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Bean Recipes from Lynne
January 11, 2005

Try black bean cabbage rolls for a vegetarian treat 

This recipe was inspired by a vegetarian cookbook that seems to have some really good recipes.  We both liked this dish, much to my husbands surprise.  It may be because the doctored-up tomato sauce gives the dish a nice flavor boost.   This dish contains beans, rice and walnuts so it furnishes complete protein without adding meat or dairy products.  The recipe does use a meat broth, but a vegetable broth can be substituted.   

Ceil Malinowski from the state of Maine gave me my first lesson in making Golompki or Polish cabbage rolls.  She was a 4-H leader who stayed with us as part of a 4-H member exchange back in the mid-eighties.  We had a vegetable garden and she volunteered to teach me to make both cabbage rolls and borscht.  We all enjoyed the cabbage rolls.  My family vetoed the beet soup.  

Ceil simmered the rolls in beef broth instead of tomato sauce.  That was a new technique and taste treat for me.  Beef broth could be substituted for either the chicken broth and/or diced tomatoes in this recipe.  If you use a broth for the sauce, you may want to still add the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.   

Ceils original Golompki recipe calls for 2 cups of rice, cooked, 2 pounds of hamburger and 1 chopped medium onion browned, and salt and pepper.  Simple ingredients and a good amount of work make a great, classic one-dish meal.  She cooked them in a Dutch oven instead of a regular oven.  If you decide to add meat to the black bean rolls, brown ½ pound with a chopped onion and add it to the filling.  Use the same kind of broth in the rice.

Black Bean Cabbage Rolls takes a classic one-dish recipe and features black beans and rice instead of meat and rice.             


Black Bean Cabbage Rolls 

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living

by Mary TerMeers, BS, and Jamie Gates Galeana, MS, RD, LD; Apple Tree Press, Inc., 1997&8232;

10  12 servings

Approximately 20 rolls

2 hours preparation and cleanup



Cabbage Rolls:

1 14 to 16-ounce can chicken broth


1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 large head of cabbage

2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

¾ cup grated carrots

1 cup corn

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

3  4 tablespoons jalapeno sauce


Tomato sauce: 

2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon black pepper



Add water to chicken broth to make 2 ½ cups liquid.  Pour liquid into a medium sized pan, add rice and stir.  Simmer until rice is cooked, 45  50 minutes.

Remove and discard any discolored leaves from the outside of the head of cabbage.  Put one inch of water in a covered steamer or large saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Put cabbage in pot, cover and steam a few minutes until outside leaves are wilted and can be easily removed.  Remove cabbage from pot and set the head on a plate to catch water as leaves are removed.  Peel leaves off, using a knife to cut leaves away from the center stem. Store the leaves in a bowl.  Return head to pot.  Repeat until 20  25 leaves are separated.  Add boiling water to pot if needed to maintain steam.  Return all leaves to the steaming pot and steam 5  10 minutes, until tender and wilted.  Remove from water and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine black beans, carrots, corn, raisins, walnuts, jalapeno sauce and cooked brown rice.  Taste and add more sauce if desired.

Mix tomato sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Set aside.

If the spine on the largest leaves is too heavy to roll, trim the outer edge being careful not to cut a hole through the leaf.  Starting with the largest leaves, place ½ cup bean and rice mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf.  Roll up to close.  The leaf should easily overlap.  Turn each roll upside down tucking the ends under.  Set rolls in a single layer in a 9 x 13 pan.  Repeat until filling is used up.  Decrease the amount of filling as the leaves get smaller so that filling will be fully covered by cabbage leaf. If another pan is needed to hold all the rolls, use a loaf pan or other small baking pan.

After rolls are assembled and baking, chop any remaining cabbage and freeze for use in a soup or other dish.

Pour tomato sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.  Lightly salt rolls.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 350° F for 60 to 75 minutes, until cabbage is very tender.  Serve hot as a vegetarian main dish or side dish with pork.

Freeze leftovers in meal size portions.

Alternate cooking method:  This dish may be cooked on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy covered pot.  Line the bottom of the pot with worst cabbage leaf.  Place the rolls in 2 or 3 layers.  Make sauce substituting 1 16-ounce can of chicken broth for diced tomatoes.  Pour sauce over the rolls until it is up on the sides of the top layer of rolls.  Cover and bring to a simmer.  Simmer one hour until very tender.  Check pot after half-hour of cooking and add more sauce if needed.  Serve hot. Discard cabbage leaf liner.



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