Get a FREE Pass to the IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo   Claim My FREE Expo Pass »

Salmon and Wild Rice–Stuffed Cabbage

by Sandy Todd Webster on Apr 27, 2013

Food for Thought

Recipe for Health

A variety of fresh cabbage is readily available in spring gardens and at farmers’ markets. Here is a creative way to enjoy it and to introduce other ingredients to your family and friends. The faculty at The Culinary Institute of America suggests a delicious heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly variation on a traditional stuffed cabbage roll with this salmon and wild rice recipe.

“I serve the stuffed cabbage rolls with steamed edamame and a tarragon dipping sauce, to make a meal high in protein, fiber and flavor while low in saturated fat, and without a fishy aftertaste,” says CIA associate professor and chef Jennifer Stack, RD. “I designed this recipe for people like me, who are not fond of fish but want the health benefits it provides. These stuffed cabbage rolls look so good and are so tasty that they tempt even non-seafood lovers.”

A good time-saving practice for this recipe is to keep some wild rice and cooked barley frozen in small portions to grab and use as needed. You can also substitute rinsed, canned salmon in place of fresh salmon if you can’t get to a fish market.

1 C water

½ C dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms

¾ t kosher salt

½ C pearled barley

¾ C cooked wild rice

2 t olive oil

12 oz salmon fillet

¼ t freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

8 oz sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms

½ C white wine

¾ C chopped green onions

1¼ t dried tarragon

1½ t lemon zest

8 large cabbage leaves, blanched

½ C low-sodium chicken broth

Recipe Key
C = cup | T = tablespoon | t = teaspoon | oz = ounce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Steep dried mushrooms for 10 minutes. Strain mushrooms, reserving steeping liquid. Chop mushrooms and set aside.

Add enough water to reserved mushroom liquid to make 1 cup.

Add ⅛ teaspoon salt and bring it to a boil. Stir in barley and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until barley is soft, about 25 minutes.

Stir chopped, soaked mushrooms into barley. Mix cooked barley with wild rice, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon fillet with ⅛ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sear salmon fillet until just cooked, about 2 minutes per side. Remove skin from salmon and flake fish into barley mixture. Brown fresh mushrooms in same pan. Remove mushrooms and deglaze pan with ¼ cup wine.

Add skillet liquids and mushrooms to barley mixture. Add green onions, tarragon, lemon zest, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Fill cabbage leaves with barley mixture and roll up leaves tightly (like a burrito). Place rolls seam-side down in baking dish.

Bring chicken broth and remaining ¼ cup wine to a boil and pour over cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake until cabbage is soft and broth is steaming, 20–25 minutes. Makes four servings.

Source: The Diabetes Friendly Kitchen (Wiley 2012), by Jennifer Stack, RD. For more information:

Per Serving: 384 calories, 24 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 15 g total fat (3 g saturated fat); 326 mg sodium.

Want more from Sandy Todd Webster?


The Diabetes Friendly Kitchen (Wiley 2012), by Jennifer Stack, RD.

For more information:

Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 5

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.