Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good Luck Grub Style Quinoa-Stuffed Cabbage Packages

Quinoa-Stuffed Cabbage Packages

Even though I've moved on to the Moosewood Cookbook, I still have Grub on my mind.  There was a recipe I wanted to try because it's part of a "New Year's Eve Good Luck Meal."  It is Quinoa-Stuffed Cabbage Packages.

I love quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).  It's one of those super foods hitting the grocery stores and popping up in more and more recipes everywhere.

Most people think it's a grain because it looks like one, but it's actually a seed grown high in the Andes Mountains in South America.  Although many Americans know little of it, it's actually and ancient food enjoyed by the Incas.

One cup of quinoa has about:

220 calories
38-40 grams carbohydrates
8 grams protein
3.5 grams fat
5 grams of fiber
and high in folate, magnesium (great if you have migraines), phosphorus, iron and copper and manganese

According to the Mother Nature Network:
Quinoa is stocked with life-sustaining nutrients all across the board, including all eight essential amino acids. There are other highly beneficial compounds, vitamins and minerals in this food that the Incas reverently called "chisaya mama" (mother of all grains).
Vegetarians would do well to incorporate quinoa into their diet often. It’s difficult for vegetarians to get all eight essential amino acids and an adequate source of protein from one food source. Usually, vegetarians and vegans need to combine foods like beans and rice to acquire all the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Those with gluten sensitivities or wheat allergies can rejoice in eating quinoa as it contains no gluten or wheat. (Spanish conquistadors during the South American conquest suppressed quinoa production, as it was associated with what the Spaniards perceived as non-Christian, indigenous, ceremonial backwardness. Thus, wheat was cultivated in the Andes region.)

With all that goodness in one food, no wonder it is considered a superfood AND included in the New Year's Good Luck Meal!

According to Grub, and tradition, "Each cabbage leaf represents $1,000 that you will see in the New Year, so eat up!"  I think I've eaten 2 cabbage rolls, and another 6-7 cabbage leaves for good measure!

Quinoa-Stuffed Cabbage Packages


1 cup quinoa
coarse sea salt
1 large green cabbage head
12 chives
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 garlic cloves, minced and sautéed in olive oil for 1-2 minutes until golden
1/4 cup currants
1/4 toasted walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
freshly ground white pepper


If it is not pre-rinsed, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under running water and drain.  Combine the quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 15 minutes, then remove the top and cool.

Cooked Quinoa


Meanwhile, bring a large, deep pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Prepare a large bowl full of ice water.

Cut the core from the cabbage with a small paring knife.  Drop the whole cabbage into the water and boil for 5-10 minutes, remove the cabbage head, and removed the softened outer leaves.  Shock the leaves in the ice water (ice bath) to set the color and stop the cooking.  Return the cabbage head to the boiling water to soften the next few layers of leaves, remove them, ice bath, and then continue with the rest of the cabbage.  Drain and pat the cabbage leave dry with paper towels.  To save time and paper towels I gently spun the leaves in the salad spinner.  Worked great!  Set aside.

Ice Bath

Bring water back to boil and add the chives.  Blanch for 10 seconds.  Remove them and place in ice bath.  Drain and set aside with cabbage leaves.

In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, currants, walnuts and parsley.  Mix well.  Add the cooled quinoa and toss well.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste.  Add white pepper to taste.  At this point, this is an EXCELLENT QUINOA SALAD!  You could serve this as a side dish if you like.  It's GREAT!

Dressing for Quinoa 

This would make a GREAT Quinoa Salad/Side Dish

Back to Packages...

With a sharp knife, cut the thick part of the stem from each cabbage leaf.  Place heaping 3 tablespoons of the quinoa in the center of each cabbage leaf.  Fold the sides toward the center and fold up each end of the leaf into a compact package. Wrap a chive around the narrower side of each package and tie it up into a knot. Serve on a platter with seam side down.

Rolling the cabbage package is like rolling a burrito.  Lay out cabbage leaf.

Place quinoa in center.  Fold in one side...

Then the other...

Roll up the bottom then bring down the top portion.

Wrap it nicely in the chive

Such a cute little package!

Good luck!  Or better yet, Good Health!



Jeny Riordan said...

I made a few changes, but I used your recipe as a base. My family loved it. My kids even ate them cold the next day! Thank you.

Kimberly said...

So glad your family enjoyed it! I've updated this blog and it can now be found at
Thanks so much for visiting!