Chicken Cordon Bleu Cabbage Rolls

A few years ago, I made a chicken cordon bleu recipe from Hungry Girl. I remember thinking it was really good, so I decided to try a version of that again. But, I wanted to include some vegetables. In the past, I’ve tried stuffing chicken with veggies, which can work fine, but this time I wanted to try in-casing the chicken in a vegetable. Enter cabbage rolls! I’ve never actually made real cabbage rolls before, and I’m not exactly sure what all goes down with them, but what I did worked pretty well, so I’m going to share it.

IMG_1945I’m always looking for new ways to eat chicken breast. I find it so dry and bland and not fun at all! I was pretty happy with how this turned out, but do find I like dipping it in some kind of sauce- I’ve tried using a sugar free ketchup, and a ranch-like dressing, which have both been pretty tasty. If you didn’t mind having more calories, then sprinkling cheese on top and broiling it would probably be amazing. I should try that actually.

IMG_1955One thing you might have noticed that I always try to do, is cook things in bulk. It takes about the same amount of time, and definitely the same amount of mess to make a single serving- so where is the efficiency in that right? And even if you get sick of the taste of it after a couple days, that’s what the freezer is for! You can just put half the batch or however much into the freezer. Also the nice thing about these is they are already portioned out into neat little cabbage packages.

IMG_1942So all you need to do is wrap them up, freeze them, and you’re good to go for when you need a quick meal! Perfect! Also, they aren’t all liquid-y or saucy and messy, so it actually makes a pretty travel-worthy meal as well. Win-win!

IMG_1953If you don’t like cabbage maybe you could use collard greens or kale or something. But the cabbage is pretty mild tasting in my opinion.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

for marinade:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • herbs of choice (I used oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary)
  • olive oil (so I didn’t use any oil in my marinade- but if you want a more moist result, I would recommend some kind of oil)

for rolls:

  • 1 kilo chicken breasts (or however many you want)
  • 200g deli ham (or enough for 1-2 slices per breast)
  • 1-2 packages of light cream cheese spread (like Laughing Cow. I used 1/2 wedge of light Happy Cow cheese for breast, but if you want a creamier result, you should use a full wedge)
  • 1 head of cabbage

Method:

  1. Begin by pounding your chicken breasts out so they can be rolled. To do this: lay a breast down on a plastic-wrap lined cutting board. Cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizer (or if you are ghetto like me, a hammer) gently pound the breast out to a thin and uniform layer, about 1 cm thick.
  2. Transfer breasts to marinade and leave for at least 30 mins and up to 4 hours.
  3. Remove the core from your head of cabbage by cutting it out. Place it in a deep saucepan with enough boiling water to cover and cover with a lid. The water should already be boiling, so reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 10 minutes or so to steam. The leaves will become soft when done.
  4. When the cabbage is finished, remove from the water and allow to cool. Then gently separate the leaves.
  5. To make the rolls, lay down one cabbage leaf on your work surface. Next place down one of the marinated breasts. Spread one cheese wedge evenly over the meat. Add 1-2 slices of ham to cover. Next, carefully enclose everything in the cabbage leaf (see pictures) by folding all the leaves into the center, then roll it up jelly-roll style. You can secure it shut with toothpicks if needed.
  6. Place in an aluminum foil-lined tray and repeat with remaining breasts. Cover with additional foil and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook the remaining time, 15 minutes or so until done.

Nutrition info: (Taken from hungry girl for one 5 oz breast not  including cabbage) Calories: 222, Fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 2g Protein: 40g

*Note if you are staying away from processed foods, cheese wedges and deli ham are probably not good choices for you. I don’t mind including some processed foods in my diet, because the majority of my food is from whole sources. IMG_1948

And there you have it!

IMG_1949So fancy!

IMG_1957Or maybe you don’t think cabbage can ever be fancy. Well, it works for me anyways…

IMG_1951Served on a bed or raw zucchini- yum!

IMG_1959And if you want to, you can wrap it up in more veggies!! Yay!!!

IMG_1960Perhaps the zucchini will counteract the processed qualities of the cheese and ham?? Ya right..

IMG_1961Overall, I’m pretty happy with my results. Cabbage makes an excellent wrap so I’m going to try to use it more often! Plus I love cabbage- not only is it cheap, low in calories, and tasty- it’s also good for you!! Must be why Koreans love it so much for kimchi right?

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