Trim the Budget: Cabbage!!

 When the prices of veggies start climbing higher during the winter months I turn to my best winter veggie choice, cabbage!  Cabbage is healthy and nutritious and can be used in so many ways.

Cabbage is high in vitamins K and C.  It is also high in dietary fiber.  You will also find some really good B vitamins such as, vitamins b6, b1, and b2 and vitamin A. 

It is also interesting to note that the vitamin C content in red cabbage is 6 to 8 times higher than that of white cabbage.  

Cabbage is chocked full of minerals: calcium, potassium, magnesium.  

And it even contains a little bit of protein and fat (the good omega 3 fatty acids).  

The best part of cabbage from a budget stand point is that it is so inexpensive this time of year.  I recently paid 45 cents a pound. I spent $1.15 for a head of cabbage that weighted around 2 ½ lbs.   

Ways to incorporate cabbage into your diet.. 

Eat it as a side dish.  I love to sauté chopped cabbage and onions in butter.  When it is soft, salt a little and enjoy with your meal. 

I also add red cabbage to my winter salads.  They are less expensive than tomatoes and add lots of color and nutrition to a salad.  

My all time favorite way to use cabbage is lacto fermented sauerkraut..  You can find my recipe and step by step instructions to make this delicious food here:

Yet another way I enjoy using cabbage is cabbage rolls. 

I made these yesterday for my family and they are always a big hit.  I made a double batch so the pictures show 2 pans of rolls, but the recipe will make one pan.   

Making cabbage rolls takes a little time, but is so yummy!  The first thing I do is prepare the cabbage.  I take a full head of cabbage and core it.  To do this I make cuts around the core until it is loose enough to be able to pull out.  Then I get a large pan and put about 2 inches of water in it and bring this to a boil.  I set the whole cored cabbage in the water, cover with a lid and bring it back to a boil.  I boil this for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the head of cabbage and give it a few minutes to cool.  Once it is cool enough to touch you can begin removing the leaves.  If you find that the center of the cabbage is still to firm you can put it back in the boiling water for a couple of minutes to soften up.  I lay the leaves out on a towel while I prepare the filling.   

The Filling: 

1lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 egg
1 t salt
1 t pepper 

Cook hamburger and chopped onion in a frying pan until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.   

Now it is time to make your cabbage rolls.. 

Lay one leaf down in front of you and put a tablespoon or two of filling right in the middle.  How much filling you put in will depend on the size of the leaf.  Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the filling.  Fold the left side over and then fold the right side over.  Now take the top and bring it down.   

Lay the finished cabbage roll in a 9x13 pan (I spray mine with non stick cooking spray first).  Finish making rolls until you are out of leaves and filling. 

When the cabbage rolls are all made it is time to make the sauce.   

Cabbage Roll Sauce:

1- 8oz can tomato sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
3 T cane juice crystals or sugar
2 T vinegar
½ cup water
2T cornstarch combined w/ ¼ cup cold water 

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally to begin with and then more frequently as it comes to a boil.  Boil and cook the sauce for about 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.  

Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls.  Bake in a 350* oven for 40 to 45 minutes and enjoy!!


Cost Break Down: 

Hamburger: $2.79
Cabbage: $1.15
Brown Rice: $1.02
Eggs: .25
Tomato Sauce: .80
Diced Tomatoes:  $1.60 

Approx. Total: $7.75 (I rounded up from the actual total) 

I served my meal with slices of fresh baked whole wheat bread and green beans.  Everyone walked away stuffed and satisfied! 



  1. Cabbage has become a staple in our home lately and we love it in salads instead of or in addition to lettuce. Also just made a jar of sauerkraut - my first batch to turn out well. (I think maybe because I used filtered water this time instead of tap ?? ?? I've heard that can have an influence on it.

    Thank you for the great recipe and the always great inspiration, Crystal!

  2. Yummo, are you taking reservations for dinner next week by any chance??!!


  3. I love cabbage rolls but they are time consuming to make. I tried making a Cabbage Roll Lasagna style dish and it turned out great. It taste the same without all of the prep work..

  4. My kids LOVE cabbage! I suppose it was an early introduction that stayed with them. In fact, they eat just about every vegetable with the exception of lima beans and brussell sprouts. I don't see much need for them either. I will try your sauce since I don't like the sauces that use a can of tomato soup. That just tastes strange to me. Thanks>


  5. I love cabbage too...I combine all of these ingredients into a much easier for me!

  6. donna www.merryheartcrafts.comFebruary 23, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    I guess coming from the hills of southwest virginia, cabbage has always been a staple in our home. We grow cabbage in our garden and when that is gone I buy cabbage from the store. I don't think I have ever made cabbage rolls but am looking forward to trying them. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Great recipe, thanks for posting! That's a nice way to use some leftover brown rice, too! We never seem to finish ours when we have it!


    Lori at Serenity in the Suburbs

  8. I grew up eating cabbage rolls. We rolled them, held them together with toothpicks and my mom boiled them in tomato juice/sauce. My mouth is drooling at the thought. Never thought of baking them. Great recipe, can't wait to try it!


  9. I have gotten so much cabbage lately from the food bank for FREE and have no idea what to do with it besides feed it to the ducks and geese (who love it)--this is amazing!!! Those cabbage rolls look DELICIOUS!

    And I just read your article about how to keep a bedroom clean...I have 3 kids (ages 3, 2, and 1) in a 3 bedroom house (1100 sq. ft--sound familiar!?) and I am due in the next couple days with my 4th. We get SO many toys and clothes that I havn't had to buy anything and I have counted myself very blessed! However, I am beginning to see that less is more....the kids have way too much clothes and toys and I am inundated with laundry...can hardly keep up. I wash it just fine but getting it put away is a bear...I think I need to store away about 2/3 of their clothes--if they only have a few outfits there would be a lot less laundry...same with the the tip about "10 min to clean up"--thanks!



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