Call it Lelhanah, Malfouf, or Lebanese Cabbage Rolls—no matter what these are delicious! Not pretty in a picture, but oh so delicious. This started as a family recipe passed down on the Syrian/Lebanese side of my husband’s family. These are normally made with lamb and white rice — but our healthier version is made with ground turkey and brown rice. What does that save you? Check it out:
(1.5 c cooked)
|Brown Rice |
(1.5 c cooked)
That’s 323 calories (rice difference of 63 calories and meat difference of 260 calories). Not to mention better on the glycemic index and less fat. These actually make me a reformed ground-turkey-hater. I’d say these are 90% as good as the lamb counterparts—and for those kinds of health benefits I’m loving that 90%!
- ½ lb Turkey, Ground, 8% Fat
- 1 Head of Cabbage
- 5 Garlic Cloves
- 8 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
- 16 oz Can of Stewed Tomatoes
- 16 oz Can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Green Onion (Chopped)
- ½ c Brown Rice
- 1 t Allspice
- Cabbage Prep — Core the head of cabbage and break the leaves off. Soften in boiling water until they turn bright green. Remove from water, strain and let cool slightly. Remove the ribs as you use the leaves.
- Turkey Filling — In a large bowl place turkey, garlic, about half the can of tomato sauce, brown rice (uncooked), and allspice. Mush this together with your hands.
- In a medium sized sauce pan pour the rest of the tomato sauce in the bottom to coat the bottom.
- Roll 1 tbsp of turkey filling in about a quarter of a large cabbage leaf. Make sure to tuck in the ends and then gently squeeze the roll in your hand to make it hold together. Don't worry if filling comes out a little.
- Place each package in the sauce pan, pack them in gently. They should all be touching but not mashed together.
- Once you have the bottom of the saucepan covered add some of the canned tomatoes on top and then do another layer of rolls.
- Once all of the rolls are in add the rest of the canned tomatoes.
- Add enough water to barely cover everything in the pan.
- Put something heavy in the pan (like a plate or a smaller saucepan lid) to weigh everything down.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer on low for about 90 minutes — you'll need to check and see if the rice is done.