Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole


Have you heard about Skinnytaste? It's only one of my favorite new food blogs ever. I'm not personally on Weight Watchers, but I'm all about finding healthier options for dinner and this site does just that! If you are involved with Weight Watchers, each recipe will include calorie information and points breakdown. Pretty awesome!

I've had really great luck with the few Skinnytaste recipes I've tried out. I started with the Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup, which was also my first crockpot experience and it turned out really well (except that my husband turned up his nose to it). Then I moved onto the Skinny Chicken Enchiladas which were FABULOUS. I really meant to devote a separate post to those tasty enchiladas but I totally forgot to take a picture while I was busy scarfing them down. Honestly - best enchilada sauce ever. I loved it. Someday I will make them again.

This time, I decided on a recipe entitled "Kalyn's Stuffed Cabbage Casserole" which, if you couldn't tell by the title, is an adaptation from another blog that I am less familiar with called Kalyn's Kitchen. I jumped back and forth between recipes when making my own, so I figured it would be useful to link both variations for you all. I chose this recipe because my mom's stuffed cabbage is TO DIE FOR, by far my favorite home-cooked meal. When I saw these recipes online, I knew I just had to try it.

I had brain fart after brain fart trying to make this recipe - I have no idea why! I forgot to cook rice in advance, I layered the casserole backwards and just disposed of half of my cabbage just to be safe...I was apparently a mess in the kitchen today. Don't make those mistakes like me and make sure that you read your instructions carefully! I plan to freeze half of this because it makes a rather large casserole.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (adapted from sources linked above in text)
Yield: 8 servings

You will need:
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground thyme
15 oz can diced tomatoes (in juice)
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef in a large skillet with 1 tsp olive oil, breaking apart the meat until no longer pink.

Once browned, transfer beef to a separate bowl. Add more olive oil if needed, and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, paprika, and thyme, cooking for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes, and a 1/4 cup of water. Let simmer until sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté cabbage in 1 tsp olive oil until slightly wilted, turning frequently to ensure it is cooked on both sides. It doesn't need to be 100% cooked at this point, and if you need to you can cook this in batches (I didn't have anymore skillets that were large enough).

Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and layer in first 1/2 of the cabbage, then 1/2 of the meat, and repeat with the remainder of the cabbage and remainder of meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Remove dish from the oven and top with cheese, baking uncovered another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browning.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MIA

Wow! I've really let this blog go, haven't I? My marvelous idea to blog about getting healthy related stuff was just not going to work out, so here I am again with nothing to say. But in case anyone is wondering what's going on with my life, I'd be happy to give some updates.

This past month has been pretty average as far as life goes, but we had some amazingly warm weather for March which was great!

I'm nearing the end of my second semester of graduate school now. My last class was tonight, and I have one more project to complete and turn in, and one exam next Monday.

In more exciting news, Mark and I are going on a trip to Seattle in a couple of weeks with his mom, dad, and grandma! I've never been anywhere on the west coast so it should be really fun. I'll be sure to update more on that after we get back.

Summer should be busy. I'm taking three classes from May to end of August. Mark is taking an accelerated class from July to the end of August. My internship is technically ending soon, so I'll need to decide if I want to sign on for longer or find a new job (leaning toward the latter). Hopefully I'll actually have some exciting things to share with you all soon, but to be honest, life has been awfully hum-drum lately.

PS - Can you believe it's nearly our first anniversary? Holy cow, has time flown! I can't believe at this time last year I was anxiously awaiting my first bridal shower in the next week, and about to graduate with my bachelor's degree. My how times have changed. I do kind of miss all of that excitement.

Weekly Menu 4/9-4/15

Yikes! Looks like I haven't been around in a while! This was not for a lack of cooking or baking, just a lack of me remembering to document new recipes and for some big challenges in the kitchen not panning out as I'd hope. I've been cooking up an idea to challenge myself with some cooking and baking projects this summer, so I expect that I'll be around much more soon!

At the very least, I'll let you in on my menu for this week!

Monday: Pizza OR leftover turkey from Easter

Tuesday: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan

Thursday: Out to dinner

Friday: Sesame Chicken

Saturday-Sunday: Leftovers!