Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Move over kale, cabbage is coming to dinner and bringing with it a wealth of nutritious, delicious applications like this yummy skillet meal. Ground turkey, cabbage, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, smoked paprika, and allspice meld together perfectly to create a unique and satisfying supper. All you need is a giant pan and a good knife. You’ll be feasting on this scrumptious dish in less than 30 minutes.
Mediterranean cooking has a wealth of flavors beyond the typical oregano, rosemary, and lemon that I grew up learning about. I recently learned in a gardening class that Mediterranean climates are some of the most diverse in terms of flora and fauna which explains the vast variety of flavors found in the cuisines of areas housed in these climates. I have been dedicating more time recently to exploring and experimenting with flavor combos and profiles that are less familiar to me. I get a thrill from trying new things, but the best part is, these new flavor profiles can be applied to the same tried and true meals we rely on during those busy weeks for health and convenience, but with a fresh new twist to liven things up and keep dinner interesting and fun.
In this dish, the spices combined with the briny olives are what make it so unique. I was a little skeptical about putting these flavors together, but they really do work. You could use kale or another hardy green, but I really like cabbage because even when it softens it maintains a little more of its textural integrity which eats like a heavier meal without making you feel overstuffed and weighed down afterward.
Cabbage is a superfood in my book. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C (immunity), Vitamin K (85% of RDI in one cup and helps with bone health), B6 & Folate (nervous system & energy metabolism). It’s also loaded with fiber so great for digestion, inflammation, and heart health. It’s also versatile, from slaws to soups, to shells for wrapping up meat and rice mixture to skillet meals like this one.
I opted for ground extra lean turkey for this dish. If you prefer to keep this plant-based, swap the turkey for your favorite plant-based ground or a drained & rinsed can of beans, or some cooked lentils.
1.3 lbs green cabbage, shredded
1 lb lean 7% ground turkey, or chicken, or plant-based ground
2/3 cup onion, small diced
1 cup cremini mushrooms, diced
3/4 cup mixed olives, pitted and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 cup chicken (or veggie) stock
3/4 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp celery seeed
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp each salt and pepper
4 oz feta (optional topper)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (optional topper)
Chop vegetables and shred cabbage. Heat a very large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. (if the skillet isn’t non-stick add a 1/2 tbsp olive or avocado oil to keep things from sticking. ) Add the ground turkey and break apart with a spoon. Let it brown slightly then add the onions and mushrooms. Allow them to soften, stirring occasionally for 3 – 4 minutes.
Next add the dried spices, olives, stock, and canned tomatoes. I sprinkle the salt right onto the canned tomatoes before mixing in since I use no salt tomatoes, but it should all blend together in the end. Stir together and then top with the cabbage. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes allowing the cabbage to wilt down a little. Stir, as best you can, the pan will be FULL of cabbage. Repeat cover, steam, stir, every few minutes until cabbage is wilted down and most of the stock is absorbed. If stock absorbs before cabbage wilts and the pan looks dry, add a little more stock (1/4 cup ) or water as need needed until it’s completely wilted. Give the mix a taste and add any extra seasoning if you wish.
Serve in a giant bowl and top with feta and fresh parsley.
Notes and variations
Exchange the turkey for chicken, plant-based ground, beef or lamb
Use purple cabbage or a mix of purple and green for a pop of color
Store in the fridge up to a week.