A cabbage conundrum

We got cabbage in our CSA box two weeks in a row. It isn’t on my “must-eat” list, but I don’t hate it. I typically make an Ethiopian dish of cabbage, carrots and potatoes with it, but we were ready to overdose on that, so I had to come up with something new. I hit up my old friend Google. Most of the hits were for cabbage rolls and corned beef and cabbage. Neither one of them were all that appealing to me, especially the vegan “corned beef”. I didn’t have the proper type of vessel for making sauerkraut. I was stumped.

After paging through oodles of results, I landed on something that sounded okay. Better yet, I had all of the ingredients. No, that’s not true. I didn’t have all of the ingredients, but I had enough that I could BS my way through it.

The recipe is simple: cabbage, tomatoes, bulger and chickpeas. I know this doesn’t sound overly appealing, but stay with me. The recipe calls for a “medium” cabbage. I have no idea what that looks like, but I know I didn’t have that. Mine was ginormous. I didn’t want to make a second dish, so I just chopped the whole thing and cooked it all. I added that to the pot after my onions, salt and paprika were done doing their thing. The dutch oven was filled to the brim, but it quickly cooked down. I didn’t have a can of tomatoes, but I did have close to a pound of little Roma tomatoes. I chopped those up and threw them in the pot with a few splashes of veggie stock. Once that all cooked down and got soft, it was time to add the chickpeas and bulgur.  I threw in the chickpeas I found in the freezer (which may or may not have been 15 oz). I didn’t have bulgur, and honestly really don’t love it anyway, so I didn’t care. What I do like, though, is pearled barley. I threw a cup of that in there, swooshed it all around and let it cook.

After the bulgur was cooked, I tasted it. Eh. It was okay. It was very cabbage-y. It needed some oomph. I threw in a copious amount of crushed red pepper, stirred it a bit and tasted it again. We were closer, but not quite there. Something was just off. It is hard to describe, but it was sort of a texture thing. It just felt weak. I wanted it to be more stew-like. I was running out of stuff to throw in the pot, but I remembered I had some tomato paste frozen. I threw in 4 ice cubes of tomato paste and let them melt.

Eureka. I nailed it. I ended up with a tasty, low calorie, vegan dish that I would absolutely make again. Woo-hoo! It says I should end up with 6 servings, but I’d say it’s more like 8. What a value! NICE!

As excited as I sound,  I would actually love it if that was the last head of cabbage we got this year. Just sayin’.




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