As usual this is a recipe which started with just an image in my mind of the end product but I had no idea how to get there! I love cabbage but I’ve never cooked it in wedges before so I decided to just get all of my intended ingredients out and follow my instincts. I have found on numerous occasions now that actually by working this way and just listening to my instincts and making decisions once I have seen how the dish is panning out I have ended up with something better than I could have imagined….if I may say so myself I think this is one of those times!
I knew I wanted the cabbage to have some colour to it which is why I pan-fried it first and also I knew I’d want to use some sort of herb/ spice mixture so I dived into my cupboards and ended up pulling out my trusted fennel seeds! I think they give the dish a real kick and also add a different dimension to the flavours. I really adore fennel seeds now, especially mixed with a nice rich tomatoey sauce!
If you read my post “A Balanced Diet for a Balanced Well being”you will know that I have been quite high on my carb intake and I want to make sure I am eating healthily with a better balance of protein and carbs. Well this dish is a perfect example of the changes I am making because before I would have made the cabbage with a tomato sauce and then served it with rice however because I’m more aware of my dietary needs at the moment I decided to add butter beans (lima beans) because they are high protein and fiber with a lower more moderate level of carbohydrate. I had this for dinner as a complete meal and felt satisfied! They are also a great source of source of iron, copper and magnesium.
So on to my recipe – as I said I was literally seeing how it went at each stage and making decisions as I went along so if you read this and think I have turned one simple step into 3 or 4 steps then please let me know!
1/2 White Cabbage
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1 Garlic Clove
300 ml Vegetable Stock
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
I heaped tablespoon Tomato Puree
1 Can Butter Beans (approx 300g)
Large Bunch Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper
Spray oil for cooking
I used half of the cabbage for this recipe and kept the other half for a soup recipe. Slice one half of the cabbage into 4 even wedges. Heat some oil in a large deep frying pan on a medium heat and once hot place the cabbage wedges into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on one side. Then sprinkle the cabbage with half the fennel seeds and sugar and turn the wedges over to cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Sprinkle the other half of the fennel seeds and sugar onto the other half of the wedges.
You can be quite generous with the spray oil at this point as you don’t want it to burn.
Turn the cabbage wedges back over again (be really careful to not let them fall apart) and add the crushed garlic clove to the pan for one minute then add 300 ml of vegetable stock.
Cook uncovered for 15 minutes (let it bubble away slightly) and then turn the cabbage slices over again. You don’t need to turn them more often than I have mentioned as they will begin to fall apart so less touching them the better!
Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, butter beans, chopped parsley and some salt and pepper and stir. Don’t worry if the vegetable stock wasn’t all evaporated as that little bit left in the pan will make the sauce nice and juicy! Use a small spoon and stir the tomatoes around the cabbage making sure you don’t disturb the cabbage too much. I liked leaving the pale colour of the cabbage peeking out so I purposefully didn’t coat the cabbage with the tomatoes.
Cook for a further 10 minutes uncovered stirring occasionally so nothing burns or sticks to the bottom then garnish with more fresh parsley and serve!
This was one of the nicest meals I’ve had in ages and I feel like I’m finally getting myself back around to a healthy balanced diet I should be eating! Plus I love butter beans so this was just my cup of tea!