I had a cabbage I needed to use, which is not something I’ve said very often. Said cabbage was purchased for an entirely different recipe but I was missing tamarind paste so couldn’t try it out. I had made a mental note to buy tamarind paste but got busy. I still don’t have tamarind paste and it was becoming imperative I use the cabbage. So, I dug out my cookbooks and perused cabbage recipes until I found one I thought sounded tasty. We had a chilly day here in Colorado, which meant I could use the oven, so I chose the bulgur and white bean bake with cabbage and tomatoes from Robin Robertson’s One-Dish Vegan.
A few substitutions were necessary: the recipe calls for baby bok choy or napa cabbage but I had a red cabbage. Also, I hadn’t planned ahead well enough to soak and cook cannellini beans and didn’t have any canned, so a can of organic tri-bean blend went into the pot. Other than cooking the garlic, onion, and carrot without any olive oil and using regular soy sauce instead of wheat-free tamari, the recipe was made as directed. 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped carrot are cooked together for about 5 minutes, then garlic and the cabbage is added and left to cook until the cabbage is wilted. Then, the bulgur and broth is stirred in, brought to a boil, then removed from the heat. The beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, soy sauce, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper are stirred in and then the lot is popped in the oven and left to cook for 45 minutes.
My family thought it was bland but I liked it. It reminded me a little bit of casseroles I used to eat as a child and had a stick-to-my-ribs quality I appreciated. It re-heats well. I took some to work for lunch and thought it was even better: probably because the spices had had some time to meld. The only complaint, if indeed it is a complaint, is the cabbage tinted the entire meal purple. One of my co-workers came in to my office while I was eating and remarked; “That’s interesting. The whole thing is purple”. She was a little noncommittal so I can’t be sure if she thought a purple meal a good thing or not.
It’s not the prettiest meal, I admit, but I’d definitely make it again. I’d make it with the suggested cabbage but, purple or not, it was still tasty.
I’m adding a link to some sample recipes from One-Dish Vegan below: this recipe isn’t one of them but the ones posted sound tasty. I’m planning to make the Jamaican-style coconut rice bowl. If you make it before I do, let me know how it turns out!