I'm missing some of the dishes I used to cook back in Portugal.
There are just some foods that we tend to crave whenever we feel home sick and I think that is the case with this recipe! We have a traditional dish called "Salsichas em couve lombarda" which consists in a vegetable stew with sausage stuffed cabbage leaves - I can't find that type of sausage here in the US but I decided to make something based on that idea but somehow with a new twist and using the ingredients I had at home! There is nothing like a food pantry and fridge check to get some ideas for new recipes, right?
I decided to try out a dish that I will incorporate in my next month's Whole30 but I added the orzo this time, so the kids will eat it too. Not that they wouldn't like it without it but I'm sure they'll be happier with a pasta dish! Next month I'll just skip the orzo and make a batch of this comforting dish which can be easily pre-portioned in individual containers and frozen, if necessary.
It's also a great dish to use up some leftover roasted chicken or bacon. Other option is to make it an all vegetarian dish, skipping the meat and loading up on the veggies - add some diced zucchini, shredded kale and more colorful peppers and you'll have a rainbow veggie dish!
It turned out to be a success! A creamy and veggie filled pasta dish that was the perfect ending for a fulfilling day of work, school and a play date!
1 - Peel the onions and finely dice them. Prep the cabbage: cut it in half and chop it coarsely. Wash it and let it on a strainer to get the rest of the water out while you're cooking up the other ingredients.
2 - Cook the onion on a skillet with the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic cloves and stir. Add the minced meat with chorizo and let the meat cook until the color has changed and the mixture releases a fragrant scent.
3 - Add the pepper, previously washed and finely diced and also the mushrooms: I used canned ones because I had ran out of fresh but feel free to use whatever ones you have at hand. Add the carrot, finely grated. Let this all cook for about 5-7 minutes and check the seasoning. It shouldn't need salt, because of the chorizo, but if you're using regular minced meat you may want to add some. Season with pepper, garlic powder and add the freshly chopped parsley.
4 - Add the previously chopped cabbage and mix everything carefully because you may end up with a big mount of food in the pan! The cabbage will wither as it's getting cooked so don't worry about it. If you realize that you had too much cabbage for your meat just reserve some and use it for something else like soup.
5 - Add the orzo and the chicken broth. At this point I used chicken bone broth that I had made the previous day - it has a very rich flavor and texture and it is far better to use bone broth that regular store bought broth. Remember, if you don't have time or aren't able to make your own broth check out the Bare Bones Broth which offers the option to buy a variety pack which is perfect for a first time try! Check out my blog post on bone broth here.
6 - Check the seasoning one last time and let this all cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure to keep checking on the liquid level so you can add some more, if necessary.
7 - Serve in individual ramekins and sprinkle on some more fresh parsley.
I made sure to reserve several individual sized meals in meal prep glass containers that I use for my husband's lunches. The overall recipe was enough for 5 portions which is pretty good for the value of this meal - I used inexpensive ingredients and got out this many meals which is definitely budget and health friendly!
This is a pretty versatile dish and you can always personalize it and add your own personal touch with some other ingredients and colorful options.
Just keep it colorful and your health will appreciate it!