Time to grab our cruciferous vegetable, cabbage, for a delicious casserole!
Just saying cruciferous is a difficult thing if you ask me. A ‘few’ vegetables of this family would be: kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, arugula, radish, cauliflower, and of course all forms of the cabbages.
All of the cruciferous vegetables are cool weather vegetables. Their common feature is when they flower they have four petals that resemble a cross.
When you start looking at the health benefits of cabbage it is just endless!
Most people know that cabbages are great cancer fighting vegetables. In fact it’s also good to eat while you’re taking forms of radiation therapy. There are components within that actually protect you from the harmful effects of radiation. Cabbages also contain sulforaphane a fighting compound that suppresses inflammations that can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Better yet, a half cup of cooked cabbage is less than 20 calories. We could talk about the health benefits literally ‘all-day’. If you don’t enjoy this versatile vegetable, perhaps it’s time to reconsider.
My recipe today certainly is not cabbage alone. This cabbage casserole actually appeared for the first time in my original cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. Over the years I have continued to play-around with this dish, turning it into more of a main entrée than side dish.
If you really want to have a bit of fun with the recipe I would recommend that you slice the cabbage leaves very very thin so they resemble the width of a noodle. Years ago I had a bunch of people eating this recipe and when they got done they said: ‘Now what kind of noodle is this?’ People actually think the cabbage is a noodle! Therefore, if you’re trying to slip this into your partner’s meal without them recognizing it as cabbage, it might be worth a try.
When I first made the dish I chopped the cabbage into small chunk pieces, and then by accident (perhaps I was in a rush) I started chopping it into long strips.
If you want to use long grain rice instead of quick rice just remember you might want to leave the cabbage out of the pre-cooking portion until after the rice has cooked for a while.
To turn this into a wonderful main entrée I have frequently added fried country sausage or better yet, pulled corned beef. Bacon and ham would also be possible choices. You’ll enjoy serving this because it is unique, and certainly not the norm.
Use the cheese of your choice. Usually I turn to American cheese because of its great melting qualities, but do what suits your palate. The milk is usually 2%, but you should be fine with skim.
There is no topping for this recipe, but I’m sure some of you could get creative with a crumbled cracker or chip across the top, if desired.
This is a good comfort food for anyone who enjoys cabbages. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
1 medium head cabbage, chopped into small pieces or strips
2/3 cup quick rice
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons of salt (certainly cut back here)
Sugar to taste
2 cups water
Place the above ingredients in a stockpot and cook until cabbage is tender. Place in a 2-quart greased baking dish. Now prepare the white sauce. Usually I do not drain, unless there’s an excessive amount of liquid leftover.
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper or seasoning salt to taste
1/2 pound cheese, shredded or cubed
Make a white sauce with the butter, milk and flour. After it thickens mix it into the cabbage mixture along with the cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbly. Serves 4-6 persons.