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Cabbage is versatile

InDefenseOfToucans, Wikimedia Commons

Bierocks, stuffed mainly with ground beef, cabbage and onions, make handy sandwiches for picnics or eating at home.


Aha — I know some of you are crinkling up your noses at the mere mention of cabbage. To be honest, I have sampled some dishes that featured cabbage and I understand that it isn’t always so great. But it can be.

As I write this, I have a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove, and the main vegetable is cabbage. There is also corn, zucchini, peas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, onions and celery. I seem to make it a bit differently each time, as it is based on whatever I have in the refrigerator or freezer, and even some cans, such as tomato sauce and fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

Things have been hectic, so some homemade veggie soup is very comforting at this time. Maybe you feel the same way. There are many different comfort foods, and a lot of recipes include cabbage, so we might as well explore a few.

Cat’s vegetable soup

Note: I quite often skip the fresh carrot, canned green beans, peas and corn, and just use a large bag of mixed frozen vegetables. This is not really a vegetarian recipe, as it calls for some bacon, chicken broth and sometimes I throw in a beef soup bone or two.

3 slices raw bacon, diced

About half a large head of green cabbage

1 onion, chopped

1 to 2 large cloves garlic, pressed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 can (14 to 16 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen peas

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen corn

1 large carrot, diced

2 ribs celery, diced (leaves included)

1 can cut green beans

2 quarts (or more, I often use 4) water

3 tablespoons Knorr chicken bouillon (or use chicken broth instead of water and bouillon)

About 1 teaspoon pesto sauce, optional

1 packet onion soup mix, optional

About 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes

Parmesan cheese

Louisiana hot sauce, to add at table, optional

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In soup kettle, render the diced bacon. Add a little bit of olive oil if you need to. Add the onions, celery and cabbage to the kettle, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to wilt. No need to brown anything.

2. Add remaining ingredients except for the potatoes, Parmesan cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to simmer on medium heat until the veggies are mostly done. At this time, you can add the potatoes, then continue cooking until they are done. If you like, you can also add a couple of handfuls of small macaroni.

3. When the soup is ready to serve, add desired amount of salt and pepper (I usually leave the pepper out). Each diner can add Parmesan cheese and a small amount hot sauce, if desired. This soup is great with some buttered dinner rolls.


1 bag (14-oz.) coleslaw mix (or shred your own)

3 tablespoons onion, minced

1 1/3 cups mayonnaise

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1. Whisk the mayonnaise, oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and poppy seeds in a large, non-metal bowl.

2. Add the coleslaw and onion; mix well to combine.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

Kielbasa and cabbage skillet

12 to 16 ounces kielbasa sausage

1/2 small (2 to 3 pounds) head green cabbage

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1. Halve 12 to 16 ounces kielbasa sausage lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Core and chop 1/2 head green cabbage into rough 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups).

2. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large cast iron or regular skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds and a of pinch red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kielbasa and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the cabbage, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits, until tender and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and toss to combine. Makes 4 servings.


Made with biscuits. Some folks like to mix in a bit of horseradish into the meat mixture.

1 pound ground beef

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon (or less) cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

6 ounces Gruyere cheese

16 ounces Bavarian-style sauerkraut (the kind with caraway seeds)

2 cans Grands Southern Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits

All-purpose flour, as needed

1. Saute ground beef with sliced onion, minced garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne and cumin until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Drain the excess fat (if any) and allow the meat to cool in the strainer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350, shred the Gruyere and drain the sauerkraut.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix together the ground beef mixture, shredded cheese and sauerkraut.

3. Roll out each biscuit flat on a floured surface. Place 3 to 4 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each biscuit and fold up the sides like a steam bun to seal.

4. Place uncooked bierocks, seam side down, split among two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, or until golden. Allow the bierocks to cool on a wire baking rack for 2 to 3 minutes before eating. Makes 16 bierocks.



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