After taking a couple of bites of this healthy, very low fat (fat-free if you opt against including the cheese!), Zak remarked that it tasted a lot like stuffed cabbage. It certainly did, with a really subtle sweetness that played well against the vinegar and acid of the tomatoes. The hint of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes worked really well with the other flavors. The health value and heartiness of the casserole was punched up with the inclusion of brown rice, which accounts for the long cooking time. If you don’t have the time on your hands, I suggest you substitute white rice for the brown and dial down the baking time to between half and hour and forty five minutes. As is, this casserole is delicious and flavor-packed and heats up really well as leftovers. It has all of the flavor but significantly less calories and fat and a mere fraction of the effort as stuffed cabbage.
Cabbage and Rice Casserole
Yield: About 6 servings
Adapted from kittencalskitchen at FamilyOven.com
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup uncooked Carolina brown rice
1 28 oz. can crushed bail & herb tomatoes
2 tbs. brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water
2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 cup farmer’s cheese, shredded (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray an 9″ x 13″ casserole dish or roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Place onion and cabbage on the bottom of your casserole dish or roasting pan.
Mix together canned tomatoes with juice, sugar, vinegar, mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper in a large bowl. Fold in cabbage and rice until evenly coated
Pour cabbage/tomato mixture over the onion and garlic in the casserole dish. Add water. Cover with a lid or tinfoil.
Bake about an hour and thirty minutes to an hour and forty five minutes or until vegetables and rice are cooked through. Stir in fresh tomatoes and top with cheese (if desired, I topped about 1/4 of the casserole with cheese). Return to oven and bake, uncovered, another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and all ingredients are totally cooked.