Monday, July 1, 2013

Really, Get on Those Greens

These days are filled with garden chores, toddler chasing, and – do not be surprised – sneaking in an afternoon nap most days. I do my best to make the morning productive for me and fun for the little man, because once the afternoon rolls around, it is often uncomfortably hot to play or work in our unshaded yard.

The other morning, we picked a bunch of basil for a big batch of pesto, and green beans for the freezer.

But not before Bert sampled his share of them, straight out of the garden. Eating fresh green beans in just your skivvies. Ah, to be (almost) two!

Then, as dinner time came along, it was apparent our cabbage needed to be dealt with. I said before that  with baby #2 on the way, I wanted to start making meals for the freezer, and the cabbage has prompted me to do just that, utilizing a couple recipes from my mom.

The first was stuffed cabbage, which got too messy to take pictures of while making so I'll just share the recipe.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork (I used ground turkey)
1 egg beaten
1/4 c milk
1/4 c chopped onion
1 c cooked rice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Steam the cabbage just enough so that you can pull off the leaves easily (you can cut out some of the core before you start). I steamed for about 5 minutes, pulled off everything that seemed tender, then put the remainder of the head back in the pot while I stuffed the leaves I had. Also, you can cut out the biggest of the veins to make it easier to wrap the stuffing.

Put the stuffing on the cabbage leaf (I would estimate about 1/4-1/3 cup in each) and fold/roll sort of like a burrito. Lay in crock pot.

8 oz. tomato juice
1 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb brown sugar
1 tsp worchestershire

Mix sauce and pour over pigs in crockpot.
Lay 2 slices of bacon over top. (The recipe comes out fine if you don't use the bacon.)
Cook on high 4-5 hours; low 7-9 hours.

I was a little apprehensive about this recipe because it seemed like a lot of steps, but really turned out to be not much more work than making a big batch of meatballs. Bert liked them, and we had plenty left for the freezer, so it was definitely worth the time.

The next recipe is sort of like a cabbage stromboli. And if that sounds odd, I understand. But these are really good, so give them a chance.

Beef and Cabbage Runzas

(I went ahead and doubled the recipe to have some to freeze. Ingredient list below is for a single batch.)

2 Tb butter or marg.
2 c thinly sliced cabbage
1 small onion diced
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs flour
1 egg beaten
1 loaf bread dough (I made a batch of regular white bread dough but you can use a frozen loaf.)

Melt butter in skillet. Stir cabbage and onion until coated. Cover skillet and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add ground beef and cook over high heat until beef loses pink color. Reduce heat to medium-stir in salt and pepper, then sprinkle flour evenly over meat mixture. Cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Heat oven to 350.

On lightly floured surface, cut dough into 4 pieces (8 if recipe is doubled). 

Roll and stretch into oval about 6x4. 

Spoon 1/4 of mixture onto half of dough. fold over and pinch edge to seal.

Place on cookie sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds if desired.

Bake 25 minutes until golden brown.

So that's how we are using up cabbage around here, and prepping a bit for the chaos that ensues after bringing a newborn home. Because that event is only three short months away!

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