Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole -

The very moment I stumbled upon this recipe I knew it was a keeper and in fact I went out and bought the ingredients that same day. I love casseroles, and the cheesy crunchy top that reveals itself after baking so nicely in the hot oven! MMMMMMM I am a cheese & crispy bits  lover! I changed the recipe up some to suit my taste.  To see the original click here. For my edited version…READ ON!


  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Paprika, I like hungarian but any will do even the hot stuff
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (I cooked in chicken stock instead of water to add more flavor)
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

stuffed cabbage casserole

(Love this shot)

stuffed cabbage casserole 6

DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. I used a 10×13″ pan and it was full!
  2. Cook rice and when it is finished set aside (use chicken stock instead of water for more flavor!)
  3. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add 1 tbs olive oil, and garlic. Cook until just fragrant (about 1 minute or less) Add salt, pepper, paprika thyme and finally ground turkey. Cook until browned.
  4. To the pan add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and chicken stock.
  5. Simmer until thickened, around 15 minutes give or take.
  6. While meat mixture is thickening, cut up cabbage and make sure to cut out the core, and chop coarsely.
  7. Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add the cabbage and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted (I added a lid to help the process along). You want the cabbage about half-cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  8. Add your cooked rice to your meat mixture and stir to combine well.
  9. Take 1/2 of your wilted cabbage and place in your casserole dish, then 1/2 of your meat mixture and repeat until all is in pan. Mix together gently with large spoon.
  10. Add cheese to top and bake for 40 minutes uncovered.
  11. Let casserole sit for a few minutes before cutting, the cheese will stay in place better this way and you get nice even squares for everyone to enjoy, serve hot.
  12. This dish is freezer friendly if you have leftovers. (which I did) I stored in a Tupperware container, air tight.

stuffed cabbage casserole -

stuffed cabbage casserole -

stuffed cabbage casserole -

Fresh Vodka Spritzer Recipe:

1 oz Pinnacle Cake Vodka
1 oz Pinnacle Whip Cream Vodka
2 oz Seltzer Water
Juice of 1/2 lime
Basil & lime slice for garnish

Blend first 4 ingredients together and garnish with basil and lime slice. Light and refreshing!


If you liked this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs and tell a friend!



Creamy Chicken Veggie and Rice Soup – Warm the Heart, Warm the Soul!

Don’t let the sunny picture fool you…well ok I’m not even going to go there. Living in California sure its fun in the sun. But when my favorite time of year comes, FALL, I am saddened that the weather is not cool enough to reflect that. I love making soup and bread and warm you up goodies, but when the temperature reaches 80 in November, well sometimes it just isn’t that easy to get my family to eat hot soup! Luckily in between these warm days are a few hit or miss cool and even rainy ones. Leaving me to explore the world of Fall cooking.

Today I made a creamy, warm, stick to your ribs with a hearty healthy kick soup. This soup is almost too hearty to have a second bowl…I did say ALMOST! Filled with vegetables for great nutrition and a little creaminess to round it out, you will surely want to accompany it with a carb filled side! For me I have been making this Focaccia Bread that is just delicious and pairs perfectly with any soup or is fabulous on its own. Take a weekend, get your ingredients together you will want to make both of these delights this weekend!


  • 8 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Stalks Celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red  Onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. Carrots, I used the shredded ones
  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut up in small pieces (reserve 1/2 of the florets)
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus, washed and trimmed; reserve the stems
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 c. Cream of Chicken Soup (could substitute in heavy cream, I just had this left over so I wanted to use it)
  • 1/4 c. 2% Milk
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 3 cooked Chicken Breasts, diced


In a large stockpot, drizzle olive oil on the bottom and add your diced chicken. Season with salt/pepper and cook until browned and cooked through.

Remove from pot and add 1 tbs of olive oil, add; carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, stems of your asparagus and saute for 5 minutes.

*NOTE* Using the stems to the asparagus:

  1. Cut the very bottoms off, discard and do not use
  2. Bend the bottom of one the asparagus spears until it snaps, this will be your guide for cutting the rest of the bunch
  3. Cut the remaining spears and cut the stems into 1/2″ dices, add these to your stockpot.

Add flour and saute for 2 minutes to get the flour taste out of it.

Add chicken broth slowly stirring as you add to avoid clumps. Once all broth is incorporated, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to just at a boil for about 20 minutes, or until all veggies are super soft.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender (these things ROCK!) start blending until you get the desired consistency you like.

Return pot to stove and reduce heat to low. Add rice stir to combine.

Take a microwave safe bowl and add your milk and cream of chicken soup and combine. Add cheese if using.

Add this to your stockpot along with your reserved chicken and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

While simmering place your asparagus spears & broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl and add about 2 tbs water. Cover with Saran wrap and cook for 1 minute. Immediately add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

When soup is finished garnish with a few of your steamed broccoli florets and asparagus spears.

Coconut Rice


Love white rice, but sometimes it needs a pick-me-up to the traditional soy sauce and butter additives. Adding coconut milk gives it a hint of sweetness and a taste of the islands. One bite and the breeze of the island will be blowing in your hair, if you have no hair, it will be blowing over your gorgeous head! The coconut flavor is faint and when you cook it, the aromatic smell lights up your home with smiles from all.


1 1/2 cups white rice
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk


  1. Add rice, water and coconut milk to pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, reduce to low, add lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated.
  3. Serve under my Honey Glazed Chicken Bites.

Honey Glazed Chicken Bites

My “honey” and I love Chinese food. Specifically orange chicken or sweet & sour chicken. It takes a toll on your pocketbook if you are buying for a large family, not to mention who knows what they put into it. We decided to buy bulk at our local >cough< warehouse spot. I say cough, because these days people have been talking negatively about them. We need these Costco‘s in our life right now, so we shop there and love it. Anyway they have this really nummy orange chicken, but it simply, again, isn’t enough for us all, yes even at Costco there is something NOT big enough for us :D. I decided to try my hand at recreating something at home that would satisfy the craving, but with a twist. (1) Using something sweet for the sauce & (2) not making it spicy so my younger kids would eat it. You will love the texture of this batter as it is really light and delicate, unlike a traditional deep-fried, well, anything really. You can eat it plain or add the honey sauce.

Chicken needs to marinate for about 30-45 minutes

Fry chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd pan and to keep oil temperature the same

Making the honey sauce

Toasting sesame seeds


1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1” chunks
Vegetable Oil for deep-frying

4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Handful of toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Mix all batter ingredients together until combined then add chicken and stir to coat all chicken, cover and marinate for 30-45 minutes in refrigerator.
  2. Heat deep fryer or large pot of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.
  3. Once oil is ready, fry chicken in batches to maintain oil temperature and avoid overcrowding. Chicken bites should cook about 5 minutes to completion. Drain on a paper towel. Continue until chicken is all cooked.


  1. Add coconut oil, ginger and garlic to fry pan or wok and heat for about 3 minutes until aromatic.
  2. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water and mix well.
  3. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and add to the sauce.
  4. Simmer for about 5 minutes and sauce has thickened. Add sesame seeds on top if using.
  5. Serve over the top of my Coconut Rice.

Coconut Mango Chicken Bites

Inspired by my love of BITE sized food!

Picture from Kitchen Simplicity, gorgeous homemade wrappers!

24 wonton wrappers
1 tsp coconut oil (or other cooking oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger (may sub 1 tsp dried ground)
2 cups cooked chicken, small dice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 mango,  peeled and diced
1/2 c. pineapple, diced
Lime juice approximately 3 limes
salt to taste
Cilantro chopped


  1. To make the wonton cups. Take 1 wrapper and lay flat, take a second wrapper and put on top off center.
  2. Press fresh wonton wrappers into muffin tins, pressing any folds firmly to the sides.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes, until golden. **WATCH THEM CLOSELY, THEY WILL BURN ON YOU** Set aside to cool.


  1. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chicken and saute until browned.
  4. Add coconut milk, lime juice and salt/pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring often, until bubbly and thickened.
  6. Cool slightly or chill before spooning into won ton cups.
  7. In a small bowl combine mango, pineapple, cilantro, lime juice.
  8. Add mango mixture and cilantro on top just before serving.
  9. Serve over a bed of coconut rice and garnish with 1 lime slice






Cilantro Lime-Pepper Rice or Green Rice


My new found love of cooking with lime, inspired a whole meal using an abundance of them.  There is just something about the tartness, the smell and the way they look that makes me happy. This rice is a side dish to a full meal. 

1 cup long-grain white rice 
2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock (make it good quality for this dish, you’ll be happy you did)
1/4 C Sweet Heat Chefs Signature Sauce (more or less to your taste)


  1. In a pot, add chicken stock and rice
  2. In food processor, make the Sweet Heat Signature Sauce, and puree until smooth. If too thick add more olive oil.
  3. Add about 3 tablespoons of the puree to rice with the chicken stock and cook according to the rice package directions.
  4. When rice is finished, add puree and stir, serve immediately.

Sweet Heat Signature Sauce, can be used in lots of food and in different ways. You can use it on: tacos, topping for baked potatoes, a dip for french fries instead of ranch or ketchup, on top of barbequed steak and so much more.

Made your own combination? Tell me about it