Thai Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Prep/Cook Time: 45 min
One place that Zach has been that I am most envious of is Thailand. He’s going to be in Singapore for the next couple of years and is encouraging the kids and I to come visit next summer. If we do decide to be so adventurous and take on that 24 hour flight…if I dare venture to put myself through enduring a 6 and 8 yr old contained in an airplane for that long, believe me I am going to get the most out of that trip that I can possibly get. That would most definitely include a trip to Thailand as well. I would not only like to sink my taste buds into some authentic Thai food but I would also love to get a chance to experience the, culture and zen way of life. 95% of the country practices Theravada Buddhism and Thai culture is deeply influenced by this religion. Their way of life incorporates simple values that anyone and everyone would benefit by practicing. Not only for our mental health, but this I believe would carry over into our physical health as well. So, through meditation and our own behavior we could quite possibly find mental and physical health. Check out these simple everyday values that are a way of life for them and honestly should be for everyone…
8 Thai Values to Live By
- Family first – all members of the family are taken care of resulting in strong bonds and lots of help
- Sufficient is enough – a back to basics approach where everyone gets what they need to survive without over-consuming
- Keep your cool – Thai people are known for their self-control and calm behavior using non-confrontational phrases like jai yen yen or “cool your heart”
- Wear a smile – known as the Land of Smiles the Thai believe that under any circumstances a smile is a brave and better way
- No worries – this goes along with maintaining self-control, they believe that getting worked up about something won’t help so why waste your energy?
- Have some fun – laughing and fun is just as important as eating and breathing, the Thai don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy life’s simple pleasures in all opportunities
- Respect yourself and others – these are equally important in Thai culture, it creates a society that is more tolerant, understanding, peaceful, and grateful
- Generosity and hospitality – showing these values are often linked with gaining merit and good karma
The Thai are well known for their mental health in practices of meditation and peaceful living. They depend very little on physicians. Instead, suffering can be eliminated through commitment to these values and further more, in the fact that Thai food is known as one of the healthiest foods you can eat. This comes from the use of ingredients loaded with incredible health benefits.
Health Benefits of Thai Ingredients
- Turmeric – curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Galangal – a relative of ginger, it contains all of it’s properties and is used in traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic healing, especially for digestion, nausea, and anti-inflammation.
- Lemongrass – is used extensively in Thai cooking and ancient Chinese medicine for colds and flu.
- Coriander – also known as cilantro in the in the west and is used for everything from gas and bloating to bacterial and fungal infections.
- Chiles – a natural anti-oxidant with cayenne being one of the most powerful in terms of health benefits.
- Coconut milk – we know that coconut milk contains the good fat that helps lower the bad cholesterol and ups the good. It can also boost immunity and fight aging.
I chose to use a curry powder in this particular recipe which is a blend of some of these Thai spices. It’s an easy way to incorporate them without having to buy each different spice that you otherwise may not use that often. Try to get to the yellow curry that is sure to contain turmeric which is so good for reducing inflammation. In fact, scientists believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. These are disease’s we see all the time like cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and even Alzheimer’s. The cur-cumin found in turmeric is such a strong anti-inflammatory that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, incorporating tumeric or this yellow curry into your diet at least once a week can be a substitute for some medicines prescribed for inflammation, without all the side effects. We love to hear that!
Another note I have to add is that in authentic Thai cooking you will not see this recipe made with beef. Since the culture is so strongly influenced by it’s religion and belief in reincarnation you won’t see them eating any larger animals. It is more likely that they might use chicken or fish. You can definitely sub in any protein or tofu if you are vegetarian. Add some rice, quinoa, or squash for the rest of the family.
I hope I didn’t venture too far off the 2.0 path with the Thai values in this one, but I am a firm believer in that mental and physical health are closely related. There was a question Zach used a while back that read, “are we happy because we are thin, or thin because we are happy”? I ask myself this in different ways all the time because when I am feeling my best I am feeling fit and healthy also. So, first things first…we have to reach our ideal weight to really debate this question anyway and you have made this leap with HCG 2.0. Even if you’re not there yet, you can share in this happiness with the peace of mind that you have reached out and are on your way. No worries, right?
7 oz lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1 medium sized head of green cabbage
2 Tbs onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 Tbs diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
3/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp powdered Stevia or Truvia
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp lemongrass, minced
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Whisk together the broth and tomato paste, set aside
- Bring a large sized pot of water to a boil. Gently peel off 7-8 whole cabbage leaves (there will be a couple extra)
- Boil the leaves 2-3 at a time. Immediately place the in a strainer and rinse with cold water, set aside
- Brown the ground beef and onion. While cooking, stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, half of the broth mixture, stevia, basil, lemongrass, curry, and cayenne, and salt
- To assemble, cut out the thick vein on the cabbage leaf, making a triangle so it will lay fairly flat. Place 2-3 TBS of the beef mixture in the middle of leaf, fold and tuck the corners made from cutting out the vein over and under the meat mixture. Roll up and place in a small casserole dish, repeat evenly using all the meat
- Pour the rest of the broth mixture over the rolls and bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes