Thursday, April 25, 2019

Recipe: Turkey & Quinoa Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

Growing up in a family that is part Eastern European (Ukrainian & Hungarian), I have been lucky to have become exposed to some of the foods traditional to that area of the world. This past Easter as my relatives were eating Paska (Easter Bread), my aunt brought up Halupki, which is traditionally cabbage stuffed with ground beef/pork and rice, and topped with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. It is also known as Gołąbki in Polish. I haven't had Halupki in years, but I remember that I liked it, mainly because I am a big fan of cabbage and this is a tasty and unique meal. So, this inspired me to come up with my own recipe that is somewhat healthier by cutting out the red meat and rice, and replacing with ground turkey and quinoa. I realized that this is actually a very well balanced meal since it has the vegetable (cabbage), protein (turkey), and grain (quinoa). While I can't say that my grandparents would approve of this recipe modification if they were still alive today, I would think they'd be proud that I am at least still interested in cooking somewhat in a traditional way. This recipe makes several Halupki, which is great for meal prepping for the week and an easy thing to heat up for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
Cooked Halupki


1 small head of cabbage (or half of a very large head)
water to cover
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar

1.      Place the cabbage in a large pot with enough water to cover.
2.      Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the water and cabbage.
3.      Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn cabbage every few minutes and remove leaves that separate from cabbage and place in a strainer to cool. Boil until all the large leaves pull off and middle is somewhat soft.
4.      Reserve 10 fl oz. of cabbage water.
5.      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
6.      Cut off the tough stem of each cabbage leaf.
7.      In a large bowl thoroughly mix together, ground turkey, quinoa, chopped onion, parsley, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Turkey Onion mixture

8.      Lightly pack a small amount of turkey quinoa mixture and place in the center of the cabbage leaf.
9.      Roll the cabbage leaves with filling like a burrito, making sure the sides are closed tight.
10.  Cut the leftover cabbage parts from the pot into pieces and place into the bottom of a roasting pan.
11.  Layer the stuffed cabbage rolls over the chopped cabbage parts in the roasting pan.
12.  In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, reserved cabbage water, white vinegar, and white sugar.
13.  Pour the tomato vinegar sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.
Halupki before cooking

14.  Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil.
15.  Bake in preheated oven until the turkey mixture is no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. Baste stuffed cabbage rolls every 30-60 minutes to keep moist.
16.  If rolls are not browned, broil on high for 2 minutes.

Nutrition determined by DietMaster Pro software