Sunday, January 19, 2014

Unstuffed Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls over Farro

I was on a mission. I really wanted cabbage rolls but didn't want to deal with actually making them. Steaming the cabbage. Making the filling. Getting it to roll (and stay) together! And I wanted to throw it all in the slow cooker so I could get other things done. (I know. I'm needy.)

And I wanted some meat but not a lot of meat. I am not a huge meat eater. I typically just don't have a taste for it. Blame it on the P90x3 or the heavy lifting I have been doing lately, but I have just been craving it like crazy. All I want to eat is meat or eggs. Or eggs on top of meat. This is so weird for me but I have been really trying to listen to my body and give it what it needs (if only this rational worked for chocolate cupcakes....)

So after searching without really finding what I was looking for, I decided to just combine all the different recipes I perused online. And really how bad could it be? We are pretty much talking cabbage, sauce and a few variations. Kind of hard to screw up.

I also knew I wanted a grain. I had a bag of farro I picked up when I went to visit Bob's Red Mill this summer (I love that place!) that I hadn't done anything yet so I figured it was time. I also looked up some info on the ancient and not mentioned very often grain (since I really had no idea what it was used for and what--if any-- benefits there were to adding it to my diet.) and here are some of the highlights....

It is related to modern wheat and considered to be an ancient grain. It is typically found in Italian cuisine. (Think ancient wheat growing on the Tuscan countryside.)

It has a higher protein and a higher fiber content than it's more popular cousin.

It is high in magnesium and B vitamins. And we don't talk about magnesium much but it is really important to have in our diets. It is typically found in green leafy veggies and nuts and seeds. It may be super important for bone health and density, help control inflammation, and even aid in energy production  (For more magnesium benefits check this out.)

In a 1/2 cup of raw farrow you get:

  • 170 calories
  • 1.5 g fat
  • 34 g carbohydrates
  • 5 g dietary fiber
  • 6 g of protein
  • 2 mg iron
  • 4 mg niacin
  • 60 mg magnesium
  • 2 mg zinc

It is chewy and yummy and really reminds me of barley (which I love.) So it was perfect to make a hearty (and clean) bowl of comfort food for a snowy night.

So here is my recipe for super easy throw it all in the slow cooker and walk away

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls 

1 head of green cabbage coarsely chopped
1 jar marinara sauce
1-2 cups of veggie stock
1 lb ground meat (I used organic free range turkey)
1 package mushrooms
1/2 large sweet onion - diced
sprinkle nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Place a thin layer of marinara sauce at the bottom of the crock pot. Add the raw meat (broken up), mushrooms and onion. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add chopped green cabbage. Pour in the stock and remaining marinara. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Eat over cooked farro (I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Farro) or grain of choice. Follow package directions to cook.

I set a timer and made the farrow about an hour prior to when we wanted to eat so it was all ready at the same time.

It was pretty awesome (and so easy) that this will definitely make the recipe rotation (with or without the meat.)



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