Cook your cabbage. You'll need a fresh, large head of green cabbage. Trim the bottom root and cut an X into the center core. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the head of cabbage for about five minutes until soft; remove and drain well.
Make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
For the filling you'll need:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
1 red onion, peeled, diced
1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 sausages- these can be sweet Italian, chicken apple, turkey, buffalo, cut into chunks
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup natural apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar
Sprinkle of sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel
To add in later:
A handful of raisins or dried cranberries
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
Throw the vegetables, apple, and sausage into a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the apple juice, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and spices and toss well to coat. Roast in the oven till soft- about 40 to 50 minutes. Stir a few times during roasting to distribute the sauce and seasoning. Meanwhile make your sauce.
To make your sauce you'll need:
1 24-oz jar or can of strained tomatoes- I use Bionature Organic Strained Tomatoes
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Sea salt, to taste
Combine the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and stir. Cook over medium heat until simmering. Cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste test before using in the recipe. If you like a bit of spice, add a dash of hot pepper- but please taste test first.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly oil four serving dishes or one medium-large baking dish.
When the cabbage has cooled enough for you to handle, cut another 1/2 inch or so off the bottom core if you need to and gently peel off the leaves one at a time; set the leaves aside on a plate or board. Trim any large leaves that may have a thick spine. Smaller leaves can be combined- use two to make one roll if you need to.
Combine the roasted vegetables and sausage with the cooked quinoa- start with a cup and see how much you need. If you want to stretch the filling, use more quinoa. Add a handful of raisins and stir in.
Lay a cabbage leaf on your work surface and add a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold in the side of the leaf and roll it up; tuck it into the prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining leaves and filling.
Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, till heated through and bubbling.
You can make this stuffed cabbage ahead of time, if you wish; cover and chill. Add an extra 10 minutes or so to the baking time.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.