TUCKER TIME // stuffed vegetables

by A NOTE FOR ME

Personally I prefer vegetarian dishes since I love all vegetables and have always felt my body prefers them too. Going meat free is growing in popularity as people are more aware of the obvious impact on animals and the environment. There are also a number of documentaries highlighting these issues as well as the health benefits of a plant based diet. Since I was a kid, a favourite dish of my Mum’s are Greek stuffed vegetables called Yemista. Traditionally they always include tomatoes but this family recipe includes a variety of vegetables. Feel free to try others but just keep in mind that the cooking time should be similar so they all cook evenly.

PREP: Rinse tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplants and capsicums. Slice the tops off the vegetables and set aside. Scoop out the insides of the vegetables with a spoon leaving the shell. Putting the pulp and flesh that was removed into a blender, blend a little but keep checking so it doesn’t become a puree. In a fry pan, saute olive oil, chopped brown onion and crushed garlic, then place in a bowl. Add to this bowl the blended vegetable mix and short grain white rice (which will cook in the oven). Gauge the amount of rice to be a half/half ratio to the blended vegetables. Mix in chopped parsley and mint, season with salt and pepper then stir well.

COOK: Arrange the empty vegetable shells in a baking dish and sprinkle salt inside, adding a little sugar to the tomatoes to reduce their acidity. Fill the shells with the mixture then replace the lids. Cut potatoes into wedges and place them around the stuffed vegetables in empty areas of the dish. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over everything and place in the oven. Bake and occasionally remove the lids to check if the rice is cooked. If you’re not vegan, you can sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the lids when it’s nearly ready and leave it in the oven until the cheese has melted.