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and easiest -- recipe for cabbage. It dates to 1984, when reader Natalie Chernow let us know you can get the flavor without all the fuss of actually rolling cabbage leaves with a ground beef and rice stuffing.

Chernow wrote: "I often refrigerate this overnight before serving it to blend some of the sweet and sour tastes. I simply reheat and serve over rice. I also sometimes add a piece of flanken and increase the cooking time until the flanken is tender. Advise your readers not to substitute for the Heinz ketchup and the Schweppes ginger ale -- these brands I've found work and taste the best. By the way, this dish freezes very well."

> Unstuffed Cabbage

1 large head of cabbage

1 (32-ounce) bottle Heinz ketchup

1 liter ginger ale (preferably Schweppes)

2 pounds ground sirloin

1 medium onion, peeled (or to taste)

2 eggs

1/4 cup raw rice (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut cabbage into 1-inch wide strips and put in an 8-quart stock pot. Add ginger ale and ketchup, cover and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate onion into meat. Mix well with egg. Add rice. Form into patties and add to the pot. Simmer, covered, 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 365 calories (17 percent calories from fat), 7.4 g fat, (3 g saturated fat, 3 g mono-unsaturated fat), 117 mg cholesterol, 29.5 g protein, 48.8 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g fiber, 1,458 mg sodium.