Healthy Recipe: Slow-Cooked Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Sauce

Don't you just love to slow cook during the winter months? There's several reasons I do: (1) since it's cold outside, I know I won't burn up in my kitchen cooking; (2) I just love to smell the food cooking all day and knowing how juicy and tender it'll be when it's done; and (3) Comfort food is such a tradition with me during the holidays.

Cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables, always have loved it. My mom only cooked it one way which was to boil it with bacon or salt pork and at times she'd add some potatoes to it. But, when I started cooking, I wanted to do more with it. Sometimes, I just saute it with some vidalias and leeks, top them with balsamic vinegar eat them just like that! But for this dish, I'm going to bit more sophisticated by stuffing the cabbage leaves with my favorite meat mixture!

I'm sure you know how cabbage is very nutritious and healthy for us to eat. It should be in our regular diets. But, did you know these facts?
  • Cabbage helps to promote weight loss in some people. This is because of its content of Vitamin C, which helps burn fat, as well as of Vitamin B, which increases metabolism and thereby helps the body burn off fat.
  • If one is looking for ingredients of a low calorie diet, cabbage is at the top of the list. One cup of cabbage only holds about 15 calories. It is definitely a weight-loss food.
  • Vitamin A Content: Cabbage is a source of Vitamin A which your body needs for healthy skin and eyes.
  • Vitamin C Content: Due to its relatively high amount of Vitamin C, cabbage helps boost the Immune System, as well as assisting in removing toxics from the body, and playing a role in burning fat.
  • Vitamin E Content: Vitamin E is known for keeping the skin healthy, as well as for assisting oxygen uptake of the blood cells. Having sufficient amounts of Vitamin E in one's body helps to reduce acne.
  • Vitamin B: An essential vitamin for your nerve system, also known to assist in reducing stress and in boosting metabolism.
  • Drinking juiced cabbage is known to assist in curing stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Cabbage is even known to help keep your skin in a healthy condition, due to its vitamin E content.
  • It contains quantities of fiber and iron which help to keep the digestive tract and colon in a healthy condition. - excerpt from "Important Facts About Cabbage by Anna Williams.
After reading this article, I feel like throwing on some street clothes and head to the grocery store even though it's closed as I write this article! LOL! But, it indeed encourages me to try to keep cabbage around my frig often!

12 leaves cabbage
1 c. cooked white rice
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. vidalia onion
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1-1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/4 tsp. lemon black pepper
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 2 minutes and drain. Let sit to cool down so it won't be too hot to handle.

In a large bowl, combine 1 c. cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper. Place about 1/4 c. of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends. Use toothpicks if necessary. Place rolls in slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls. Cover and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.