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Who Needs Corned Beef When You Can Have Cabbage?

in Entrees, Other

green cabbage









If you are anything like me, whenever you have seen this vegetable at the grocery store you have likely walked right on by.  I never thought that I liked cabbage when in actuality, I just never cared to try it.  About one month ago I cooked with green cabbage for the first time.  And my verdict?… I loved it!  I am here to tell you right now that despite your potential preconceived thoughts regarding cabbage, it can and IS good!  You just need to prepare it right.  In celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, I am here to show you just how delicious cabbage can be.  Oh, and it is safe to say that we will not be talking about, making, serving, or eating corned beef.  Who needs that, anyways? 😉

lentil cabbage casserole 7






Lentil and Cabbage Casserole

Adapted from Melanie’s recipe for Cabbage Roll Casserole

Servings: 3-4


EVOO cooking spray
1 cup lentils, dry
water, for cooking
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped into quarters
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried basil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 TB Better Than Bouillon vegetable soup base
1/2 medium head of green cabbage, chopped into shreds
1/2 cup water
nutritional yeast, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with EVOO cooking spray.

2. Cook lentils according to package directions.

3. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water.  Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.  Once hot, lower heat to medium and add onions, peppers, and zucchini.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.  Add more water, if necessary.

4. Add lentils, garlic, spices, tomatoes, pasta sauce, and soup base.  Stir until well-combined.

5. Lower the heat to medium-low, add cabbage and water, and simmer for approximately 3 minutes.

6. Pour the lentil and cabbage mixture into the baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

7. Remove foil and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes.

8. Top with nutritional yeast, if desired.

lentil cabbage casserole 5






After I took my first bite of this casserole I knew that I was going to have to do something that I did not want to do.  I was going to have to admit that I was wrong about cabbage.  It is not bland or unappetizing.  It is good!  I enjoyed this dish so much that I actually made it again this week in preparation for St. Patty’s Day.  You really cannot go wrong with this flavorful, protein-packed vegan dish.  If you want to try cooking with cabbage for the first time, this is definitely the recipe for you!

Are you wondering what to do with your leftover green cabbage after you make this tasty casserole?  Well, you could make this:

cabbage side






Spicy Cooked Cabbage

Adapted from Kristen’s recipe for Salt and Vinegar Cabbage

Servings: 2


water, for cooking
1 small yellow onion, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium head green cabbage, cut into shreds
1 TB low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fine sea salt
red pepper flakes, to taste
black pepper, to taste
sriracha sauce, to taste


1. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water.  Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.  Once hot, lower the heat to medium and add onions and garlic.  Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until softened.  Add additional water, as necessary.

2. Add cabbage and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water, as needed, to prevent sticking and burning.

3. Lower the heat to medium-low.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and sriracha sauce.  Stir until well-combined.  Simmer an additional 2-3 minutes.

cabbage side 4






Serve this as a side alongside your next main dish!  Spicy cabbage?  Um, yes please!

Mexican cabbage






Lastly, pick up The Happy Herbivore Cookbook or visit the Happy Herbivore website, and make a delicious dish of Mexican Cabbage!  Trust me, you do not want to miss out on this one.

So….have I convinced you yet?  Go on, give it a try!  You too will see that cabbage can be and is delicious!

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{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Kate @ Quarter Century Southern Living March 14, 2013, 5:36 pm
    I love the title of this post! Haha, who needs it!? I love anything spicy. I would definitely give this a try! :)
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance March 14, 2013, 5:49 pm
    Thanks for these cabbage recipes! I LOVE cabbage . . . and even though I'm not vegetarian, I'm not fond of corned beef. So the lentil cabbage casserole would be great instead.
  • Brittany March 14, 2013, 5:54 pm
    You've for sure convinced me, and so has Pinterest with their baked cabbage recipe!
  • chasingchels March 14, 2013, 6:15 pm
    That lentil and cabbage dish looks awesome...might just have to give cabbage a try now...thanks for that ;)
  • ahealthyhappyhome March 14, 2013, 6:26 pm
    I'm so glad you posted this as I just saw organic cabbage on sale at Sprouts and was trying to come up with some tasty ways to prepare it! I'm not a beef eater but do enjoy cabbage. Like you said though I just always pass it by. I'm adding it to my shopping list for next week!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 14, 2013, 6:31 pm
      Awesome! Yes, this is the perfect time to make something with cabbage because it is on sale at practically every grocery store!
  • Erin March 14, 2013, 6:27 pm
    Cabbage is one of those foods that I will eat if it's in something (normally a dish at a restaurant) but have never attempted to cook myself. Minus the onions the lentil and cabbage casserole looks great!!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 14, 2013, 6:32 pm
      I have figured out that you are not an onion lover, are you? ;)
      • Erin March 14, 2013, 6:47 pm
        Haha no i HATE them...Like wont eat food if it comes anywhere near one!
  • jessiebearwhat March 14, 2013, 6:43 pm
    Yuum, that spicy cabbage looks good. I know I've tried cabbage and liked it in the past, but it's been years and I can't really remember what it tastes like!
  • kaityscooking March 14, 2013, 7:25 pm
    ive had that mexican cabbage, its awesomee! i gotta try that spicy cabbage, looks so good
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 14, 2013, 7:53 pm
      Isn't it so good? It amazes me how good cabbage can taste. With the right seasonings it is definitely awesome.
  • Natalie March 14, 2013, 7:26 pm
    I love cabbage! I like cooking it rather than having it raw so I'm loving your recipes!
  • Alex @ therunwithin March 14, 2013, 7:42 pm
    I love cabbage and am always looking for new ways to cook it.
  • moderngirlnutrition March 14, 2013, 10:28 pm
    This is a great idea! Cabbage is the best part anyways:)
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies March 15, 2013, 7:23 am
    I never liked cabbage until recently-- it was always the gross, poorly cooked veggie in my Asian food. It was actually a mexican style cabbage (similar to HH's) that made me try and really appreciate cabbage in the first place, so it's funny that you linked it today. Definitely a good cabbage starter food. Your recipe today looks super flavorful! It's going on the list!
  • Kelly @ Vegan Iowan March 15, 2013, 9:09 am
    These all look great! I usually use cabbage in Asian dishes but these look like great ways to expand upon that.
  • Marie @ Little Kitchie March 15, 2013, 9:27 am
    That spicy cabbage! Looks fabulous!
  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 15, 2013, 10:25 am
    Great title, Hannah! This was such a unique idea for us vegetarians! :)
  • Sonia the Mexigarian March 15, 2013, 1:23 pm
    it's funny. i never really liked cabbage, even though my family ate it all the freaking time. and then recently, I gave it another chance actually fell in love. i especially love the purple cabbage. the casserole sounds yummy!
  • hlymre March 15, 2013, 2:07 pm
    Sign me up for the spicy cabbage! I make cabbage at least 4 nights a week.. but always just add a little garlic and salt. Why not spice it up? Love it!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 15, 2013, 3:36 pm
      Oh, I think you will definitely love this recipe then! It never hurts to spice things up (no pun intended ;)) and make something new!
  • Aggie March 15, 2013, 2:57 pm
    I actually really love cabbage, but don't cook with it enough. Your recipes look delicious!
  • Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen March 15, 2013, 3:28 pm
    You've definitely convinced me! For some reason, when I think of cabbage, I think of intense buttery recipes but what a great way to make this veggie! Definitely going to pick some up next time!
  • sprint2thetable March 15, 2013, 3:37 pm
    I don't know how people eat corned beef - I'll take your cabbage any day!
  • Nicole March 15, 2013, 4:01 pm
    I love cabbage! I'm not a fan of corned beef but I bet it would be good with lentils!
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats March 15, 2013, 9:46 pm
    I think cabbage is very underrated! Have you ever had the Japanese Cabbage Pancake Okonomiyaki? (my spelling of that is probably off). It is really simple to make and very healthy and delicious (as long as you don't slather it in too much mayo as they do)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 16, 2013, 3:48 pm
      I have not had that. I will have to look for a recipe for it and give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion :).
  • Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies March 15, 2013, 10:52 pm
    I rarely buy cabbage and when I do it's for fried rice or noodles..this looks interesting! Will have to give it a try!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 16, 2013, 3:49 pm
      Cabbage is definitely good in fried rice, but that is certainly not all that it is good in! ;) Please let me know if you try one of these recipes!
  • P March 17, 2013, 7:42 pm
    I totally agree! Cabbage is a power veg :D
  • taramdeal March 18, 2013, 6:22 pm
    Yum! I have always been a huge cabbage fan and actually enjoy it plain, steamed with salt and pepper, or as sauerkraut. These recipes look really creative, so next time I have a head in the fridge I will have to take a peak and try something other than just plain cabbage :)

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