Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vegan Cabbage Rolls for 24

We had a long vacation weekend so I thought I'd get a step ahead for this months exchange. In honor of my polish grandmother I've decided to make galumpkis (cabbage rolls) and pierogi for the group. For the galumpkis I did the following:


1 large head cabbage in as nice a condition as possible
4 cups uncooked rice
5 med onions diced
3 med carrots grated
2 packages Boca Crumbles
garlic powder to taste
thyme to taste
black pepper to taste
2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

In a large pot of boiling water submerge whole cabbage for 5 minutes. Coat casserole dishes with a little oil.

Cook rice. Saute onions and carrots. Mix together in large bowl. Mix in Bocca crumbles. Add spices to taste. 

Take out cabbage and remove as many leaves as are pliable. You will probably need to cut out a fair amount of thick core. Spoon out stuffing and roll leaves. Place in casserole dish. Repeat until finished.

In separate bowl mix sauce ingredients and spoon onto the stuffed leaves.

Cover with foil to freeze or bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


I slaved away at these tomatoes.

Labeled with Name, Date, and Cooking Instructions

They tasted wonderful! I hope the group enjoys them as much as we did.
Pierogi goodness was also done, but with such a simple recipe it's not really worth recreating. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Exchange

With holidays and vacations we had a smaller group this time. One thing I learned this month is to avoid changing an agreed upon date and time if at all possible! Even with a smaller set to schedules to coordinate it still can throw a wrench into things. After many an email we found a time that worked for everyone. I was quite thankful to the rest of the group for being so gracious about it. But I suppose that this is kind of what an exchange group is about-helping each other out.

We exchanged: a variation of Quinoa Barley Veggie Soup, Pumpkin Muffins, Black Bean Soup, Veggie Jambalaya, Cornbread Muffins and Moroccan Lentil Stew.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Allergies, Dislikes and Restrictions

We are already a group with a fair amount of restrictions from what most people are used to cooking. If you have never had to leave meat, dairy or eggs behind coming up with recipes takes some research. If people have only ever prepared veggies or beans as side dishes then it is often a learning process to make them into fulfilling main dishes. But I suppose that this is one of the strengths of the group; we are in essence sharing the research and work by sharing our food and recipes. Groups like these can be helpful for people transitioning to plant based diets.

In the formation of the group we did a couple things. First, I sent out the request to Please respond to this email if there is anything you absolutely will not eat or food allergies in the family.”

We had an egg allergy which since the group is vegan is not a problem. I get sick from cumin. This is a sad one since cumin is a really wonderful spice. What people have done is make the dish without cumin and take out and label a portions worth for my share and then add the cumin for the rest of the group.This may not be workable for all dishes and takes a little extra thought but I was extremely thankful.

Another option is to make two options to share. Michelle did this by making 3 meals harvest stew and 3 meals stuffed peppers in November. (Depending on the meal it might be more workable to do two different medium size batches rather than one huge batch.) Those with a aversion to a certain item or allergy simply take the option without.

For dislikes there is also a degree to which people just need to be willing to deal. It can be hard enough cooking to your own family’s tastes let alone cooking to 5 other families. So we just keep in mind allergies and absolute aversions. This kind of reminded me of being part of a community supported farm. During the season you get what has been given rather than precisely what you pick. Being part of a group like this requires you to give up a little control. For some this is not something they are willing to do but for our family it has been well worth experience. Would you be willing to leave what's for dinner up to another person?