Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lazy Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls

With time going as fast as the speed of light in these modern days it seems we have less time to spend in the kitchen so we have to find ways to still feed ourselves well whether it's getting take-out meals or cooking something up fast at home.

I attend a lot of events and most of the time the food is heavy on the fat, salt, sugar and light on the old home comfort food.  I have been craving old school comfort food more and more lately.  Maybe it's my age and the fact that I am surrounded by Asian Food in my neighbourhood so I just want a little retro food every now and then.

When I was living with my brother he found some recipe for deconstructed cabbage rolls.  My brother is very lazy and he made the recipe and kind of butchered it but it still tasted pretty good.  I wouldn't say that all of the things he made came out that well.  So it stuck with me as a great way to have Cabbage Rolls without all the boiling and rolling.  I call it Lazy Cabbage Rolls because when I told a coworker who is Eastern European she said they call it Lazy Cabbage Rolls.

I don't have the recipe and I decided to wing it my way this week and it turned out amazing so I decided to share it with you.

It's basically a One Pot meal.  If you have a Dutch Oven (Le Creuset) or similar that is ideal but I am sure you can find a casserole dish and make some adjustments.


Here is the RECIPE for LAZY CABBAGE ROLLS

Ingredients:

1/2 head of White Cabbage (cubed)
1 can of chopped Tomatoes
1 pound of  ground Beef/pork mixture
2 Italian Sausages (uncooked and remove casing)
1 small onion
1 cup parboiled rice (uncooked)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp paprika
1/2- 1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 -1/2 cups water or stock
1 tbsp Canola Oil
1Tbsp butter

Directions:

Cut the Cabbage into cubes about 1 inch and rinse and set aside.
Cut the onions into small diced pieces and set aside.  Chop garlic and reserve.
Open your can of tomatoes and set aside.

In a Large Dutch Oven heat it on medium to high heat on the stove,  I used my Le Creuset Pot because it's oven proof and you can brown the meat in it before putting everything in the oven.
When the pot gets hot add the oil and add the ground meat and the sausage meat and break it up into small chunks.  Let it brown on both sides but don't cook through.  Once both sides are brown add the onions and mix through.  Cook for a minute and then add the chopped Cabbage and the garlic and mix through again.   Cook for another couple of minutes and add the rest of the seasonings.  Then add the cup of rice and mix to distribute the rice throughout and coat the grains of rice.  Add the chopped tomatoes and then fill the empty can with water and pour that in.  Make sure there is enough liquid so that you can actually see it but it's not a soup.  You need enough for the rice to cook and spread.  You can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock if you have some instead of water.  I used a bit of beef stock and water.  Add the one can of water and see if you need to add more water once you mix everything through and the water comes to the top of the whole mixture.   Add the butter for a creamy flavour texture if you like.

Place the cover on the pot and put it in a preheated oven set at 350F for about 20 minutes.    You can check at the 15 minute mark and mix it through and see if there is enough liquid.  Add more if the rice isn't cooked and there isn't any liquid left.

It shouldn't take more than an hour from start to finish to make this and it's all in One Pot.

It makes at least 4 large servings.

I had some for dinner and lunch the next day and have at least 2 more portions left.

It's great the next day and you could probably freeze it if you add a tiny bit more liquid to it.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Food Unites All of US - Food Bloggers Potluck in Toronto

TORONTO FOOD BLOGGERS GET TOGETHER FOR 1st POTLUCK


I am a member of the Food Bloggers of Canada Community and although I don't participate in the Forums on a regular basis I saw a post by the people that run Food Bloggers of Canada, Ethan and Melissa, on the Facebook forum about a discussion they had about getting people together over food to combat some of the terrible things going on in the world.   Local Community Kitchen The Depanneur had some success with having some Syrian refugees use their kitchen to make their own food and it brought a lot of interest in their food.
So when they suggested that each City in the Canadian Food Blogger world organize small Potlucks to meet each other and share foods from their Ethnic Origin to get to know each other I thought it was a great idea.  I have always believed that sharing food builds relationships or in some cases not so much when it's families who hate each other forced together,  but that's not what we are talking about here.  My fellow Food Revolution Ambassador and Food Blogger of Canada member (Hema - Nomadic Nutritionist) has a membership at workshare space C.S.I. in Toronto so she was able to book a room that we could hold our Toronto potluck in that space.

After going back and forth on the date we settled on March 12th on a chilly sunday afternoon.  We were supposed to meet at Noon but a few got a bit lost so we waited as long as we could before diving into the food we had.  In total we had a total of 6 people but the diversity of backgrounds and foods was amazing.  We had Bloggers from Poland, India, Jamaica and with Japanese mixed roots and me who is all over the place.  

I decided to make a simple dish that my mom made because I wasn't sure about people's intolerances and allergies, so I just made a simple carrot salad with a simple vinaigrette.  My mom was from Europe and made this a lot especially in the summer when it was too hot to cook.  I just happened to have carrots and not a lot of time to make something so this was what I was able to do.


My fellow bloggers got a lot more creative.   We had fantastic cabbage rolls,  Cassava Pon,  Ackee and Saltfish and Festivals,  Pavlovas, a quinoa and something else mixed in latke and some great cardamom and chocolate cupcakes.  It was a fantastic lunch and it was great to get feedback on what everyone was doing and what was working or what they were trying to do with their blogs.


We hope to continue to do this on a Monthly basis or at least every couple of months if everyone is too busy and I know that there were many more Toronto bloggers that weren't able to make it but wanted to.  We hope that we can form connections and knowledge and try new foods at future Potlucks.  It's great to share a meal with people you have never met but still have something that connects you like food blogging.  
Thanks to Hema for organizing and booking the venue and to everyone that took a chance and showed up,  with hangovers and time changes and all.

Now that we have done the first one let's see who turns up for the next one.  I am looking forward to trying some new foods and meeting the rest of the Toronto Food Blogger Community.

Thanks to Ethan and Melissa of Food Bloggers of Canada  for making the #FOODUNITESALLOFUS  suggestion for a Potluck event.  It got the ball rolling and we appreciate it.

This event really falls in line with the things I try and do with my Food Revolution participation.  It's all about sharing food and educating people about different food and eating real food.

See you all next time.  I will bring my Dish and a spare and my appetite and of course my camera too.


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