Preheat oven to 350˚F (176˚C)
COOK THE RICE ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTION ON THE PACKAGE OR BUY READY MADE FROM THE FREEZER SECTION.
FOR THE FLAX EGGS
In a small bowl, whisk the 2 tablespoon ground flax seed and 4 tablespoon water until fully combined. Set aside.
FOR THE CABBAGE
Core the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Put the cabbage in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil.
When the cabbage leaves begin to soften, use a pair of tongs to peel the leaves off of the head of the cabbage and place them in a colander to drain.
When the leaves are too small to stuff, remove the remaining head of cabbage from the water and set aside for later.
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
Heat 2 teaspoon of olive oil or 3 tablespoon of vegetable broth in a large sauce pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add ½ of the chopped onion and stir. Cook until they soften and become translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Add ½ of the garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the 26 oz of chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes and remove from heat and set aside.
FOR THE MEATY FILLING
SEE NOTES FOR OPTIONS
In a large skillet, heat the 2 teaspoon of olive oil or 3 tablespoon of vegetable broth on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining onion and cook until translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the ground “beef” and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down into crumbles. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until nicely browned and the edges are slightly crispy.
Add the remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon ground celery seed, 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, stir until combined and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
TO MAKE THE CABBAGE ROLLS
In a large baking dish, spoon a shallow layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Chop the cabbage leaves that are too small to fill and put over the layer of tomato sauce in the dish.
In a large mixing bowl, add the meaty mixture, the 1 cup cooked brown rice, the flax eggs, and 3 tablespoon of the tomato sauce. Stir until fully combined and it becomes solid and sticky.
To make the leaves easier to roll, hold a leaf up and with a paring knife, trim the outside edge of the core of the leaf.
Lay the leaf on a flat surface and roll approximately 2 tablespoon of the meat mixture into a short log and place near the top of the leaf and begin to roll. As you get toward the end, fold one of the sides toward the center and finish rolling. Tuck the other side into the end of the roll.
Put the rolls in a line on top of the chopped cabbage in the baking dish and spoon a layer of sauce on top of the cabbage rolls and then stack another layer of the rolls on top. Repeat with the sauce and rolls until you get to the top of the dish.
Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the entire top of the rolls and then drizzle the cup of vegetable broth around the edge of the pan.
Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the cabbage is soft and easy to cut.