If you’re looking for comfort food in Germany, you might come across cabbage rolls: a traditional dish of (vegan) meat, rice, and onions, all stuffed into rolled cabbage leaves and covered with a creamy tomato sauce.
It is also fantastic as leftovers, so I make a big tray and it lasts for at least 2 or 3 dinners.
- 1 head cabbage
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vegan ground meat or dry TVP, rehydrated with 1 cup water
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds soaked in 5 Tbsp water)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp miso
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, then drained
Dig out the core of the savoy cabbage carefully with a sharp knife, then pull off the leaves. Bring a large pot of water with some salt to a boil and boil the cabbage leaves for 5 minutes to soften, then cool off in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.
In a pan, cook the chopped onion in the olive oil for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until it starts to brown.
In a separate pot, cook the rice with the water by bringing it to a boil and then turning off the heat to let it sit and soak up the water.
In a medium bowl, mix the vegan ground meat, flax eggs, thyme, soy sauce, miso, salt and pepper, onions, and rice until well combined.
Take a leaf of softened cabbage and put a scoop (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on the size of the cabbage leaf) of meat filling at the base of the leaf. Tuck in the sides and roll it up and away from you to form a neat little bundle.
Repeat until you run out of filling, arrange the cabbage rolls tightly in a casserole dish.
Blend the crushed tomatoes with the soaked cashews to create a smooth sauce.
Pour the tomato sauce over the whole casserole, covering all the cabbage rolls.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve warm or freeze for future enjoyment!
I’ve been thinking a lot about shame lately, and I like how Dr. Christopher Germer, a clinical psychologist at Harvard, thinks about it:
“Shame is the most difficult human emotion. What makes shame so challenging is that most of us would rather do anything than feel shame. Our first instinct is to “go small, go silent, or go away.” Sometimes we go on the attack, criticizing ourselves or others. We may also try to numb ourselves by escaping into unhealthy behaviors. When shame is present in our lives, there’s often no one home to work with it.
Self-compassion is an antidote to shame. It’s the opposite of shame—self-kindness instead of self-criticism, common humanity instead of isolation, and mindfulness instead of rumination. The process of alleviating shame begins by recognizing that shame is an innocent emotion—it arises from the universal wish to be loved. If we didn’t wish to be loved, we wouldn’t feel shame. The next step is to give ourselves the compassion we so desperately need—self-compassion.”