Napa Cabbage Rolls with Cheesy Sauce

Napa is a Chinese cabbage with a mild nutty flavor. It rolls quite easily when you trim some of the thick white stems. I found it difficult to find nice nappa cabbage that didn’t have holes in the leaves. I’m sure the farmers market in the summer will have better quality nappa to choose from.

The Cheesy Sauce makes these rolls totally delicious. You can also choose any filling of choice. The possibilities are endless.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

8-10 napa cabbage leaves, depending how big they are

Preparation:

Pick a napa cabbage whose leaves have no holes. Choose 10 well-shaped leaves. Cut some of the white stem at the base and reserve for other usage. Then make a 2-inch V cut through each central stem at the base of each leaf for easy rolling.

Alternatively: you can use savoy cabbage or large bokchoy leaves or other leafy vegetables. 

At this point you may opt to blanch the leaves by immersing them for 10 seconds in water that just boiled. Cool quickly by plunging cabbage leaves into ice water for 1 minute. Lay each leaf flat on a cloth towel to dry. Set leaves aside while preparing the sauces. Personally I prefer not to blanch as I like raw cabbage better.  However it will be easier to roll if blanched but not necessary.

Cheesy Sauce

This is a nice sauce that contains 3different kinds of nuts and seeds. Cashew and hemp will bring the creaminess, hemp will add omega 3 and 6 and sunflower seeds contains good amount of zinc and vitamin E. The bell pepper is high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Napa Cabbage Rolls with Cheesy SauceIngredients:

½ cup raw cashews

1/3 cup hemp hearts

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup orange pepper

1 tsp turmeric powder (optional for antioxidant)

5 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp jalapeno pepper

½ tsp salt or to taste

1 clove garlic

1 tsp chia seeds

Preparation:

1. Place the pepper and lemon juice in blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the rest of ingredients, except the chia seeds, and blend until smooth. Note: if you don’t use a high powered blender grind the sunflower seeds in a coffee grinder and add them at the end.

3. Add the chia seeds and blend. The chia seeds will thicken the sauce so it is not runny. We want t a sauce that is thick.

Tomato Sauce

Here we have the blended tomato rich in lycopene.

Ingredients:

1 tomato

½ cup dried tomatoes, soaked 15 minutes

3 tbsp reserved soaked tomato water

1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp jalapeno pepper or 1 tsp chili powder or more to taste

1 tbsp lemon juice

10 drops green stevia liquid (optional)

¼ tsp salt or to taste

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Assembly:

1. On a cutting board, take a nappa leaf and spread 2-3 tablespoon of the Cheesy Sauce across the middle.

2. Fold both left and right sides over the center. Roll the base ends over breaking stem while rolling. Continue rolling toward the end, wrapping tightly with care not to tear the leaf.

3. Place finished roll on a glass dish with the seam side down.

4. Repeat with remaining leaves.

5. Top the center of rolls with tomato sauce.

6. Place in oven at 170°F for 30 minutes or until warm but not cooked.

7. Serve warm and eat like cabbage rolls.