An extra healthy dish that happens to be vegan and gluten-free! Full of plant-based protein, this wholesome recipe will become a favorite!
Stuffed Vegetables is maybe one of the most iconic Greek dishes. If I had to choose my top favorites, I would certainly put it side by side with my hardboiled eggs filled meatloaf and my mom’s spaghetti Bolognese. An indication of the popularity this dish has is the fact that there isn’t one Greek kitchen where stuffed vegetables aren’t being made at least 2-3 times every summer. But unfortunately, today’s recipe is not the traditional one! These everything grains stuffed vegetables may be inspired by the well known Greek dish, but they use a variety of grains as a filling in a try to be wholesome, rich in protein and extra healthy!
Of course, this only means that I owe you a post with the genuine, traditional recipe in the time to come 🙂
Though I’ve posted recipes with legumes such as Tuscan-style white beans or this beautiful and delicious green apple and leek lentil soup, I’ve yet to post a recipe containing chickpeas. Please forgive this negligence of mine!
But hear me out a moment. It’s not that I haven’t tried!
I‘ve made this dish before with the purpose to post it on the blog, but only the filling. I wanted to name it “everything grains with roasted chickpeas”, but it would just not photograph well. The lack of color didn’t help, the fact that it was winter with little light outside (so I was shooting inside with my DIY studio light – I may have to talk about this in another post) wasn’t helpful either, so I decided to give it a rest.
Then, one day this thought came to my mind.
“What if I stuffed some vegetables with my everything grains recipe?” I thought.
And voilà! A colorful, super healthy, vegan and gluten-free recipe was born!
Just look at those babies! Aren’t they beautiful?
In my initial recipe, I also included some wild rice, but it had to be cooked separately because of the different cooking times. After some thought and harsh internal struggle, I decided to avoid it here, just to make this dish a bit easier, since it already requires some effort due to the vegetables that have to be scooped out. Speaking of, I use a small spoon to do that, but you can also use that special tool for making little balls out of vegetables and fruits (sorry, I always forget how it’s called!)
If you use zucchinis you’ll have to cook them in a pot with boiling water for 5-10 minutes because their skin tends to be a bit tough.
For a prettier presentation, keep in mind which lid belongs to which vegetable.
Use crushed walnuts or almonds instead of sunflower seeds.
Fill the gaps in the pan with potato wedges
This dish is best served with a drizzle of lemon juice over the filling
Serve with vegan cheese (or feta if you’re vegetarian)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup buckwheat
- ½ cup brown rice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 -2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 1 tomato, plus the insides of two more tomatoes
- 1 carrot
- ½ bunch parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
- 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 4 tablespoons roughly chopped raisins (optional)
- 9 large round vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchinis
- 2-3 potatoes in wedges (to fill the gaps between vegetables)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Wash and dry the vegetables. Cut the top (lid) with a sharp knife and carefully hollow them with a small spoon or with the special tool (melon baller). Be careful not to break the exterior.
- Reserve the inside of two tomatoes and the white stuff of the peppers (if using) and grate them along with the other tomato and the carrot (you can also process everything in a food processor until finely chopped).
- Add the olive oil, buckwheat and brown rice in a large pan and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika and bay leaves. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup water, the tomato/carrot mixture, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chickpeas, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins.
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C)
- Divide the filling inside the vegetables and place their lids on.
- Transfer into a pan, large enough to just fit them, fill the gaps with the potato wedges and pour enough water to be three-quarters of an inch high.
- Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil, sprinkle with some extra salt the vegetables and the potatoes, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue baking until vegetables are slightly browned on top and the filling is cooked through (about 30-40 minutes more).
- Serve with lemon wedges.
If you have some filling left, put it in a ramekin, cover with foil and bake it next to your pan.
Sometimes, depending on the pan or the sizes of the wedges, the potatoes need some more baking. If that happens, I transfer them in a smaller pan and continue baking them for additional 10-20 minutes.
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