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Diet Day 5: Beef and Tomatoes.  Real food!? I am taking full advantage with a special recipe.

  • Breakfast: cappuccino
  • Lunch: cabbage soup
  • Snacks: um… water
  • Dinner: cabbage rolls

For dinner, we decided to make Grandma’s famous cabbage rolls, or “halupkes”. We made some healthy edits (which I’m including in a footer note below) and they fit in perfectly with our diet day.

Grandma's Cabbage Rolls | by J'ai La Vie

You can substitute today’s beef for chicken or fish, so Kiley and I decided to use ground turkey.  It’s just like beef, but much leaner so I think this is the opposite of a cheat … extra brownie points? Ugh, I can’t even think about brownies right now…

Fortunately, it’s almost St. Patty’s so cabbage (which is cheap anyway) was only 7 cents/pound!  What a great week to be on the Cabbage Soup Diet.

The cabbage rolls are easy, but not as easy as Grandma makes it seem.

Just start with your meat (traditionally they are made with beef, but we used ground turkey), chopped onion, rice, salt, and pepper.  Because we’re on the diet, we used homemade cauliflower rice instead of rice.  Instructions on how to make it can be found here.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | J'ai La VieLeave the cabbage whole and cut out the stem on the bottom (our head of cabbage was already cut in half but you’ll get bigger leaves if you leave it whole).  Place the cabbage in boiling water and remove leaves one by one with a fork, placing in a strainer.

Spread a little of your tomato sauce (or soup, depending on your preference) to the bottom of a baking dish.  Add your meat mixture and roll it up in a cabbage leaf like a burrito. Place seam-side down in the dish.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | J'ai La Vie

When you’ve run out of leaves and meat mixture, bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | J'ai La Vie

Of course they aren’t as good as Grandma’s, but they never are…

Grandma’s Halupkes

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup rice, cooked and cooled*
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. salt*
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce or tomato soup (with water added)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together raw meet, raw onion, cooked rice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Boil a big pot of water.  Remove the center stem of the cabbage with a knife and add head of cabbage to the boiling water.  Carefully remove cabbage leaves with a fork, one at a time, and place in a strainer.

Add meat mixture to a cabbage leaf, tuck ends of the lead in and roll (like a burrito).  Repeat until all of the meat is gone.  (You can freeze them at this stage if you’d like.)

Spread half the can of tomato soup on the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange cabbage rolls in the pan and pour the rest of the soup over top.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

*If on the Cabbage Soup Diet, keep salt to a minimum.  Leave out rice or substitute for cauliflower rice.