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Cabbage rolls on a budget

Boil cabbage in salted water.
Boil cabbage in salted water.

Feeding a family a nutritious and filling meal is not as easy as you might think on a budget. With all of the flu bugs and colds running around it is important to make healthy well balanced meals.  Trying to incorporate fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and nutrition into each meal is a challenge.  Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, potassium, fiber and lots of other nutrients.  It is also low in fat and calories. 

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There a great many ways to fix cabbage.  It can be eaten raw as either a Cole slaw made with light mayonnaise or marinated with oil and vinegar. CD Kitchen has some great raw cabbage salad recipes. Or it can be cooked down with butter and onions to make a wonderful side dish.  All Recipes has some great side dish ideas for cabbage. 

One tried and true favorite meal is cabbage rolls.  It is packed with nutrition and flavor that the family will love. It is relatively easy but a little time consuming. It makes a great inexpensive meal which is a necessity these days. Depending on where you shop, all of the ingredients should cost between $10 to $15.  You can also change the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey for a more healthy version.

Ingredients

  •  1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 large jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef (ground chicken or turkey can be substituted)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  •  1 cup instant rice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Lightly oil large crock pot  Place head of cabbage in salted boiling water.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove carefully and set in strainer in sink to cool.  Brown ground beef over medium heat.  Add onions to soften.  Drain grease from meat.  Add instant rice, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce.

Cut base off of cabbage and separate leaves.  Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in leaf and roll up tucking in sides.  Pour 2 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce in bottom of crock pot.  Place rolls seam side down on sauce.  Add any leftover meat to the spaghetti sauce.  Stir in vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour sauce over rolls and cover.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Serve with a crusty bread and enjoy.  This is wonderful on a cold winter night.

For more cabbage recipes go to About.com.

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