Halupkis- making humble ingredients taste good since 17 CE.
This recipe introduces my “Labor of Love Series” which is sort of the opposite of my “Seriously Simple Series”! These recipes will all be undeniably decadent and time-consuming, but-oh-so-worth-it for that special someone (by the way, YOU can be that special someone) or a special occasion. For a couple of weeks now, Halupkis have been a special request from Chris. Since she had to explain what they are to me, I thought I’d let her explain what they are to you too! Here’s what she had to say:
Why We Halupki
Polish or Slovak, Ukrainian or Czech, the people of eastern Europe can all agree that the key to happiness is having someone you love make you halupkis. Stuffed cabbage rolls come in all forms and flavors and are part of many traditions, but to be called a Halupki it must be filled with ground meat, rice, and a section of finely chopped vegetables, swaddled by a cabbage leaf, and smothered with sweet or savory tomato sauce. The result is not just satisfying and sumptuous, but soothing and strengthening too. Here in Central Pennsylvania, no pot luck feast is complete without someone bringing a crock full of their Babushka’s famous halupkis, made using a recipe straight from the Old Country. It was one of the dishes I deeply regretted not eating more often in my life before discovering veganism. But now, those days of regret are over! Kelsey totally hit it out of the park with these healthy-as-the-day-is-long, tasty-as-the-sky-is-blue, completely cruelty-free, just-like-someone-else’s-Grandma-used-to-make halupkis. Enjoy immensely!
Halupkis (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
- 1 large head of cabbage
- 1/2 c brown rice
- 1 c lentils
- 10 oz baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 large white onion
- 2 14.5 oz cans tomato soup, non-concentrated (check for vegan)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 2 tsp spaghetti sauce mix
- 3/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt free seasoning
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Place brown rice and 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan. Add heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes (adding water if necessary) until rice is tender. Drain off any excess water. Set aside.
2. Place lentils in a sauce pan with vegetable broth and two cups of water. Add heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes (adding water if necessary) until lentils are tender. Drain off any excess water. Set aside.
3. Chop the mushrooms and onion and mince the garlic. Sauté over medium heat, adding vegetable broth one tbsp at a time as necessary to prevent sticking.
4. Combine mushroom mixture, lentils, and rice in a large mixing bowl. Add seasonings, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
5. Prepare the cabbage leaves to be used as wrappers. Slice off the stem plus about an inch from the bottom and discard. Slice what remains in half and place in the steamer. As the cabbage steams, the outer leaves will start to loosen first, as they do, use tongs and a long fork to break the leaves apart and mix them so that the uncooked leaves can receive the steam. Repeat until all the leaves have softened, then remove them from the steamer and give them a rinse of cold water so you can handle them. Use a sharp knife to shave down any large ribs and get ready to roll, Baby!
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Spread a quarter cup of tomato soup on the bottom of the pan. Place a prepared cabbage leaf on a cutting board with the rib pointing towards you. Place a few tablespoons worth of the filling mixture on the leaf about one inch in. The amount to use will depend on the size of the leaf. Pull the part of the leaf closest to you over the filling, fold in the sides and roll. Place roll in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled.
6. Pour the rest of the tomato soup over the rolls. Bake in the oven for thirty minutes.
7. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes if desired.