Here in Maine we are digging out of a giant snowstorm/blizzard (and yes, expecting some more snow in the next day or so…sigh). All the effort of clearing the snow off our cars and driveways, porches, decks and walkways deserves a reward. A warm bowl of Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Cabbage is
appropriate necessary. It’s easy, delicious, warming and cooks by itself while we are out battling Old Man Winter.
My mother used to cook cabbage-containing dishes for our large family often, and I can see why: it’s inexpensive, versatile, delicious and yes, nutritious. As a member of the humble cruciferous vegetable group (known for for their fiber content, as well as multiple nutrients like vitamin K and potassium that many people lack), cabbage also contains glucosinolates. These natural plant compounds break down during cooking into other phytonutrients that may provide anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic benefits. (Here’s an article on cruciferous veggies that I wrote for Food&Nutrition magazine if you want to learn more about this group of veggies). On the downside, these are the same compounds responsible for the less-than-lovely sulfur aroma that cruciferous veggies give off when cooked. Luckily, cooking cabbage in the slow cooker helps keep a lid on that aroma (ha)!
- cooking spray
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 small head cabbage, about 2 pounds (or 1/2 large head), quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 cups unsalted or reduced-sodium gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed, crushed lightly
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 13-16 oz. gluten-free kielbasa (I used Butterball turkey sausage), cut into 8 pieces
- 1/4 cup minced, fresh parsley, optional garnish
- Lightly coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Place the carrot pieces in the bottom of the crock.
- In a large bowl, toss all remaining ingredients (except for the kielbasa and parsley) to coat with the seasoning and broth. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker crock, adding them on top of the carrots. Do not stir. Top with the kielbasa pieces.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours; give the mixture a stir and test to see if vegetables are done to your liking. If not, cook 1 hour more. Garnish each portion with parsley, if desired.
Many common brands of kielbasa/sausage do not indicate if they are gluten-free on the label, so be sure to check!