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Unstuffed Paleo Cabbage Rolls

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 medium Savoy cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated or finely diced
  • 1 medium celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 300 g / 0.6 lb minced pork/ground pork
  • 300 g / 0.6 lb minced beef/ground beef
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 x can of diced tomatoes (400 g /0.9 lb)
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes or powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • extra 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 45 rashers of bacon
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • sour cream or unsweetened, full fat yoghurt to serve (optional)


  1. Boil a few cups of water in a large saucepan.
  2. In the meantime, separate a few outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. Cut the rest of the cabbage into quarters, remove the core and chop roughly (see pictures).
  3. Add the whole outer cabbage leaves to the pot with boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened slightly. Then strain and leave in the sieve until later.
  4. Remove any water from the saucepan and place it back over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and the onion and sauté for a minute. Then add the carrots and the celery. Season with a teaspoon of salt, and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the beef, pork, and garlic and bring the heat back up to high. Stir continuously for a minute or two, breaking the meat apart and mixing through with the vegetables. The meat should start to give out some juices and change the colour.
  5. Now add the rest of the ingredients except for the bacon and parsley. Mix through and add the chopped cabbage. Combine well, cover with a lid and once at gentle boil, turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, covered with a lid, for 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  6. In the meantime, pan fry the bacon rashers in a little coconut oil or ghee until crispy on each side and remove to a chopping board to cool. Once cool enough to handle, dice the bacon into small pieces. Chop the parsley.
  7. To serve, place the pre-cooked outer leaves of the cabbage around a large serving dish. Then scoop out the cooked meat and cabbage in the middle. Sprinkle over with parsley and bacon.
  8. Serve with a side of sour cream or yoghurt if you can handle dairy. White rice or quinoa can be served for the family.

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