I was super proud of myself when I watched the news at the gym last week.  I felt all updated on the goings on in the world.  Like I could carry on a real conversation with a real person if I had to.

For example, like on a date, I could say something like, “So this whole Lindsay and Paris frenemy situation is really nerve wrecking, huh?”

Oh right.  Um.  It was E! News.

That still counts, right?


Seriously, though, have you noticed that frenemies are everywhere?  I mean…CNN Living wrote an article on it.  So that means we must be in the middle of some kind of worldwide epidemic.

You probably have one and you don’t even know it.  And if you don’t…well…I hear they’re highly contagious.  So you will soon.  Sorry.

After doing some serious introspection this weekend, I realized that one of my worst frenemies was hanging out in my crisper drawer at that very moment.

They do say “keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your frenemies in your refrigerator”.  Words to live by.


Right, so.  Cabbage.  Cabbage and I are total frenemies.

Enemies because, well, I never have any idea what to do with it and so it sits there, daring me to let it go bad before I can use it so that then I’ll feel guilty for not using it.  And who needs that kind of negative influence in their lives?

But, then again.  It’s a nutritional superstar.  High in all that is good in this world. (Except for calories.)


Now you see why this is a matter of international crisis.

Thankfully, though, I’ve discovered a recipe that will clear up the ambiguity at bit, or at least get that cabbage out of your crisper drawer and into your stomach.  Both tart and sweet from the pomegranate-tomato sauce, it is delicious and full of even more good-for-you ingredients, like swiss chard and summer squash.  An easy, tasty, nutritious way to control at least one of the frenemy situations in your life.

If only there were as quick of a fix for Lindsay and Paris. If. Only.


Unstuffed Cabbage with Chickpeas, Zucchini, Swiss Chard and Bulgur
Serves 3, adapted from Taste of Beirut



  • 3/4 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small/medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb summer squash, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • feta cheese, for garnish


  1. Cook bulgur according to package directions.  Put chickpeas in a medium-sized pot and cover with water by 1 inch.  Add salt to the water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until chickpeas are cooked through
  2. In the meantime, in a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the cabbage to the pan and saute, stirring frequently, until it has cooked down a bit, about 7 minutes.  Add the swiss chard, zucchini/summer squash, and parsley.  Saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the veggie broth into the pan.  Add the tomato paste and pomegranate molasses and stir until they have melded into the broth.  Add the cinnamon.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan, stirring to combine.  Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.  Season with salt to taste.  Serve over the bulgur and top with crumbled feta cheese.

I am submitting this to Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory and Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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88 Responses to Unstuffed Cabbage with Chickpeas, Zucchini, Swiss Chard and Bulgur

  1. Yasmeen says:

    I love everything about this post… the frenemies thing is hilarious. And Taste of Beirut is one of my favorite blogs (obviously I’m partial to Middle Eastern cookery) 🙂

    I’ve finally motivated myself back into my old healthful ways (ditching the bad stuff for a while, I was getting carried away). This recipe looks like the perfect fit into my rotation. All that said, I’ve just posted about espresso eclairs. Yeesh.

  2. love the idea of deconstruction! I could eat this everyday. So light but flavorful. I feel the same way with certain veggies and ingredients. I hate but love them! At least now I know something else I can do with cabbage! Thanks

  3. I’m loving this dish! I’m a cabbage fan.

  4. Oh wow what a great recipe to start the week of with! This just looks and sounds delicious!

  5. I love this and will be making it as soon as I can! Sometimes you need to catch up on Enews, people know more about that than the real news anyway!

  6. I absolutely adore cabbage cooked, but it definitely moves into the enemy camp when it’s raw. So I would happily devour every last bite of this goodness! 🙂

  7. Patsyk says:

    I have to say that I think the reason I DON’T buy cabbage is because I don’t want the guilt that will happen when I don’t bother using it and it wilts away in the fridge!

    btw- entertainment news is about all I can take these days, so anytime you want to chat about those current events count me in!

  8. Sam says:

    I got all of those veggies from my CSA this week. And I have all of those things in my cupboard. There’s dinner for tomorrow night then.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    This looks insanely good. I made a cabbage and chickpea dish last spring using a recipe from Martha Rose Schulman’s column in the Times. They’re a great combo.

  10. Dawn says:

    Ha that is funny. I have the SAME frenemy. And it is sitting in my fridge right now too. My plan was to make a pad thai but I apparently need tamarind paste that I haven’t purchased yet. I need to get on that and add pomegranate molasses to the list too.

  11. Love cabbage! I don’t use it enough though. This looks wonderful, I’ve never cooked with bulgar though. Maybe I’ll go for quinoa.

  12. Kalyn says:

    What a great way to cook cabbage (which I am completely friends with!) I love Taste of Beiruit; what an interesting blog.

  13. Never tried or heard of this combo before. Sauerkraut and cabbage salad are great ways to use up excess cabbage.

  14. You’re so funny. And I always feel guilty for letting anything spoil in the fridge…which is why I have felt compelled to use ALL 3000 lbs of zucchini that my garden produced this year.

  15. Amy says:

    Hee heeee. You make me laugh, Joanne. And for that, I thank you. Ya, cabbage. I TOTALLY agree. What to do…what to do with you? I haven’t watched the news (E! or any other kind) for weeks. The whole moving thing. BUT as a housewarming gift to ourselves, we were treated to a brand new 50 inch flat screen TV. And let me tell you – even CNN is interesting in high definition.

  16. Nicole, RD says:

    I have the same pickle with cabbage. Other than slaws, I’m always at a loss. Glad to have a plan – this looks awesome!

  17. Candace says:

    “keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your frenemies in your refrigerator”….I practically spit my coffee over that statement. Hilarious! I would love this if my husband allowed me to cook cabbage. See, he says he loves me too much to eat cabbage. Apparently they are frenemies of some sort, as well. 🙂

  18. What a delicious-looking and healthy-sounding dish!! I’ll just be friends with this one… Don’t wanna get on cabbage’s bad side!


  19. bellini says:

    I am frenemies with chard, but have only tried it once. It is time to reinvent the wheel.

  20. Recently, cabbage and I have gotten to be friends. Like for real. Roasted, it’s lovely. Sauteed down to a soft pulp, it goes with anything. Love.

  21. MM says:

    Frenemies do seem to be everywhere. There’s even a Spongebob episode titled “Best Frenemies.” (one day my 9 year old asked “what are frenemies?”) Maybe if frenemies sat down together over a bowl of this…

    I noticed it serves 3–two frenemies and a moderator?

  22. Ha. I have TWO weeks worth of CSA cabbage in my veggie drawer as we speak. I think it’s more of an enemy than a frenemy. But this recipe here might make a friend of it. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Corina says:

    Cabbage can be difficult to use in a tasty interesting way. I usually avoid it in winter but in summer I love it in a coleslaw but with a healthy dressing – not a creamy one.

  24. annnnnd this is why you stay so thin.
    you are a good eater. i am a bad eater–all i eat is ice cream this summer.
    and yes, cabbage is a funky animal to use and be creative with. not with you.

  25. Love the name of this and I love this recipe. It looks very healthy and delicious.

  26. I’m making this…it will be perfect to pack for lunch.

  27. Very interesting! Definitely a good way to use up cabbage.

  28. Deborah says:

    I’d much rather be frenemies with this dish than with Lindsay or Paris. This is definitely more my type!!

  29. Lyndsey says:

    Funny you sound like me with cabbage, and I actually have a half head going bad any second now in my fridge. My husband has make his mom’s coleslaw if he wants some. I have learned to like brussels sprouts by roasting it with balsamic and fig. Now I know this recipe here would be awesome and I can use my pomegranate molasses!

  30. Eliana says:

    Cabbage and I are total besties so I will definitely have to give this recipe a try.

  31. That Girl says:

    I tend to shred my cabbage and mix it with fruits, veggies, and vinegar. It never lasts very long that way.

  32. Karen says:

    I just love cabbage and this sounds so dang healthy!

  33. I love how the frenemies story ended at ur table with some real good cabbage.
    And the chicpeas + all the goodies added in make it even better don’t it?
    Would gladly wipe a plateful of this while making decent conversation about Lindsay and Paris:-)))

  34. Cara says:

    Interesting; if I had to consider my edible frenemies, I’d have to go with ice cream. Love this spin on cabbage, I’m right there with you that it’s something I never know what to do with. And I could very well find myself in this situation next week based on this week’s menu.

  35. That’s a bowl of treasure! Healthy and delicious!

  36. Rachana says:

    I love this dish! Yumm!!!

  37. unstuffed, awesome the flavors …keeps hoping for paris and lindsay(NOT)

  38. Epicurea says:

    so funny and a great life lesson – how to take care of frenemies? just eat them :-)!! and i love, love, love cabbage, so thanks for the recipe!

  39. Juliana says:

    Joanne, this dish is full of nutritious value…love the combination and yes…do not use enough cabbage 🙂
    Hope you have a fantastic week ahead!

  40. Yes yes yes!!! Pomegranate, bulgur, tomato and cabbage!!! I have had this on my weekly menu for ages but never get around to making it.. but I love your rendition. Will make it pronto! 🙂

  41. Hummm…chickpeas! Love them, but I never tried with cabbage. Great idea!

    Camila Faria

  42. This is an excellent veggie dish, I love the mix of all of the ingredients here.

  43. Kristen says:

    What a great way to prove to the cabbage that you DO know what to do with it! Sounds delicious.

  44. “They do say ‘keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and your frenemies in your refrigerator.’ Words to live by.”

    Love it!

  45. Pam says:

    It sounds delicious! I love cabbage and swiss chard also so this would work here!

  46. tigerfish says:

    I am opening my fridge right now and check who are my frenemies!

  47. Natalie says:

    speaking of dates…whatever happened to sangria boy? you should know i read your blog as much for the life updates as for the recipes 😉 but speaking of recipes, i totally get your frenemy status with cabbage…and i’m making this next time i find myself with a giant one in my fridge!

  48. I’m always so out of it when it comes to the news. I told my mom our tap water tasted dirty to me lately, and she said “Oh yeah, they probably had to treat the water due to the dead body that was found in the reservoir.”


    On a more sane note, that plate looks amazing. It’s like a giant, pretty pile of nutrition =)

  49. brocstar says:

    I feel like the 60 or so of us who work as research aids at the hospital are all frenemies. We’re all pre-meds, so we can be friendly now but it’s on once app’s are due. Then we’re friends again.

  50. Sofia says:

    damn this looks delicious. i will befriend the cabbage if the results are this good (i too am somewhat hesitant of starting anything serious.)

  51. wait…lindsay and paris are frenemies?! *feigning ignorance* i feel the same way about cabbage…

  52. This dish looks amazing..simple & neat flavors- just the kind my system is craving ever since I have left home for a little vacation! I have only 2 recipe for a head of cabbage- this one will definitely appeal to m indian palette 🙂
    Have a fab week ahead!

  53. You have a special gift of making all vegetables look as appetizing as dessert! I want some unstuffed cabbage now…

  54. I love chickpeas and this dish looks pretty delicious

  55. Polwig says:

    You had me at cabbage. Being from Poland cabbage and I are best friends ( I hope she is not cheating on me) and I can eat it anyday. Love this combination and cant wait to try it. Remember when cabbage goes bad there is always sourcroute.

  56. Dana says:

    Oh man. I love this idea. Stuffed cabbage to me means the dish from my childhood which was stuffed with rice studded ground beef and baked on a bed of sweet tomato sauce. I never liked it. This is, obviously, much more my style. I do like cabbage and need more opportunities to eat it in a smart and interesting way.

  57. Jeanette says:

    What a great idea – unstuffed cabbage – full of fresh vegetables that are in season and whole grains. I bought some pomegranate molasses that I’ve been waiting to open, and would love to try it in this recipe.

  58. Aarthi says:

    Hai Dear

    This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog… You have so many wonderful recipes..I have bookmarked you blog and some recipe from that to try..Please check out my blog.I am having a Giveaway in my blog..Please check it out and partcipate in that..


  59. Pam says:

    There is no help for Paris and Lindsey… ugh! This dish would be a big hit in my house – yum!

  60. Not only is this dish colorful, it is healthy as well. I am definitely cooking this tomorrow. Thanks for the mouth-watering post.

  61. Fabulous! That is an awesome recipe. What a healthy and palatable combination.



  62. Deconstructed stuffed cabbage is FUN!! Very creative and unique as always. The chickpeas and feta add a nice twist too. xxoo

  63. Hannah says:

    What a smart approach to a classic recipe! I often avoid stuffed things, since they tend to be so finicky. I can’t believe I never thought of such a solution before!

  64. Allison says:

    Thank you! I eat so much cabbage I don’t even know how to describe my addiction. This is a whole new way for me to attack it. Looks incredible.

  65. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne ~ Sounds incredibly healthy!!!! but very good too!! I like meals like this, especially in the summer. Have a great day my friend. Catherine xo

  66. Cooked cabbage always smelt like farts to me, but I do really enjoy cabbage, either braised or stir fried. It’s one of those vegetables that taste better cooked. At least to me.

  67. Julie says:

    hahahaha i love that you and cabbage are frenemies. that’s so raven. or its not but whatever i’m frenemies with cabbage because although i want to eat it i do everyone a favor and avoid any consumption of it haha

  68. Reeni says:

    With cinnamon and pomegranate molasses it has a sweet and savory thing going on that I love. Cabbage is a frenemy of mine too – I always mean well when I buy it…

  69. girlichef says:

    Aaahhh yes, if only… ;P Yum, looks like you totally patched things up this time. On again! Seriously satisfying meal.

  70. kickpleat says:

    Haha, too funny!!! Me and cabbage are far from frenemies. We are tight. Real tight. Love how this meal came together!! I’ll be making this one for sure since it has all the ingredients I love. More like a love fest for me 🙂

  71. Johanna GGG says:

    I understand – cabbage is so unassuming it is easy to think it is boring but it really does make its presence felt – I missed it tonight when I made a stew and wished there was some in my fridge – yummy recipe

  72. elly says:

    This looks amazing. Chickpeas and I are frenemies, so maybe this dish will push them over to full friend territory. I’m so glad you and Cara have both posted recipes from this site lately, because it’s a new blog for me and I love it.

  73. I think I’m friends with cabbage, but only because I’ve only had it in recipes I like. It makes all the difference in how it is prepared. This recipe would definitely keep cabbage in the friend category for me. I love all the flavors going on in it.

  74. Lora says:

    Mouth. Watering. I love the flavors. You really dressed up cabbage to the nines here.

  75. Shannon says:

    haha, i seldom buy cabbage… i don’t know why, i’ve come up with some good things to do with it. just always seems like there is so much!! this is great though 🙂

  76. Kelsi says:

    swiss chard and bulgur are both ingredients I have been wanting to experiment with. can’t wait to try this out.

  77. Carolyn Jung says:

    Cabbage is your friend, not your enemy! LOL
    Seriously, it’s so great because it keeps a fairly long time in the fridge; you can eat it raw or cooked; and it’s so versatile.

  78. Marisa says:

    My first thought when I saw your post? What a beautiful looking cabbage dish! I mean seriously, it’s not often that one can say that. And yeah, I totally share your frenemy vibe with cabbages – damn things always make me feel guilty.

  79. Chris says:

    It’s cool that you’re frenemies with cabbage but don’t let eggplant hang out with you, she’s a beyotch!


  80. Very fun! Now if you could only be better friends with cucumbers. 😉

    This looks delicious!

  81. Kevin says:

    Another great looking salad! Nice way to enjoy some cabbage!

  82. I have cabbage, chard and squash that I need to use! I want to make this for lunch but have no chickpeas. 🙁

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