( I did both)

2 cloves of garlic

½ onion chopped

non vegan version: use flour, breadcrumbs and 1 egg OR Vegan:use flax egg 1:1 to glue TVP roll

2-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Tomato sauce:

vegetable broth

jar of tomato puree

spices: basil, salt&freshly ground pepper, oregano, sweet paprika

You can use Greek yogurt to make it thick.

Step 1. Chop the cabbage and boil until soft, let it cool down completely

Step2. Cook the rice-let it cool down.


Non vegan: Fry ground beef with onion, garlic and spices-let this cool down

Vegan: Prepare TVP with boiled water as usual.


Non vegan: Mix brown rice, cabbage and meat in a big bowl, add flour, egg and breadcrumbs to glue everything together and by hand form into balls/rolls shape. Fry on EVOO at a low heat until ready.

Vegan: Mix TVP with flax egg, cabbage and rice. Form the balls/rolls shape, spread them out on a parchment paper and bake in the oven for around 30 min at 375F

Final Step5. Make a tomato sauce in the pan. Pour vegetable broth and allow it to boil, add tomato pure, spices, mix well and stir it for a few minutes.

I guess depends on you, you can add a Greek yogurt, sour cream or flour to make it thick . Substitute with gluten free flour, soy plain yogurt or vegan sour cream alternatives.

Pour sauce on the rolls. Dig in*.

*This recipe is for 2 people for aprox. 2 dinners so make sure you adjust the portions to your needs.

You can freeze the cabbage rolls as well, but I am sure you will eat them before that. Enjoy and let me know how you like it.


Have a great week









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s