About 10 years ago my aunt gave my sisters and I each a book filled with recipes of my grandmas. A lot of these recipes are foods we would have had as kids growing up when we visited. Most of the are ones that remind me of home and I would consider them to be my comfort foods. One of my favourite comfort foods (and one which Tom considers to be super weird)is cream peas on toast – totally not grain free. It is basically a cream sauce made of milk, butter and flour that you add a can of peas to. Then you put it on top of toast! I LOVE IT!! Obviously this is something that I don’t eat very often now. The only time I do is when we are home visiting my family and I have a little cheat day.

When we got our CSA bin this week and had half a cabbage I knew immediately I wanted to make cabbage rolls. Upon further consideration I realized making cabbage rolls with just half a cabbage might be hard because a good number of the leaves wouldn’t be big enough to roll easily. My mom came down to visit for my birthday last week and she suggested the cabbage casserole we used to make growing up. Same stuff – different presentation! I immediately set out to find the recipe in the book from my grandma.

My Grandma Pearl's Recipe

My Grandma Pearl’s Recipe

I made some changes to the recipe to make it grain free (who knows what is in some tomato soups).


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4-1/2 of a cabbage (we used about 3/8 if we get completely technical)
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped (I recomend roma tomatoes)
  • 3 gloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil (we didn’t have any fresh otherwise I would have used it)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1 cup of water (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tomato paste (optional – to thicken the sauce)


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large pan brown the beef. Add onions and saute until they are clear. Remove from heat.

    Browned ground beef

    Browned ground beef

  3. In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano and bring to a bubbling simmer. Allow to simmer for about 1o minutes. If your sauce is too thick you can add water as needed. Add salt and pepper to the sauce to your own liking.
  4. Add sauce and quinoa to the browned meat and onions and heat throughout.
  5. Preheat oven to 325F.
  6. In a large casserole dish place the chopped cabbage. Top with the meat and sauce mixture. Cover with tinfoil or lid if you have one.

    Ready to be cooked!

    Ready to be cooked!

  7. Place in oven and cook for  1 hour.



  8. Enjoy!
    The finished product! Yummy

    The finished product.

    For next time I would use roma tomatoes for the sauce. This time I just used vine tomatoes which worked well but romas are generally better for sauces. I would probably also thicken the sauce a bit with tomato paste.


Let us know if you try this recipe or what your favourite cabbage recipe is. We plan to use the rest of our cabbage in a soup.


P.S. You can totally see the start of my baby bump in the picture of the casserole pre-oven.