Polish Stuffed Cabbage & Mizeria

When holidays are approaching, I often think back to the foods my grandma made growing up. Easter is almost here, which means it’s time for me to veganize some Polish classics. I’ve made pierogis for the last couple family events, and they’ve been a huge hit.

Next up: stuffed cabbage with a cucumber salad! Stuffed cabbage has long been a staple on my  grandmother’s Easter table. It’s very savory and hearty, and not hard to make once you get the hang of it. Stuffed cabbage also holds up well in the freezer, so you can make a ton and eat whenever you want. Aren’t we all just always looking for foods we can make leftovers out of? That one could be just me.

The cucumber salad (Mizeria) is an excellent counterpart to the stuffed cabbage. It is so fresh and light and bright. I would go so far as to credit this salad as what made me eat and learn to like vegetables as a child. I was a pretty picky eater when I was young, but my mom often made this salad and I could not get enough (ie. sneaking into the fridge at night to eat cucumber salad).

Long story short, I hope you enjoy these classic veganized Polish recipes. What will you be cooking for your upcoming holidays? Let me know in the comments!

STUFFED CABBAGE

1 large head of green cabbage, core removed
4 tbsp Vegan butter
1 can dark kidney beans
(2) 8 oz packages tempeh, crumbled
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp paprika
1 ½ cup cooked rice (⅓ cup uncooked)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp of fresh dill (or to taste)
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ tsp cayenne pepper (or less, depending on your preference)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
Vegan sour cream

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Be careful not to fill the pot too high (about half-way), as the waterline will rise when the cabbage is in.
  3. Carefully place the full head of cabbage in the boiling salted water and cook just until outer leaves pull away easily from the head. Set aside as many large leaves as you can get (at least 12).
  4. Add 2 tbsp vegan butter to a medium high skillet. Once the butter is melted, add the tempeh crumbles. Allow the tempeh to cook for about 2 minutes, then add the liquid smoke and paprika. Let the tempeh continue to cook, about 5 more minutes or until you’ve reached the desired browning in color.  Add the kidney beans to the tempeh and mash the beans to the consistency you want. You don’t have to get all the way down to a “ground meat” size; just breaking up the beans is enough.
  5. Remove the tempeh and beans from the pan and add to a large bowl.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of vegan butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
  7. Add the onion and garlic to the large bowl along with the tempeh/beans and add the tomato puree, rice, dill, parsley, cayenne and salt/pepper to taste. Mix well.
  8. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a v-shaped cut. Place about ¼ cup tempeh/rice mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat until you’re out of leaves or filling: whichever comes first!
  9. Chop the remaining cabbage and place in the bottom of an ovenproof Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls.
  10. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours or until cabbage rolls are tender.
  11. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with fresh dill.

MIZERIA (POLISH CUCUMBER SALAD)

MIZERIA (Polish Cucumber Salad)
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch dill, chopped
2 ½ tbsp vegan sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 pinch sugar (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

  1. Sprinkle salt over cucumbers in a bowl. Let stand until cucumbers are soft, about 5 minutes. With a clean kitchen towel, squeeze/drain liquid from cucumbers and discard. Add dill to cucumbers.
  2. Mix sour cream, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl; add to cucumbers and toss to coat. Season with black pepper.
  3. Chill completely before serving, at least 30 minutes.

Stuffed cabbage recipe adapted from The Spruce and Taste of Home.