cheap + easy + healthy: Braised Cabbage RECIPE

You hear the word cabbage and cringe, right? Well, you are missing out my friend, because cabbage can be delicious. Let me help you fall in love with the cruciferous veggie. 5 Reasons You Should Learn To Love Cabbage: 

1. Anti-carcinogenic properties. Do you want cancer? That's what I thought. Cabbage contains anthocyanins, which help your body fight off cancer. And considering there are many different kinds of cabbage - purple, green, white, I'm sure you can find a cabbage containing recipe that uses one of them and appeals to your palate.

2. Weight loss/maintenance. Cabbage is low in saturated fat and cholesterol while containing a significant amount of fiber. That's a great equation for a small waistline. Because cabbage contains high amounts of fiber, your belly will be fuller for longer - that's a weight loss WIN.

3. Folates. Folic acid is an essential component of DNA. Yours and mine. If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, friends are getting engaged faster than I can say "ring by spring". You know what that means…this time next year, the little pink and blue announcements will be airing. Guess what? Folic acid is especially important for pregnant moms as it plays a huge role in preventing birth defects. The Cabbage Patch Kids were totally onto something...

4. Strong Bones. High in vitamins C + K, cabbage consumption helps the body fight against infectious diseases and free radicals while keeping your bones strong and warding off osteoporosis.

5. Do you really need another reason to eat cabbage? Listen up. Cabbage contains essential vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin as well as the following minerals: calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium. Eat. More. Cabbage.

 

That being said…I bought a head of green cabbage. It's been in my fridge for a few days and I had no idea what to do with it. My absolute all-time-favorite is this Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe:

UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 small cabbage, chopped 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce (as needed) 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon sea salt

Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef/turkey and onion. Cook, stirring until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender. Serves 6 to 8.

I could eat that all day every day, but I'm warning you - DON'T! Remember talking about all that fiber? Yeah, well, too much cabbage makes for one obscene food baby, that bloated, full-belly, stuffed-gut feeling. You've heard the expression, 'Too much of a good thing'. It applies perfectly to cabbage. and brussel sprouts. or broccoli. You get the idea...

I digress. Tonight, I wanted to try something new with my lonely head of cabbage. I was looking for something simple seeing as I didn't have much in my empty fridge, so I settled on a Braised Cabbage recipe.

Ingredients: 

- 1 head of cabbage, chopped

- 1 large onion, diced

- 2 TBSP of coconut or olive oil 

- 4 slices of bacon, crumbled

- 1 tsp. dill (fresh or dried)

- ground pepper + sea salt

Directions: In a large skillet or wok, melt oil on medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add cabbage and cook until tender, stirring often. Be patient. In a separate pan, cook bacon until well done and crispy. Once cabbage is soft and carmalized, add dill, salt and pepper. Continue to stir until done. Crumble bacon strips on top and mix together. 

The raw cabbage cooks down quite a bit when added to the heat. My head of cabbage made about 2 servings. It's a simple dish, but unexpectedly sweet and very filling! I think next time I might poach an egg and enjoy it on top of a bed of braised cabbage! Yum!

Fun Facts:

Green Cabbage $1.25 Yellow Onion $0.70 Bacon  $2.89

Total Cost (approx): $4.84 for 2 servings. Cheaper than the dollar menu and a whole lot better for you!

Eat well. Live well. Be well.