Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

This is the easiest (and tastiest) unstuffed cabbage casserole ever.  Why?  No cabbage chopping/shredding required!  Instead, I take the short-cut of using bagged cole slaw mix to cut down on prep time. Ain’t nobody got time to hand-shred cabbage.  ~Erin

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Ingredients:

2 bags (16 oz. each) tri-color cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrots)

1 ½ T. minced garlic, divided

1 T. olive oil

2 ½ tsp. salt, divided

1 ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef

1 onion, finely diced

1 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. oregano

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups cooked brown rice

3 cups shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions:

Cook brown rice according to package directions; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large, high-sided skillet, saute both bags of cole slaw mix in 1 T. olive oil until it’s wilted to about half its size (about ten minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add 1 ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in the process of stirring.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ½ T. minced garlic until browned; then drain beef.  

Add thyme, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  

Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and stir to combine.  

Spray a 9×13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer ingredients starting with half the coleslaw cabbage, then half the meat/tomato/rice mixture, and one cup cheese.  Repeat with the last half of cabbage, then meat/tomato/rice mixture but reserve the 2 cups of remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 or until hot and bubbly. Spread the top evenly with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle each serving with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.:  This makes 8 servings at 7 Freestyle points per serving.

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