Ripped Recipe: Cabbage Leaves Stuffed with Beef, Pork, Plum, Apple, Walnut, Vegetable and Mint Topped with Sweet and Savory Tomato Coconut Sauce

Look good? This dish combines North African,  Greek, Italian and Polish flavors.

Look good? This dish combines North African, Greek, Italian and Polish flavors.

I was standing in the grocery staring off into space trying to figure out what big thing to cook for dinner this week. I looked down and realized that I was literally standing over it. A giant head of green cabbage. That’s all I needed to get the creative juices flowing.

Some of the ingredients used in this tasty dish.

Some of the ingredients used in this tasty dish.

An unlikely trio.

An unlikely trio.

1 lb ground beef (90/10, organic grass fed preferably)
1.5 lb ground pork (ground local by butcher, preferably)
2 large heads green cabbage
650g eggplant, diced (1 large)
500-600g zucchini, diced (2 large)
250g carrots, diced (6 medium, I use organic)
350g sweet onion, diced (1 large)
250g portabella mushroom, diced (2 large, I use organic)
200g red bell pepper (1 large, I use organic)
300g black plums, diced (2 large)
200g granny smith apple, diced (2 small or 1 large)
2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 large can (28oz) ground tomatoes (I use organic)
1 small can (13oz) lite coconut milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup or so grated hi quality strong romano cheese
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp dried sweet basil
2 tsp smoked hot paprika
2 tsp regular paprika
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp garlic powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
salt and fresh pepper

Get your veggies straight.

Get your produce straight.


  1. Chop base off cabbage(s) and remove core to around 2″ up (cut a pyramid around core to remove). Boil until soft and the leaves can be easily pulled off. Yeah, boiling kills the vitamins, but this ain’t about the cabbage.
  2. While cabbage is boiling, pour a little coconut oil and start the onion cooking until light brown then add garlic. Once garlic is light brown, add eggplant, cooking on high, stirring frequently. Once eggplant is about half its original volume, add mushrooms and continue cooking. When mushrooms are about half volume, add zucchini. The idea is to get a good deal of water out of the vegetables.
  3. When zucchini is around half its original volume, add plums and apples. Cook for a few minutes, then add beef and pork.
  4. Lightly cook beef and pork with the vegetables that were already in the pot for another 4-5 minutes. This is to reduce cooking time in the oven. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Add carrots, bell pepper, walnuts, chopped mint, cinnamon, both paprikas, lime juice, garlic powder, more salt and pepper and mix well. Turn off heat.
  6. Cook rice in 3 cups of stock. It should still be chewy once all liquid has been absorbed. Add it to the meat and veg mixture; it will finish cooking in it later.
  7. you might want to cook a little of the mix in the microwave for a minute to taste test and adjust if necessary.
  8. For sauce, combine coconut milk, ground tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, white vinegar and basil. Heat until it comes to a simmer. Add arrowroot slurry (arrowroot mixed well with a little warm water). Turn off heat and mix well.
  9. Wrap meat/ veg/ rice mixture in cabbage leaves. Shave center veins of leaves so they’re not so thick.
  10. Place stuffed cabbage leaves in baking dish, cover liberally with sauce, top with grated Romano. Cover with foil.
  11. Bake at 375 for 30, then uncover and let go for another 20. Let cool for 5 mins or so. Eat.
We ain't messin around.   This is many meals for a family of three.

We ain’t messin around. This is many meals for a family of three.

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