Hearty, nutritious and filling these plant based autumn bundles of flavour are both smokey and subtly spicey twist the classic flavours of bacon and cabbage ,for a plant based alternative to bacon ive used a good firm smoked tofu to recreate that classic bacon and cabbage vibe and slowly cooked them in a spicy tomato sauce and served up with a drizzle of cheeseyness, whats not to like!
1 large cabbage (we will be using say 10 large leaves) 3 cups cooked lentils (comes from 1 1/4 cup dry) 1 cup cooked grain bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, etc you choose they are more for bulk than flavour 1 medium onion diced 2 cloves garlic chopped 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 125g crumbled smoked tofu 1 teaspoon paprika smoked seasoning to taste
Fill a pan with enough water to cover your 10/12 cabbage leafs and bring it to a boil. Remove all torn or ragged outer leaves from the cabbage. Use a paring knife to cut at an angle around the core and remove as much of it as you can and pull away the leaves until you have 10-12 whole cabbage leaves and pop In your boiling water for approx 12 minutes take out and drain and leave to cool , mix the lentils and all remaining ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste into a bowl. Dry each cabbage leaf gently and trim the thick rib near the stem end of each leaf.
Put a cabbage leaf on your work surface with the concave side up, like a cup, and the stem end toward you. Place about 1/3 cup of the lentil mixture near the stem end (a little more for large leaves, less for smaller ones) and mold it into an oblong shape. Fold the stem up over the filling and then fold each of the sides toward the middle. Roll the filling up the rest of the leaf. You should have a nice, tight package.
Place it on a plate and repeat with remaining leaves. (If you have some filling left over, it makes a delicious salad.) Spread about half of the smokey chipotle tomato sauce( recipe below ) in the bottom of a large heavy bottom pot or roasting tray. Place each cabbage roll, seam-side down, on top of the sauce in a single layer. (It’s okay if it’s a snug fit.) Spread more sauce over the rolls. Cover and cook on your lowest heat setting until the cabbage is tender, about 45-60 minutes, being careful not to burn the bottom and bang we are sorted ...
To serve, place two cabbage rolls on a plate and cover with sauce and maybe a little grated cheese or a cheesey sauce you choose
Chipotle Tomato Sauce
splash a bit of oil of your choice 1/2 onion 4 cloves garlic 2x 400g tin whole or diced tomatoes 2 chipotle peppers in adobo 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon dried oregano salt & pepper squeeze lime juice ( optional)
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, chipotles, cumin, sugar, cinnamon and oregano. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice.Remove from heat and Blend sauce in blender or immersion blender in the pot. Either way, try not to burn yourself - the sauce is hot.