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.
1 onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
3 cups cooked brown rice
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:
Brown Rice: $1.02
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!