Posted at 3:00 pm , on March 4, 2019
Unstuffed Cabbage Soup has been my family’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner for as long as I can remember. I could not tell you whether or not it is actually traditional Irish fare, although my Irish-American mother has always insisted that it is “more Irish” than corned beef and cabbage. I do know that cabbage is heavily featured in Irish food, and this is delicious. It goes well with potatoes; my personal favorite pairing is potato cakes, but mashed or even roasted potatoes would do the trick quite nicely.
I adapted my mother’s recipe so I could make it in the slow cooker because, if you hadn’t noticed, I prefer to use my slow cooker when given the choice. The recipe just about fills my 6-quart slow cooker. If that’s too much for you, don’t worry, the leftovers freeze beautifully.
The honey and raisins put this soup is on the sweet side – it is definitely the sweetest of any soup I make. If you prefer something less sweet, you could reduce the amount of honey. I suppose you could also reduce how many raisins you include, but then you would miss out on the joy that is plump little re-hydrated raisins.
For the soup base:
- 1 large onion
- 2 lb head of cabbage, preferably Savoy
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup raisins (or currants)
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dice the onion. Core and dice the cabbage. Place both the onion and the cabbage into the crock of a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Add the other ingredients for the soup base into the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Gently mix with your hands.
- Roll the meat mixture into small, bite-sized meatballs, adding them to the slow cooker as you go.
- Fold the meatballs into the soup, taking care not to break them apart.
- Put on the lid and cook for 8 hours on low. Serve with potato cakes, mashed potatoes, or whichever starchy carb you prefer!
Posted at 3:00 pm , on February 27, 2019
March is upon us! Lent begins this month with Ash Wednesday on March 6th. Because this is a penitential season, I decided to limit how much meat I put on this menu. Specifically, I’ll be cooking meat on Thursdays as well as the 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) and 19th (the Solemnity of St. Joseph). I intentionally chose Thursday as our main meat night, because Catholics abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. Our lunch is usually the previous night’s leftovers, so this will be an active reminder of the sacrifice for us every Friday.
My other food goals for the month are 1) to eat some eggplant and 2) take my new wok for a spin. One of my kids asked to try eggplant recently, and we have already made it to serve on the side once, but I want to take advantage of her interest and make it a couple of more times this month. I used my wok once last month to make this vegetable stir-fry, and promptly destroyed the starter-seasoning I did. Whomp whomp. So I will be re-seasoning in the oven and then, more importantly, using my wok! If you have any interesting stir fry or other wok recipes, please send them my way!
It was fun getting a little fancier with a souffle at the end of February, but this month I am back to basics. I will be keeping Sundays simple this month with scrambled eggs and roasted veggies.
- Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad – This salad is an offshoot of this recipe. The way I usually make it these days is pretty different from its mother recipe, but I still use that salad dressing. The original is great too, although it might be hard to find butternut squash this time of year.
- Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas with Sweet Potato Cornbread – I will probably leave some of the fajita vegetables raw for my kids. As I recall, this recipe is more medium than mild spiciness, and they do not like spicy foods right now.
- BBQ Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls – I know that this link leads to a recipe for BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls, but I will be omitting the chicken to make it vegetarian. I usually roast up the zucchini with some cubed sweet potatoes. About half the time I forget or just choose not to include the chicken and it is always a satisfying meal.
- Weeknight Enchiladas – I think the last time I made these I ended up with 3 or 4 pans of enchiladas because there were so many beans leftover. Great for stocking the freezer or sharing with a friend!
Pizza – For our weekly pizza I use this crust recipe with this sauce.