When you first come across concepts such as gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free ?! NOOOOO !!!), diary-free (no dairy – yes, now no cappuccino or coffee latte) or, if absolutely radical, paleo (all of the above minus legumes and potatoes – shoot me :)), the first reaction is panic. How to live now? What is there? How, how to have breakfast without a piece of crispy toasted bread spread with soft cheese or jam or both and + coffee with sugar, please?

As I already wrote, such radical changes in life, of course, do not come immediately. And often (as in my case) not without a kick in the form of fundamental health problems. And then … then you just get used to it. Yes, man is such a creature that can adapt to almost any conditions of life – otherwise, how else do you think we could survive and practically monopolize this planet?

But back to our rams. When the first panic attacks dissipate, you begin to realize that things are not as bad as they seem at first glance. Cooking becomes easier – instead of standing for an hour at the stove, most of the dishes are prepared like this – you just throw meat / fish / vegetables into a double boiler and press the necessary buttons. With the washing of the kitchen / dishes, everything is also simplified – the kitchen gets dirty mainly during frying, and the dishes are more difficult to wash after greasy ones. And now most of my dishes are cooked either in the oven or in a double boiler.

But the best part is that almost all the limitations and disadvantages of such a lifestyle are offset by fat pluses.

For example:

1. Minus: restaurant food is now a problem :(.

A plus: but you save the family budget. And cafes and restaurants are now viewed primarily as meeting places. And in almost any menu you can find some kind of steamed fish or vegetables, which will become quite paleo if you ask to exclude sauces.

2. Minus: without sweet treats, bread and pastries, hellish withdrawal.

Pros: a clean face (yes, that’s true!), a slimmer figure and overall energy level much higher than before – and even without coffee! And when you start getting compliments about your appearance, that’s a huge motivation!

3. Minus: it is not clear what to eat if you don’t want meat, and you can’t neither buckwheat, nor pasta, nor potatoes.

A plus: you get creative and go to the market for fresh salads, vegetables and fish. In fact, when you exclude the above, you have nothing else to do and you start eating a lot more healthy vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini (frozen vegetables are fine in winter), fish (I love it with all my heart), salads and fresh greenery (winter, of course, is not the best time, but still). As a result, see the pros in point 2.

But the most important driver of such radical change is health. The bottom line is that if you already have any digestive problems, namely cereals, legumes, dairy products, sweets (I am already silent about alcohol – and so everything is clear) and even some vegetables like potatoes are those irritants that destroy the epithelium intestines and do not allow him to recover.

In case you are not yet aware: we have such villi covering the intestinal walls, with the help of which we assimilate useful substances and vitamins, and they also serve as a barrier that prevents toxins and other harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. So imagine what happens when they collapse.

This is fraught with big problems, from vitamin deficiency to allergies and autoimmune diseases. And it is clear that the greater the degree of destruction, the deeper the problems, so ignoring them and continuing to eat everything is not the best strategy.

By eliminating potential irritants / disrupters from our diet, we simply allow the body to repair itself. And be patient – it takes time, a lot of time, sometimes several months, and in some cases – years. Further, after recovery, you can try to turn on some of the products back, but, as my experience shows, there is no need to rush.

In general, after you carefully study the topic, make sure that all this is not just someone’s cruel joke and, moreover, it really works, one question remains – what is there all this time? Fortunately, upon closer inspection, it turns out that most dishes familiar to us from childhood are easily adaptable to the concept of paleo. For example, a favorite borscht – just exclude potatoes from it. Green cabbage soup is the same. Stuffed vegetables – just don’t add rice to the minced meat and again, don’t put potatoes.

Well, stuffed cabbage – they are not only naturally paleo (again, if you do not put rice in the minced meat), but also correspond to the principles of ideal compatibility of products, since cabbage is a non-starchy vegetable and goes well with proteins – in this case, with meat.

This time I made stuffed cabbage rolls with steamed cabbage leaves – and I liked them much more than the traditional version. Firstly, when you cook cabbage rolls in a double boiler, you set the time you need and the cabbage will definitely not be digested and will remain alive and slightly crispy – just the way I like it. Unlike cabbage rolls in a saucepan, which for some reason always strive to boil down into porridge. Secondly, I realized that I like cabbage rolls and stuffed vegetables without rice much more – the taste is much richer and at the same time softer. And not only I liked this option more – Dimka, who used to always unwrap the cabbage rolls and eat only meat, this time he grunted them whole with pleasure, said that it was very tasty and asked me to cook them somehow :).

Cabbage rolls in steamed cabbage leaves

Type of dish: Main dish

Kitchen: Russian

  • 0.5 – 0.7 kg minced meat (I have lean beef)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 stalk of celery (if you don’t like celery, use a carrot)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • greens (parsley, thyme, green onions, mint – take what you like)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (exclude if you cannot afford it)
  • Olive oil
  1. In most cabbage recipes, we are advised to disassemble the cabbage into leaves and then boil them in salted water. But it is not so easy to disassemble a winter tight head of cabbage into leaves! And here a life hack from my mother helped: she first cuts a cabbage stump, like this:
    Head of cabbage without stalk
    And then he boils it with the cut hole down, in water or steam.
  2. For a couple, I kept it for about 10 minutes in total. And periodically I took out and removed the leaves, which had already become soft (carefully, do not burn yourself!)
  3. While the cabbage is cooking, finely chop the onion and celery (or carrot).
  4. Heat some olive oil, sauté the chopped onion. When the onion is tender, add the crushed garlic clove and a little later the celery.
  5. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add the finely chopped greens, remove from heat and mix with the minced meat.
    Minced meat with fried onions for stuffed cabbage
  6. We disassemble the cabbage into leaves and, if necessary, slightly beat off the hard veins with a special hammer for chops (anything, in fact).
  7. Now we spread some minced meat on each leaf:
    Cooking cabbage rolls - put minced meat in a cabbage leaf
  8. And wrap:
    Step-by-step photo: wrap minced meat in a cabbage leaf Step-by-step photo for a recipe for stuffed cabbage: minced meat wrapped in a cabbage leaf
  9. We put it in a double boiler.
    Step-by-step photo for the recipe for stuffed cabbage: stuffed cabbage, laid in a double boiler
  10. I cook them for 15-20 minutes, as I don’t like overcooked ones. The time depends on the size of the cabbage rolls, the power of the steamer and your preferences. But it’s always better to put it on for a shorter time, try it, and then add it if necessary.
  1. If not for the diet, I would have served these stuffed cabbage rolls with sour cream, or with natural yogurt mixed with cilantro / dill and garlic.
  2. A paleo-style serving can be like this: parsley, mint, some olive oil and lemon juice are mixed with a blender.
    Submit your ideas – what else can you come up with a paleo sauce for these cabbage rolls?


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