For the sauce:
Stuffed cabbage and onions is a signature childhood dish for me. This is a comforting meal for any day of the week. I took the same old concept and elevated the mixture of the ingredients to some healthier, more filling and good for you kind. The classic one is rice and ground beef which is always delicious. But this vegan version is not less decadent and satisfying. Give it a try and of course you can play with the stuffing if you prefer one ingredient over the other.
*This can be a “do ahead” or a “yesterday” step.
1. Carefully with a small knife, cut around the core of the cabbage. No need to remove it. It will get soft from the cooking.
2. Place the cabbage in a deep pot covered with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove with a spider strainer/ spoon. Let cool for 15 minutes and start peeling the leaves. Place on a tray.
3. Cut very little from the top of the onions and score them lengthwise. Not too deep. You still want them whole. Place them in the same pot the cabbage was cooked in, and cook for 10- 15 minutes until they are plumped and open. Remove, let cool, and peel the leaves. Place on a bowl or tray. (The core cannot be filled, so I chop it and add to the stuffing mixture.
4. Combin all the stuffing ingredients and with a spoon insert into the onions and cabbage, roll and place on a try. (Do not overstuff as it expands while cooking)
Now let’s make the sauce:
Chop the onions and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and spices. Mix for a minute.
Add the tomato paste, stir for few seconds and add ¾ water to the pot.
Bring to a boil and turn off the fire.
Place all the stuffed cabbage on the bottom (sealed side down), and place the stuffed onions on top.
Sprinkle some paprika, celery leaves and bring to a boil.
Shake the pot to transfer the sauce a little and lower the flame. Cook for an hour.