Real food may be nutritious, but that does not mean it cannot be incredibly delicious. One of my favorite ways to spice up what some folks might see as bland and boring “health food,” is by fusing sweet and savory flavors together. With Fall in full swing and Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to take advantage of the pomegranates now available in almost any grocery store. Simply eating the seeds of a pomegranate as a snack is delicious, however, I wanted to create an actual meal that utilized the sweet, yet tangy flavor of the fruits seeds and juice.
Seeding a pomegranate can be somewhat messy, if done the wrong way that is. Last Thanksgiving, I learned how to easily remove the seeds without squirting your clean clothes with potent red juice, or tediously picking them out one by one. Check out the video for yourself here. For the reduction sauce, I use 100% no sugar added pomegranate juice that my mother found for me at Whole Foods.
|Even Stacy enjoyed my AIP Spiced Pumpkin Pie|
My lovely friend Audrea from A Bountiful Blessing helped me with test tasting and taking photos. Unlike myself, she has very pretty fingers and hands, making her quite the “handy” (no pun intended) model. She and I (along with her husband my parents and younger brother) also had the fantastic opportunity to visit Sarah, the Paleo Mom, and Stacy and Matt from the Paleo Parents, in NYC for a book signing. The weather was very sunny, while traveling was a breeze due to no traffic or parking issues (thank you God). After visiting the beloved Hu Kitchen, Union Square Green Market (at which I bought my first packet of ostrich meat – delicious) and Mario Batali’s Eatily, the three of us girls headed over to watch Sarah, Stacy, and Matt begin their cooking demo. After many years of trekking to NYC for dr. appointments (of wich I still do), zvlit was such a treat for two of my favorite bloggers to visit the city! Though I was very exhausted and in pain from being out all day, sitting on the floor watching their cooking made it much more enjoyable. Another plus was that they inspired me to make a new AIP friendly gnocchi recipe that I will be sharing in the weeks to come!
All in all, our trip was amazing, and Sarah, Stacy, and Matt are just as personable, nice, and genuine as they appear through social media. If you have not already, follow their websites (thepalomom.com & paleoparents.com), and of course support them through purchasing their cookbooks. Being real people, with real stories, and AMAZING recipes, I promise you will not be disappointed. Also, a big thanks to Sarah, Stacy, and Matt themselves for coming all the way to NYC!
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 10-12 medium sized cabbage leaves
- 1 lb parsnips (2 cups mashed) – peeled and chopped
- 16 oz ground organic lamb
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup leeks – chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 pomegranate de-seeded (1/2 cup pomegranate seeds) *Watch video here.
- In a large pot filled with boiling water, place peeled parsnips chunks and let boil for 15 minutes until fork tender.
- Once soft, use a ladle to transfer parsnips into a strainer, allowing to cool until able to handle.
- Place parsnips in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. *There may be a hard “core” piece that you are unable to fully mash up. If so, simply remove these bits by hand before continuing.
- In the same pot, place cabbage leaves and let blanch for 1 minute until slightly wilted.
- Immediately remove from the boiling water and place in a strainer, rinsing will cold water to stop the cooking process, and setting aside for later use.
- Next, heat the pot over medium heat, adding ground lamb, leeks, and ginger, cooking until meat is browned.
- Turn the heat off and stir in pomegranate seeds until fully incorporated.
- Add in mashed parsnips and continue to stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the pot from the heat, placing 1/4 cup (or more) of the mixture into each cabbage leave.
- Fold both sides of the cabbage leaf over the meat mixture and roll from the bottom up, making sure the sides stay tucked in.
- Repeat with the remaining leaves, placing each roll one after another into a medium sized baking dish.
- Add dish to the oven to further cook and heat up for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and serve with pomegranate reduction.
Pomegranate Reduction Sauce
- 1 1/2 cup 100% no sugar added pomegranate juice
- 2 tbsp raw honey.
- 2 tbsp sweet potato flour
- 2 tbsp water
- Dash of Salt
- In a small sauce pan, bring juice and honey to a boil.
- Reduce mixture to a simmer, letting cook for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing together the sweet potato flour and water.
- Whisk the slurry into the simmering mixture, making sure to continue whisking so that no clumps form.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for another 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Pour into a small pitcher and serve over cabbage rolls.