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Cabbage Rolls with a tofu twist

May 10, 2010
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I don’t usually eat a lot of tofu but this recipe compelled me to pick some up over the weekend.   I’d been thinking about doing something different with the head of cabbage in my fridge (my standard coleslaw was getting a little tired), then I came across this recipe in one of my magazines –  Tofu Cabbage Rolls.  This was more than a coincidence.  It was fate.   I had no choice but to make the modernized version of the traditional cabbage roll (a favourite in my family). 
And boy am I happy I followed my instinct.  The rolls were delightful and kinda fun to look at. 
The downside, there’s a bit of work that goes into this one.  Washing and chopping herbs, shredding carrots, crumbling tofu, boiling cabbage.  Not bad for the average cook, but I’m not the best multitasker.   That was obvious looking at my kitchen during the process.  There were pieces of shredded carrot flying all over the counter, crumbled tofu on the stove, and a little bit of everything on the kitchen floor.   There’s a reason we zoomed in on the photo so all you see is the plate! 

Tofu Cabbage Rolls


Just so you’re not surprised, the presentation doesn’t last for long.  As soon at you put a fork and knife to the nicely wrapped rolls, they start to fall apart and the tofu stuffing below will sneak out onto your plate.  

Tofu stuffing 


 Here’s the recipe, care of Alive magazine.  

Health Factor:
  •  Each roll contains 13 gms of protein and is only 150 calories. 
  • Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C (even beats out the praised orange!).
  • Cabbage is rich in fibre which makes it pretty filling.  I could have stopped at 2 rolls…but of course I went for a 3rd.
  • Cabbage purifies blood and removes toxins.  So you can kill 2 birds with one stone and detox while you fuel up!


  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 rib celery, chopped fine (I didn’t have any but it still turned out)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 block of medium firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I used gluten-free tamari)
  • 4 quarts of water (or enough to cover cabbage leaves)
  • 6 large green or Savoy cabbage leaves (I used the former…green cabbage)


Prep Tofu stuffing –  

  • In a large skillet saute onion, garlic, carrot and celery in oil.
  • Crumble tofu into skillet and add herbs.
  • Cook a few minutes until heated through then add tamari or soy sauce and mix well.
  • Set aside

Cook Cabbage –  

  • Bring water to boil is medium sauce pan.
  • Place cabbage leaves in boiling water and reduce heat.
  • Let cabbage cook briefly just until it changes colour.
  • Remove cabbage, run under cold water to stop cooking, then set on paper towel to drain.

Rock & Roll –  

  • Divide tofu mixture and cabbage leaves and roll cabbage carefully so leaves don’t split.
  • Place rolls in a steamer basket for 10 minutes (does anyone actually have one of these?) OR
  • Place rolls on a grill pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. 


If you have no qualms about having a messy kitchen or getting your hands dirty, then you should roll up those sleeves and give these a shot. 


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