Saturday, December 10, 2016

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowl

INLINE_ Stuffed Cabbage 1If you love stuffed cabbage but want to do away with white rice and the time consuming task of stuffing and rolling cabbage leaves, this recipe is for you. The dish is slightly lighter, and the flavors are brighter than in traditional stuffed cabbage, but this unstuffed cabbage bowl is still full-blown comfort food.

To make the bowl, shredded cabbage is sautéed just until soft, without losing its bright green color and soft crunch. The meat is simmered in onion, garlic, tomato sauce and a pinch of cinnamon. Layered in a bowl, the meat and cabbage are topped with a dollop of sauerkraut and an abundance of fresh parsley.

This bowl is a tasty combination of protein, a leafy green (parsley), sulfur-rich vegetables (cabbage, onion, garlic), and fermented food (sauerkraut). It’s a healthful meal that’s just as flavorful and comforting as traditional stuffed cabbage—but not nearly as much work.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Primal

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (60 ml)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef (567 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (1.2 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (5 ml)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (240 ml)
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley (120 ml)
  • Sauerkraut, for garnish

Instructions

Primal

Over medium heat, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil until the onion is soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ground meat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add cinnamon and thyme.

Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks. When the meat is starting to brown on the outside but still a bit pink in the middle, add tomato sauce. Simmer 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

In a wide skillet, warm the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the cabbage. Saute until the cabbage has wilted slightly but is still bright green and a little crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t over-stir the cabbage while it cooks, give it a chance to brown a little against the hot skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

In each serving bowl, layer the meat and cabbage. Garnish with sauerkraut and plenty of parsley.

Stuffed Cabbage 2

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Adios, Garlic Breath!

Garlic isn’t only a tasty addition to stir-fries, salads and more. It’s also good for us: It may help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, and research shows that regular intake may help lower the risk of certain cancers, like endometrial and prostate cancers.

But all potential health benefits aside, garlic has one major drawback: It can cause garlic breath that lasts up to 24 hours! Thankfully, a recent preliminary study in the journal Food Chemistry found a potential way to help diminish this. Study participants first ate garlic, immediately followed by apple (raw, juiced or heated). Study authors then measured the participants’ levels of garlic volatiles (aka garlic breath) using a technique called spectrometry. The test was then repeated with lettuce (raw or heated), mint leaves (raw or juiced) and green tea.

Garlic breath significantly decreased after the participants ate raw apple, raw lettuce and raw mint leaves. Study authors believe this is due to specific components in the foods that help in the deodorizing process. Although the apple juice, mint juice, heated apple and heated lettuce were helpful in reducing bad breath, their impact wasn’t as great as that of the raw produce and herbs — and the green tea didn’t affect breath at all.

The study was small, so more-extensive research is needed to produce definitive results. In the meanwhile, you can aim to decrease your own garlic breath by trying these healthy strategies after eating a garlic-heavy dish:

  • Have a lettuce-based salad after dinner (as the French do!).
  • Slice up some apple slices for dessert.
  • Eat a dessert of diced apples roasted with lemon juice and topped with chopped mint leaves.
  • Munch on mint leaves as an after-dinner refresher.

Because garlic may interfere with certain medications, such as aspirin and anticoagulants, it’s best to exercise caution while using it. It may also thin the blood — so discuss your garlic use with your doctor if you’re scheduled for surgery soon.

Amy Gorin, M.S., RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City. She’s a regular contributor to many publications, including ReadersDigest.com, Shape.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Dr. Oz the Good Life and Runner’s World as well as WeightWatchers.com, where she was a longtime editor. She also pens a recipe-focused blog, Amy’s Eat List. 



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