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Lentil Stuffed Baboushkas

February 28, 2009

The first time I stuffed cabbage for the omnivore, he exclaimed, “I love the baboushkas!”  From then on out, the name stuck.

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I actually had a set of baboushkas growing up.  I absolutely loved them.  Ah, do I feel old, reminiscing about playing with wooden toys (*gasp*) in this digital age.  For some reason, kids today only want to play in fake-3D-land on televisions and game consoles.  I don’t really know why…I mean, why get lost in fake 3D when toys themselves are actually 3-dimensional!?  

Stuffed cabbages and stuffed bell peppers challenge me.  The challenge with these two main-courses are that traditionally they contain your carb (rice), your veggie (the outer cabbage leaf or bell pepper), and your protein (lentils).  So, then, what do you serve it up with?

Dare you go carb-overload and plop some mashed potatoes down?  Dare you throw down more steamed veggies?  Cop-out and serve a salad?  Decisions, decisions.  Eitherway, it seems like a misfit meal to me.

So I choose to go carb-overload and serve pasta, cous cous, or rice with this meal.  But I remedy this carb-ful-sin by not including any grain in my stuffed cabbage.  Instead, I load it with veggies and lentils.

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Lentil Stuffed Baboushkas (serves 4)

8 cabbage leaves, steamed

(I steam a whole head of cabbage, make a pan of stuffed cabbages for me, a pan for the omnivore, and then throw the leftover cabbage in a casserole, cover it with cream-of-something soup, meat, and breadcrumbs, give it a fancy name like “Creamy German Casserole” and serve it up to the omnivore in the house)

2 carrots, diced 

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

3 mushrooms, sliced

2 cups cooked lentils

A couple of ladles of Garden Style Tomato Sauce

Saute veggies until soft.  Mix with lentils.  Lay cabbage leaves flat, cutting out stubborn stems that keep you from forming a pretty roll if necessary.  Insert 1/2 cup of lentil-veggie mixture into leaf and roll, using toothpicks to secure if necessary (back when I was a rookie I used this method, now, however, you’d think I was born in Russia with my cabbage-rolling-skills).  Place in a casserole dish covered with a few ladles tomato sauce and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.  Top with cheese, if desired.

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