Monday, October 4, 2010

Stuffed Borscht?

I mean, you've got red cabbage, tomato juice, grated beets, red quinoa... some soy sour cream... no dill, but lots of sage and thyme... yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and dub this spread Quinoa Stuffed Borscht. And take it from me, it is uber-tasty.

And full of anti-oxidants! Whoopeeee! Not that I need any further dosing, what with the glass (or two... or 5) of red wine I have nightly. Brings back memories of mixing my bowl o' red with an order of Kasha Varnishkas at B+H, minus the butter and cream. I've been told that plated, this looks like something out of Gray's Anatomy. Venture on, dear fellow chef, and whip yourself up a batch of slightly-intestinal looking stuffs in time for Halloween.

Quinoa Stuffed Borscht

1 medium head red cabbage
2 small sweet potatoes, baked, grated
1 cup quinoa
1 large red onion
6 cloves garlic
1 large beet, baked, grated
Handful mushrooms, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 large tomato, roasted, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 medium piece of soy sausage or homemade seitan sausage, grated coarsely
2 tsp sage
1.5 tsp thyme
1 egg's worth of egg replacer, mixed
6 tablespoons Earth Balance
Faux-beef bouillion, 4 cups
Black pepper, fresh, lots

To start, preheat your oven to 400f and roast your potatoes, beet, and tomato for 20 minutes. Cover and set aside.

Boil the quinoa with a little salt in 2 cups water for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. If it's looking wet at 10, uncover the stuff for the rest of the boil.

Melt 4 tablespoons of EB in a large, flat bottomed pot. Add your garlic and onion, saute a few minutes. Add the chopped tomato, cook another 2. Add the stock, tomato paste, and half of the grated beet. Add a dash of sage and thyme (or dill!) and your bay leaves. Add half the garlic. Simmer sauce until tomatoes start to disperse, about 20 minutes.

In another pot, melt 2 tablespoons EB. Add your mushrooms and seitan, stir, and turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook until the mushrooms loose some liquid, about 4 minutes. Toss in your grated carrot and potato and beet. Stir in the remaining sage and thyme, and taste for salt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add egg replacer, stir well, set aside.

Boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot. Core your cabbage by using a paring knife and a strong grip - slice into the cabbage about an inch down, in a small circle around the stem. Using a fork, pry the core from the cabbage. Slice a little more from the core, so that you can see where each leaf separates from each other. Dunk the cabbage into the boiling water. Using tongs, free leaves as they cook away from the cabbage - the first should fall off around two minutes, the entire process should take 15-20. Set the leaves on a cutting board to cool. You'll need about 10 leaves.

Using a small knife, cut the hard part from the bottom of each leaf's main vein, being careful not to cut all the way through the leaf. Repeat with remaining leaves.

In a shallow but wide dish or roasting pan, ladle a cup or two of sauce.

Lay a leaf on your cutting board. Spoon about 2/3 cup of filling into the center of each leaf and roll it like a burrito (or cigar, if the leaf isn't as flexible as you'd like, or is tiny). Place face down in the sauced baking dish. Repeat with remaining stuffing and leaves.

You'll end up with a semi-tender core after boiling the cabbage head - slice it into thick pieces. Tuck pieces of cabbage in and around the rolls. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the cabbage and cover. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the thickest part of each leaf appears soft when poked.

Serve with soy sour cream as garnish. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks Cher! Soup, stew, casserole, whatevs this is, it is delicious. Was delicious. Leftovers vanished within hours, hehe.