Entree/ Meal Prep/ Non-Dairy/ Recipes/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Vegan Cabbage Rolls [And my Battle with Adult Acne]


Ongoing Battle with Adult Acne.

I am really enjoying the challenge of making some of my favourite dishes into vegan clones of the original. My reason for vegetarian and slow embrace to veganism is due to an ongoing battle with adult acne. It has been a really rough few months coping with adult acne. I’ve decided to go completely medication-free in dealing with my dreaded adult acne. I’ve always had severe cystic acne most of my adolescent life. I’ve used a form of topical medicated cream which included a small amount of steroid, antibiotics pills to fight the acne from inside out and of course contraceptive pills. All forms of acne remedies that I was very hesitant to agree with. I have a paranoia over anything unnatural going into my body, especially if it’s in a chemical form without any natural ingredients. But I had no choice – between the ages of 23 to 25, my cystic acne was horrifying. My acne took over my face and my confidence. I no longer felt like myself and depended completely on make up.

 After 5 years of medicated aid and clear acne-free skin, I’ve decided to remove all medication out of my body – for several reasons. I am at the start of 30s so my priority now is to keep myself as healthy as possible. I am more conscious about what I put in and on my body. So, I decided to just go completely natural and attempt to fight my adult acne with diet and strict skin routine. I knew it was only a matter of time before my skin would explode and the tiny painful bumps will be back with a vengeance (it only took 4 months by the way). 

Why Veganism & Vegetarian?

Earlier this year, I tried removing meats (chicken, beef, pork or any other game) from my diet. I also limited my dairy intake to very small amounts. I noticed a significant change in my skin. However, like any human being, I slipped – I ate some meat and dairy and it was regrettable. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without feeling stressed and sad. Again, I lost my confidence and lost of control of my skin. I couldn’t help but think about what people are looking at. It’s a horrible feeling to lose yourself to something like this. Others think you’re being superficial and it’s tiny concern. But when you’re dealing with adult acne, it becomes less about the acne itself and more about confidence. Longing for that freedom from the burden of a skin condition. 

  So why am I talking about acne in my blog post about vegan cabbage rolls? Well, here’s my pledge to start eating a primarily plant-based diet. I am hoping I will have the willpower to go into a full vegetarian or perhaps even vegan diet. It hasn’t been easy trying to incorporate this diet in my every lifestyle when I’m surrounded by meat-lovers and I love eating out for a meal. Oh, I also really love cheese and ice cream. However, like I mentioned in the beginning – I am really enjoying the challenge of making delicious vegetarian or vegan dishes that I still really enjoy. So I think this should be a fun journey instead of the end of my relationship with food. Wish me luck in my journey to clearer and beautiful skin!

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Vegan Cabbage Rolls.

This dish was super fun to make! I also got to use my hand quite a bit so it’s always exciting when I get the chance to do that. You’ll notice I used barley instead of rice and I used mushrooms rather than meat. The barley was actually a fluke. I did not have any rice in my pantry but had a huge bag of barley. It really worked out well with the barley as it still gave me the same consistency as rice. The meat flavour and texture came from the mushrooms by dicing it very finely, to make it look like minced meat.

How do you deal with adult acne? Is Veganism working for you? What tips do you have for me? Let me a comment!

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 1.5 hours


  • 4L water (or whatever fits your pot)
  • 1 whole cabbage head
  • 1 cup barley (cooked)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms (diced)
  • 2 cans of low sodium tomato soup (save 1/4 cup for the filling)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 400F


In a large pot, boil water


Remove the core of the cabbage and add into the boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes or until the cabbage leaves are easy to pull apart


Let cabbage head cool for 10 minutes. Pull apart each individual leaf and set aside.


In a skillet, on medium high heat, saute onion, carrots, mushrooms for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool


In a large mixing bowl, mix together cooked barley, sauteed vegetables, 1/4 cup of tomato soup, tomato paste, paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Mix well.


To make the cabbage rolls, take one leaf at a time and spoon 2 tablespoon of the filling on to the leaf. Roll away from you, then pull each side into the roll, and continue to roll until you have a tight cabbage roll. Place onto a oven safe baking dish which has a layer of with tomato soup at the bottom. Repeat this step until you've filled your entire baking dish with the cabbage rolls.


Pour the remaining tomato soup onto to the cabbage rolls, making sure you cover each one.


Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes


Serve with sauerkraut

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 18, 2017 at 8:42 am

    That looks delicious! I’m also struggling with adult acne and I have wrote a lot about it on my blog. I’m currently on a medication and so happy to say that I can see some results after two months! Acne has a lot do with your confidence and it’s so heavy for your mind. People who have acne understand that.
    I’m a vegetarian, but now I have cut down on dairy, wheat and sugar. I have to say, I don’t enjoy limiting my diet, but you gotta do what you gotta do.. Luckily it’s so easy nowadays to find for example vegan cheese and stuff. 🙂

    Charlotta x http://charlottaeve.com

    • Reply
      April 18, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you ! Gosh – Isn’t it the worse?! I’m glad something is working for you! I am seeing if my “new” diet and skin regimen will work first. If not, I’m afraid I will need to see a derma as well. I also really hate having to limit my diet and the awkwardness when you’re out for a meal with people, then having to explain! Great blog btw! Looking forward to reading your war with acne update!

    Leave a Reply