Cabbage Rolls (Naturally gluten free!)

Cabbage rolls are a family favorite.  And when I say family favorite, I mean I love them even if no one else in my house does.  Luckily for me though, my extended family is always willing to help out eating them.  In fact I know right now, my mother and sister would kill for one of my cabbage rolls.

Cabbage rolls are really not all that difficult to make, but they are a bit time consuming so make sure you have some time to spare.  Especially if you are making them for the first time.  It does take a bit of practice to peel the boiled cabbage leaves from the head.

This is an old family recipe.  It is not extravagant, but it has been used in our family for at least the past 30 years if not longer, and we love it.  Certainly comfort food for us.

*Also, fair warning!!  Do not eat too many, or you will get a belly ache!  And don’t eat any if you have a dr appointment, or they will wonder if something is wrong with you…lol  I know this from experience!!*

cabbage rolls

Cabbage rolls

1 head of cabbage (Mine was from our local CSA!)

1 1/2 lb hamburger

1/2 c rice

2 eggs

2 t Italian seasoning

1 sm onion chopped

sauerkraut

tomato juice

Boil the head of cabbage in a large pot until leaves are tender and pliable.  Remove the hard “stem” like parts from each leaf.

In a separate bowl, mix together hamburger, eggs, rice, onion, and Italian seasoning.

Take one cabbage leaf in your hand.  Place a decent amount of hamburger mix on the leaf, and roll it up like you would wrap a package.

Place in crockpot, and repeat until all hamburger mix is gone.

Cover rolls with sauerkraut and tomato juice, and cook on high for roughly 5 hours or so.  The longer they cook, the better they come out (provided you don’t burn them.)

That’s it.  Easy Peasy.

I usually serve mine with boiled, smashed potatoes covered in butter, and corn bread if I have the time to make it.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and more, and don’t forget to stop in and say “Hello!”

Manic Monday~ Crockpot Chicken Tacos w/ Homemade Pico de Gallo

Mondays are usually very busy at my house.  It starts the work week for my husband, school week for the kiddos, and back to school for me as well, which means we are all usually pretty pooped by dinner time and NO ONE wants to cook.  Thankfully for the next two weeks my husband is on mandatory vacation, so we can all spend some summer vacation time together.  Still, a Monday is still a Monday….

If I know I am going to have a busy day with little time to spare, I usually try to throw something in the crockpot.  Crockpots are great because I can throw the uncooked meats and veges in when I wake up in the morning, and when dinner time is up I have a perfectly cooked hot meal with little effort needed.

While feeding my addiction to pinterest, I have noticed that this particular recipe has become increasingly popular.  I personally have made it for quite a while, although not exactly the same as the one I found on pinterest.

Hopefully you enjoy this version just as much.  I have found that it tastes almost identical to my local Mexican restaurant’s version of shredded chicken.

chicken tacos01

Crockpot Shredded Chicken

3 frozen chicken breasts  ( I like the bagged boneless skinless individually frozen ones)

1 c Pico de Gallo

1 bell pepper sliced

1 sliced onion

1/2 packet of Ortega reduced sodium taco seasoning  (I am working to find a suitable substitution using only spices)

3/4 c water

Basically just dump all the ingredients into the crockpot and cook on high for about 6 hours.

Once the chicken is tender enough to pull apart with a fork, shred using either two forks, or if you have a Kitchenaid, place the chicken in the bowl with the paddle attachment on and mix on low for about 30 seconds, or until the chicken is thoroughly shredded.  I usually add quite a bit of juice to the chicken while I am shredding so it stays nice and moist.

Voila!  That’s it!

For tacos, pair with….

Warm corn tortillas for gluten free folks

Flour or corn tortillas for non-gluten free folks

refried beans

lettuce

fresh pico de gallo

sour cream

guacamole

This recipe usually makes enough chicken for my family of 6 plus a little something left over for my lunch the next day.  Sometimes I make it solely so I have something yummy besides a sandwich for my lunches.

Pico de Gallo is so easy to make and so good fresh I am surprised people buy jarred salsa from the store anymore.

Basically the recipe is….

1-2 tomatoes (Fresh during the summer is best, but any in the produce isle will work)

1/2 onion chopped into small pieces

1/4 jalapeno chopped into itty bitty pieces (if you a heat sissy like me 😉

juice of 1/2 a lime

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves chopped  ( I use about 10-15 stems from the bunch you get at the store, then remove the leaves from the stalks)

Chop up the tomatoes, and mix with onion, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, cilantro.  You can add other ingredients if you wish, such as green onion or peppers, but basically that is all you need.  It is best when eaten 5 mins or so after you make it, but it can hold in the fridge for a few days.  It is amazing with tortilla chips.

So here’s the question for you today…. Do you have a favorite Mexican dish you love to make?  I am desperately searching for a good Mexican Rice recipe that tastes like the kind you get at the restaurants.  If you have one you’d like to share, please pass it on!