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Crowdsourcing a Recipe: Not So Terrible For You Haluski

I love haluski.

I mean love.

It is quite possibly my favorite food.

I remember with clarity my first “haluski moment.” The first week of college. Eddie’s in the Towers. There was a comfort food station– mashed potatoes, chicken, and this noodly dish. I like noodles. It looked good. So I ordered some. Oh it was good. And then I went on to order it again and again. Nearly every single day of that freshman year. I later learned it was called haluski, and I angrily wondered “HOW COULD I HAVE LIVED NEARLY EIGHTEEN YEARS WITHOUT TASTING THIS DIVINE DISH.” I obviously put on my freshman 15 thanks to those buttery cabbagey noodles. And someone else’s freshman 15 too. And probably another person’s freshman 15 on top of that. Haluski is just as much a Pittsburgh food as pierogies and Primanti’s sandwiches. Growing up in Southern California I had plenty of quesadillas and tostadas and pepper bellies, but millworker food just isn’t on the menu.

I still had two cabbages left from my farmshare (farmshare food stays good for a long time).  I could make cabbage soup, but I’m the only one in the house who would eat that.  I could grill the cabbage (which is delicious), but our grill isn’t working right now and that means I’d have to fix it.  I could make stuffed cabbage, but that would take way more effort than I was willing to give.  Haluski was the only reasonable answer.

Since I’m doing Weight Watchers, I needed to find a way to make this less-terrible-for-me, so that I wouldn’t break the points tracker.  I asked my friends on FaceBook for tips on making haluski less bad…..

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Their ideas were great!  And I was able to use almost all the tips I got!  So these are the modifications I used to make haluski less terrible:

  • I used red AND green cabbage.
  • I used way more cabbage than noodles (one bag of noodles to two full heads of cabbage)
  • I shredded the cabbage in my food processor and roasted it with a shredded onion and little olive oil (instead of cooking it in a pan with butter and noodles).  I added the cooked noodles in afterward.
  • I used 2 cups of chicken broth instead of butter (ok I tossed in like 1 tbsp butter, I couldn’t bear the thought of making haluski without any butter)
  • I used “smart” noodles instead of regular egg noodles.  I have no idea what makes the noodles “smart” but it’s at least marketed to make me think they’re healthier.

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Lots and lots of cabbage ready for roasting.  There was actually so much cabbage that I had to roast two full pans of it.  It cooks down very well, though.

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The final result– very cabbagey, but perfect for a belly filling dinner on an icy winters night.

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Baby Beez ate a few noodles, then tried to feed the rest of her dinner to her plastic lizard.  She was in one of those “all play, no eat” moods tonight.  The dish was a hit with me and Mr. Beez, though!

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