Vegan Christmas Dinner – Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegan Christmas Dinner – Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Whether you’re planning a completely vegan Christmas dinner or you simply want to add some meatless options to your holiday menu, these savory stuffed cabbage rolls are an excellent choice.

This easy-to-make recipe is simple enough for a beginner, but flexible enough for accomplished cooks to adapt and embellish. It’s budget-friendly too; the ingredients are familiar low-cost staples. And if you live in an area where vegan specialties are hard to find, this could easily become a go-to recipe – all the ingredients are readily available in just about any grocery store.

Served on a bed of fluffy rice or next to a heaping helping of creamy mashed potatoes, this meatless main dish is fancy enough for a feast but has a hearty, satisfying, down-home feel as well. If you don’t mention the fact that it’s a meatless dish, chances are no one will guess! The soy crumbles or tofu provide lots of filling protien, and raisins add a delicious depth to the tangy/sweet tomato sauce.

Note: though this is a very easy recipe, it’s not a “quick cooker”. The cabbage rolls simmer in the sauce for two to three hours, absorbing the marvelous flavors and filling your house with mouth-watering aromas.

Old-World Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Have 1 cup cooked rice and 18-20 large, washed cabbage leaves ready.

Sauce:

7 cups water

One 6 oz. can tomato paste

1/2 cup raisins

6 Tbs. sugar (for richest flavor, use 3 Tbs. white sugar and 3 Tbs. brown sugar)

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. saltMix and simmer all over low heat while preparing filling.

Filling:

3 Tbs. oil

1 medium-large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until limp. Remove from heat and mix in:

1 bag MorningStar Veggie Crumbles OR 1 1/2 lbs. mashed firm tofu and 2 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cooked rice

Set aside.

Boil a large pot of water and drop in 3-4 cabbage leaves at a time. Boil leaves 1-2 minutes to soften. Drain leaves and trim out the hard center cores. Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling on each leaf, fold the sides in and roll up as neatly as possible. Don’t worry if your rolls are a bit torn or messy, as long as the filling’s reasonably contained. Carefully drop each roll in the simmering sauce. Don’t stir. Simmer rolls 2-3 hours, occasionally pushing them down with the flat side of a spatula.