Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sweet Potato and Mung Bean Stuffed Cabbage
Cabbage came in my winter farm share box this week. It has been a bit rainy and cold so I did not want to make a salad or slaw with it. Instead I made a warm, spicy, sweet savory dish that was wonderful and easy. I mentioned a couple of posts back that I have phased out canned beans and am only using dried beans. I phased out all canned foods actually. Two reasons for this. First, dried beans are less expensive and there is a lot less waste of resources and energy associated with them. Second is the BPA associated with the liners in canned food. Many companies however, are using "BPA-free" liners in cans now which is fantastic.
Mung beans are a small bean in the kidney bean family that require no pre-soaking and cooks in about 50-60 minutes. According to Paul Pitchford in his amazing book Healing With Whole Foods mung beans are beneficial to gall bladder, liver and eliminates damp heat. Great for high blood pressure, skin inflammation, heat symptoms and detoxification. Mung beans are also easy to digest which is sometimes not the case with beans! Healing With Whole Foods is a book I highly recommend for recipes and nutrition information related to eastern traditions. It was a textbook in one of my classes way back when while I attended Bastyr, and has since become one of the most referenced nutrition books in my collection.
I cooked 1/2 cup of dried mung beans in the pressure cooker, mixed it with a cup of sweet potato I had from the previous day, and mixed in some lovely spices. I blanched the cabbage leaves for about 90 seconds each and topped the cabbage pockets with the last can of tomato sauce I had in my pantry. I pondered making a bechamel sauce with the cabbage instead of tomato, but liked how the acid paired with the sweet potato and cinnamon. I used a spice mixture you may have heard of called ras el hanout. I bought mine in San Francisco at Real Food Company. The Spice House sells it too if you are interested in buying it online. The spices really made this dish. The coriander and mustard seeds popped with flavor in my mouth. The cinnamon and sweet potato had a wonderful pumpkin pie taste. Paired with the cabbage, it made a great combination. Enjoy!!
Cabbage leaves with Sweet Potato and Mung Beans
6-8 large cabbage leaves
1 1/2 cup cooked mung beans
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. ras el hanout
2 pinches salt
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 cup tomato sauce
In pressure cooker or pot add 1/2 cup mung beans and 1 cup water. Cook for 20 minutes in pressure cooker or 60 min. on stovetop. They will be very soft when cooked. After they are cooked, add sweet potato and all the spices along with salt. Mix until combined.
Blanch cabbage leaves for 90 seconds in boiling water. Remove and shake off excess water.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of sweet potato and bean mixture onto the middle top of cabbage leaf. Roll up like a burrito. Set into a lighlty oiled dish. Top with a tablespoon each of chunky tomato sauce. Cook at 350 degrees covered for 30 minutes.