Sometimes, I feel as though I don’t get culinary inspiration from my heritage as much as I should. You see, I am half Polish, and the second generation to be born in the US. My grandparents came to the United States during WWII and continued growing and raising a family. I remember my visits with them, mostly during humid Michigan Summers, when they would make traditional Polish dishes for their children and grandchildren.
A lot of these dishes are not vegan-friendly, but can be made so pretty easily. But, there has always been one meal on my mind that I hadn’t enjoyed in years. I was inspired by Rika’s travels on Vegan Miam to recreate a dish that could transport you right into the heart of Eastern Europe, as this dish has similar variations through Ukraine and other countries.
What is this delectable and comforting dish that I speak of? Golabkis! Or Golumpkis, or phonetically spelt, Gwumpkis. Traditionally, this dish is made up of boiled cabbage, ground beef filling and tomato sauce; but, of course, I took the flavors and the compassion up a few notches by using a plant-based filling. With different notes from the crunchy pecans, the soft lentils and the sweet sun-dried tomato slices, plus a little kick from crushed red pepper, no one will be missing the ground beef filling of old.
Serves: Approx. 6 (two Golabki per person)
• 1 Head of Cabbage
• 2 ½ C. Vegetable Broth, Hot
• 2 C. TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
• 3 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
• 1 ½ C. Cooked Green Lentils
• ½ C. Pecans
• 1/3 C. White Onion, Diced
• ¼ C. Smoky Sun-Dried Tomato Slices
• 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
• ½ C. Rolled Oats
• ¼ tsp. Salt
• ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
• 2 Cans of Organic Tomato Sauce
• ¾ tsp. Italian Seasoning
• ½ tsp. Onion Powder
• ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
• ¼ tsp. Salt
• 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
• 1/8 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1. Cut the core out of the bottom of the cabbage head. Place it into a large/deep pot filled with water and 1 tsp. of salt, and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
2. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat to medium and boil (covered) for 15-20 minutes.
3. While the cabbage is boiling, soak the TVP granules in the vegetable broth and liquid aminos for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is soaked up.
4. Then, take the TVP mixture, along with the lentils, pecans, onion, sun-dried tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pulse it in a food processor until the mixture resembles a ground-beef-like texture.
5. Fold the rolled oats into the filling mixture, set aside.
6. When the cabbage is done boiling, place it in a colander to drain and cool slightly. Peel off the leaves very carefully so that they do not tear.
7. Take each leaf and slice off part of the rib so that it is thinner (as shown in the picture above), and easier to roll up. Depending on the size of your cabbage, you will use roughly ½ C. of filling in each leaf. Then tuck in the sides and roll completely, setting it down into a casserole dish (on top of the loose end).
8. Repeat step 7 until the entire filling mixture is used up and preheat the oven to 375°F.
9. In a medium-sized sauce pan, over medium heat, stir together the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, peppers and salt until the mixture starts to simmer.
10. Then take the pan off of the stove and carefully pour it over the Golabki. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
11. Once they are done baking, let them cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm. This would be great served alongside a cool, vegan yogurt-based cucumber salad.