I do love cabbage rolls but don't always feel like going through the process of making them.
This seemed like a slightly easier alternative.
The recipe by Tina Danze is from the Dallas Morning News but I have made a couple changes.
The original recipe called for 1 pound of ground beef and I substituted 12 ounces of Crumbles by Morning Star as I am trying very hard to go vegetarian.
I also added some golden raisins as my favorite stuffed cabbage recipe uses raisins in the sauce.
2 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL (divided use)
1 (2 1/2-pound) head of CABBAGE, cored and cut into 3/8-inch ribbons
1 ONION, chopped
1 Tbsp. GARLIC, chopped
1 pound GROUND BEEF (or 12 ounces Crumbles)
24-ounces canned TOMATO SAUCE
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can DICED TOMATOES with juice
1/2 c. GOLDEN RAISINS
1 Tbsp. KETCHUP (optional)
1 Tbsp. CIDER VINEGAR
3/4 tsp. HOT SMOKED SPANISH PAPRIKA or HOT HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA
1 tsp. dried MARJORAM or THYME
1 large BAY LEAF
1 tsp SUGAR, or to taste
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
3 c. cooked BROWN RICE
1 1/2 c. shredded MOZZARELLA CHEESE (or Monterey Jack, Provolone or Cheddar)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan with a lid over medium-high heat.
Add the cabbage and stir to coat.
Add 1/2 c. water, cover and cook until cabbage is wilted, about 15-20 minutes, stirring several times.
When cabbage is tender, uncover and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes, until any remaining liquid in the pan evaporates.
Remove cabbage from skillet and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in the same pan.
Add onion and saute until translucent.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add ground beef or the crumbles and brown the meat while stirring occasionally.
When all the meat is browned, add the tomato sauce, the tomatoes and their juice, raisins, ketchup, cider vinegar, paprika, marjoram or thyme, bay leaf and sugar.
Simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, until sauce is thickened.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray a 9x13-inch casserole with cooking spray.
Spread half of the cabbage mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Top with half the rice, followed by half the meat mixture.
Repeat the layer, press down with the back of a spatula to compress the layers slightly.
(May be prepared to this point one day before serving)
Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.