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Thursday 29 February 2024
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Spice Roasted Cabbage Steak Wedges


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These spice roasted cabbage steak wedges will add flavor, nutrition, and substance to your plant-based plates! They’re made with a spice blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin, and black pepper. The cabbage wedges steam cook before they finish roasting, which gives them incredible, tender texture. Serve them with whole grains, a vegan protein, and a drizzle of sauce for a wholesome meal.

A wedge of spice-roasted cabbage steak is resting on a small, round plate, drizzled with some white creamy sauce.

My favorite feedback that I’ve gotten about The Vegan Week so far has nothing to do with the book’s recipes.

Rather, I’ve been surprised and amused by the fact that my love/hate relationship with cooking, which I describe in the book’s pages, has struck a chord.

Many of you have shared that you struggle with the same emotional barriers to cooking that I do: overwhelm, lack of motivation, and resistance.

My reluctance to cook is always heightened in this week of pause between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I’ve usually been at my mom’s, enjoying the coziness there. I don’t see nutrition clients this week, and honestly, the last thing that I feel like doing with my extra time is to cook.

With all of that said, I feel so much better when I start a new year with a fridge full of delicious, homemade meals.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Buy The Vegan Week

This is the real message of the new cookbook: sometimes I have zero motivation to cook, yet I want to enjoy the food that cooking creates.

Meal prep is the bridge between these two conflicting states. It’s the habit that helps me to cook regardless of whether I’m in a phase of loving or downright hating it.

With this in mind, I’m going to cook some food this weekend. I’ll probably make some of my favorite recipes from the book, since I’m still getting used to holding a physical copy.

In the meantime, I can share the tender, sweet and savory spice roasted cabbage steak wedges that I prepared right before the holidays!

What is cabbage steak?

Cabbage “steak” is really just a way of preparing cabbage that highlights the vegetable’s heartiness.

It’s the same idea behind cauliflower “steak,” and it’s the principle that makes whole roasted cauliflower popular, too.

Certain vegetables—cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, some mushrooms—are inherently sturdy. They hold up well to being cut and served in large pieces. In this way, they capture some of the substance and fulsome quality that’s often associated with a steak dinner.

Why wedges?

Cabbage steaks can be cut in a few different ways. I’ve seen recipes that call for slicing them so that the “steak” is an entire cross-section of cabbage head.

It can be tricky to do this, however, especially if you have a large head of cabbage on your hands.

A small head of green cabbage is being cut on a white cutting board.

I find it simpler to slice the head of cabbage in half, then cut each half into wedges.

In addition to being a simple way of creating “steaks,” I like that the wedges have some variety in thickness/texture.

Why spice-roasted?

Cabbage steak that has been prepared plainly—with only salt and pepper and some oil—can be very delicious.

A small, ceramic bowl holds a golden-hued mixture of spices.

But I think that the spice blend that I used for this recipe really elevates the cabbage.

That spice mixture is a combination of turmeric, coriander, cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. It’s a nice mix of warm, sweet, bitter, and earthy.

If there’s a spice in there that you don’t care for, you can of course omit it. You could also make substitutions based on your preferences, adding different herbs or spices as you like. This is a flexible recipe!

Achieving a perfect texture

You’ll see that the cabbage steak recipe calls for a 2-step cooking process.

First, you’ll roast the cabbage wedges underneath a layer of foil or tightly wrapped parchment. Then, you’ll remove the foil and allow the wedges to finish roasting. Each step will take 20 minutes or so.

Why the 2-step roasting?

Well, the steaming step ensures that your cabbage steaks are entirely tender through the center. The uncovered roasting allows them to become beautifully browned, but not burnt, at the surface.

I use this method often when I roast vegetables. It’s especially useful if you prefer to roast vegetables without a lot of cooking oil.

Most importantly, it will allow your vegetables to become truly tender without encouraging them to crisp up too much.

One challenge that I often find with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli is that it can take a lot of roasting for them to tenderize. By the point they’re roasted enough, they might be more burnt than I enjoy at their edges.

Steam roasting, then uncovering the vegetables, creates the best of both worlds: tender texture without a charred exterior.

How to make spice-roasted cabbage steak wedges

The two step roasting process might sound complex, but all in all, this is a simple recipe.

Step 1: cut the cabbage into wedges

You’ll need a nice, sharp chef’s knife for this. I recommend using a medium large head of cabbage for nice, thick wedges.

It won’t be possible to make all of the wedges uniform in size, but simply do your best. They definitely don’t have to be identical.

A few cut wedges of cabbage have been rubbed with a mixture of yellow-colored spices.

Step 2: coat and spice rub the wedges

For this step, you’ll transfer the wedges to a prepared baking sheet. Coat each side lightly with avocado oil (or another vegetable oil) and dust it with the spice mixture. Repeat on the other side, so that the wedges are spice-rubbed on top and bottom.

Step 3: roast, covered

For 20 minutes or so, the cabbage steak wedges will roast with a layer of foil wrapped tightly over their baking sheet. This will seal in flavor and help them to become tender throughout.

Step 4: roast, uncovered

Next, you’ll remove the foil and roast the wedges until they’re browning lightly and very tender. This step will take another 15-20 minutes.

When you finish, you’ll have beautifully golden, flavorful, and fragrant wedges of sweet and savory cabbage.

Freshly roasted cabbage steak wedges are laid out on a baking sheet, with parchment beneath them.

How to serve cabbage steak wedges

There are so many ways to enjoy these wholesome slabs of veggie goodness.

When I first made them, I took the easy route, which was to put them into a vegan lunch bowl. It consisted of cooked brown rice, chickpeas, steamed greens, the cabbage steak wedges, and a nice drizzle of my turmeric tahini dressing.

The wedges would be a great addition to, and a nice pop of color for, my cumin-spiced lentils and rice.

You could use the wedges to top a beautiful slice of smashed avocado toast or add them to a bowl of soup.

And if you need a quick, easy meal, serve them with some cooked couscous (or another grain) and a vegan protein of your choice (a store-bought vegan meat, some beans, like these brothy white beans, or baked tofu/tempeh).

If you have time, add a dressing. A simple drizzle of nice olive oil and a squeeze of lemon would be fine, but I’m eager to try the wedges with my yum sauce, too.

This easygoing mix of ingredients will make for a very inviting plate.

Meal prep and storage

The baked cabbage steak wedges can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze leftover wedges, if you have them, for up to 6 weeks.

More winter vegetable goodness

Cabbage is accessible where I live year-round, but I always think of it as being a winter vegetable. Beautiful, big round heads of cabbage exist at the farmers’ market near me when few other fresh veggies do.

If you love this recipe, then here are some other fun, wintery, vegetable-driven dishes to explore:

  • My favorite braised red cabbage
  • Miso butter brussels sprouts
  • Loaded garlic kale potatoes
  • Super simple, very green soup
  • Cauliflower steaks over garlicky edamame mash
  • Simple vegan creamed spinach
  • Vegan kale colcannon

And I hope that the cabbage steak wedges will find their way to your table soon.

A single, roasted wedge of green cabbage has been topped with a creamy sauce. It rests on a round plate.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium large head cabbage (2-2 1/4 lb/900-1015g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil (or another vegetable oil for roasting)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Prepare the cabbage

  • Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Evenly mix the turmeric, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small pinch bowl. Trim off the tough stem of the cabbage head. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, from top to bottom.
    A large head of cabbage has been cut in half on a cutting board.
  • Lay each half, cut side down, on a cutting board. Cut it in half lengthwise once again. At this point, you should have 4 large cabbage wedges.
    A cabbage is being cut in a red colored board.
  • Cut each wedge in half one final time through the center. You’ll have 8 wedges total. They won’t all be identical in size, which is OK!
    Eight wedges of cabbage are being cut on a red cutting board.

Roast the cabbage steak wedges

  • Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet. Drizzle them with half of the oil, then use your hands to rub the oil onto the cut, upturned surface of the cabbage wedges. 
    A gray baking sheet holds cabbage wedges, which have been drizzled with oil.
  • Next, sprinkle the wedges with half of the spice mixture. Rub the spices over the upturned surfaces of the cabbage wedges. 
    Cut wedges of cabbage are being basted with a spice rub.
  • Flip the wedges over and repeat this process with the other half of the oil and spice mixture, so that both sides of the cabbage wedges are spice rubbed and gently coated with oil. If you like, you can use avocado oil spray instead of drizzling.
    Cabbage wedges have been covered in a spice mixture prior to roasting on a gray baking sheet.
  • Cover the wedges with a layer of foil, tucking the foil under the edges of the baking sheet so that it’s placed tightly and securely over the baking sheet. You may need two overlapping pieces of foil. 
    A baking sheet has been tightly covered with foil.
  • Bake the cabbage wedges for 20 minutes, then remove the foil. The wedges will be tender, but not yet browning.
    Cabbage wedges with spices are midway through roasting.
  • Return the wedges to the oven, uncovered, and bake them for another 15-20 minutes, or until they’re tender, sweet, and very crispy at the edges. Serve or store for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
    Roasted wedges of cabbage steak are laid on a gray baking sheet.

As always, I’m behind on sharing recipes. But there are more new ones to come.

In the meantime, these tender, roasted wedges feel like a good recipe with which to wrap up 2022. They’re oh-so-simple as they are, but they have infinite potential.

I hope you’ll enjoy them. And I’ll check in just as the new year begins, for weekend reading.




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