Thursday, April 10, 2008


One of the things with shopping locally, and starting to source 100% of my produce (except bananas, my beloved transnational addiction. I'm working on it ok!?) from the Farmers market, is that it has changed how I do my meal planning. In the interests of frugality, health, and general deliciousness, I try to plan out my meals for the following week as much as possible. I've had to institute a little shift in how I do my groceries to accomodate the local produce plan. Instead of going to the farmer's market and then my regular grocery store (Trader Joe's) immediately, I am now going to the farmer's market (always on Thursdays) and then TJs the next day. This is making my partner happy, because he can come with me on Fridays and we do our shopping together, but it also gives me some time to think about what I am going to cook with whatever yummy in season thing I got at the market I wasn't necessarily expecting, and then get any additional required ingredients at the store.

Last week it was savoy cabbage, with its beautiful crinkly leaves and tender flavour. I love savoy cabbage, and there is one dish I love it in above all others - stuffed cabbage, aka holishkes! I associate it with both my mom, who used to make this dish in large batches and put them in the freezer, and Passover, which is just around the corner, as I used to make them for the vegetarian seders my ex-partner and I had every year. No longer being a vegetarian, and it not yet being passover, I made a meat version, which also happens to go under the Weight Watchers Core plan. Man, they were good. I still have two meals worth in the freezer. I stuffed them with ground turkey, which is at least cage free at TJs, although, thanks to Michael Pollan I know that cage free ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Cabbage Rolls

1 savoy cabbage (the crinkly muppet kind)

1 lb ground turkey or extra lean ground beef or thawed frozen tofu crumbled
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup brown rice

2 large cans lowfat tomato sauce (I use Trader Joe's marinara because I love the taste)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the cabbage in - let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl.

Take the cabbage out of the boiling water - be careful - it will have lots of hot water stuck between the leaves. You can run it under a bit of cold water to cool it down a bit, but don't cool it all the way.
Cut the core out of the bottom of the cabbage, and pull the leaves off until you have all the ones big enough the fill. Put a tablespoon (or more - for the bigger leaves I used more filling) at the bottom of the leaf, and fold the cabbage over the filling to make a little packet. Put one can of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large dutch oven or casserole pan and put the rolls in, seam side down. Pour the second can over the top. put the lid on, or cover with foil, and cook for about 2 hours in a 325 oven, or on the stovetop over a low flame.
This made about 6-8 servings.

They freeze well.