Vegetarian Halupkies

You can crack as many Polish jokes as you wish, but I’m telling you these vegetarian halupkies were amazing… but, more on that later.

As many of you may have noticed, I took a computer/internet break yesterday.  I did not check email, Facebook, Twitter, or my blog one single time all day long.  I did not read the news on the computer.  I did not check my bank account, or pay any bills online.  I took the day off completely.

I have to admit, it honestly felt pretty good!  Not that I don’t love posting daily, or catching up with old friends via the internet, but sometimes you’ve just got to take a break from the daily grind.  We are always so “connected” in a cyber kind of way.  Yesterday I took time to connect with my family sans the computer on a more personal level. 

We finally celebrated my Pop-Pop’s 85th birthday, and my dad’s 49th birthday (yes, my parents are very young).

Every year for Pop-Pop’s birthday, we eat a polish dish called halupkies (pronounced ha-loop-keys).  As as a young boy growing up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, this was a dish his mother often prepared for special occasions .  They are stuffed cabbage rolls filled with a ground beef and rice mixture, and then boiled in a tomato juice broth.

This year my mom found a wonderful Vegetarian Cabbage Roll recipe for me that was actually quite easy to make.

4 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.


  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  • In a large saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside eight large leaves for rolls (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shape cut. Overlap cut ends before filling. Stir 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into vegetable mixture.
  • Place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll to completely enclose filling.
  • Combine tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in dish; spoon remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (2 cabbage rolls) equals 142 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 675 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls published in Light & Tasty October/November 2001, p37

We sautéed the vegetables and bulgur,


spooned the cooked veggie mixture into pre-blanched cabbage leaves,


carefully rolled them up and tucked in the outer edges,DSC01296

then piled them high in a baking dish.

We covered them with the tomato sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

I don’t have any fantastic after pictures, because once everyone arrived the focused then turned to the celebration!  But here is a picture of the leftovers, cold from the fridge, that I plan on heating up and devouring for lunch tomorrow 🙂


Larry and I were planning on spending the night at my parents, but decided at the last minute to come home, so we could spend all day Sunday cleaning the house and running errands.  We have a tendency to put things off during the week, and they really pile up by the weekends!  Oops! 

We slept in, had chocolate blueberry pancakes for breakfast (recipe to come!), and cleaned our tushies off!  Now, our house smells and looks clean and beautiful! 

Tonight we are planning a Sunday Date Night ;)  We’re going to grab a healthy-ish dinner out and then go see Percy Jackson! 

What traditions does your family have to celebrate special occasions? 


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!



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2 responses to “Vegetarian Halupkies

  1. Emily Patrouch

    Halupkies has to be one of my favorite dishes of all time! I think I am going to try this recipe cause it looks so tasty!!

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