A Greek favourite!
In Greece, the moment tomatoes get their real red colour, stuffed vegetables are on the menu. I tried a bit of a twist that I am glad to share with you. Stuffed Vegetables with Black Rice!
For my mother, stuffed vegetables are a definite dish during my stay in Greece. She makes all kinds of vegetables; tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, aubergines, courgette, vines leaves and courgette flowers! So flavoursome and refreshing…
Stuffed vegetables with black rice will make a perfect weekend lunch! They are delicious straight from the oven or even the next day. The black rice gives a really earthy, nutty flavour. It is a bit crispier compared to white rice even when you cook it longer, so don’t keep cooking it – it will not get very soft! Just enjoy the crispiness 🙂
It takes a bit of time to prepare these stuffed vegetables but you will definitely enjoy it. Make sure you make a big bunch!
Our Superstar Ingredient: Black Rice
I remember I was always told that rice is connected to longevity. However, white rice, in particular, elevates blood glucose contributing to weight gain and diabetes. Experts say that people with diabetes should avoid white rice. This is quite restricting, right? Rice is easy to cook, cheap and can last in the cupboard for some time.
The good news is that black rice has the completely opposite effect on your body. It helps reduce your weight, your blood pressure and the inflammation in the body. Black rice is also a good source of antioxidant power.
As such, black rice qualifies as a powerful fighter against self-inflicting diseases, as described here! It can stand against cancer, heart disease, diabetes to name a few. Horray!!!
What is it, though, about black rice that makes it different?
Well, the natural pigmentation of black rice is doing the trick! This is the same substance that makes blueberries blue and purple cabbage purple. Watch this short video by Dr Greger to find out more about brown, red and black rice.
For me, black rice is a goer! What about you?
Until next time, keep cooking to stay healthy 😉
This is my version of Greek-style stuffed vegetables! I have tried it with black and white rice. You will love it!
- 10 peppers (any colour you like)
- 10 very ripe tomatoes
- 380 gr black rice
- 30 gr fresh mint
- 30 gr fresh parsley
- 2 big brown onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 handfuls pine nuts
- 2 handfuls raisins (optional)
- 150 ml chopped tomatoes (if needed)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 200 ml olive oil
- 200 ml water
Wash all the vegetables very well.
Chop the mint, parsley, onions and keep them on the side.
Cut the upper part of the peppers and remove the seeds.
Also, cut the upper part of the tomatoes the same way. Remove the flesh.
Keep the upper part of all vegetables on the side because you will use them as the lid for the cooking.
Add the flesh of the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until smooth. If your tomatoes are not very ripe you will need to add the chopped tomatoes too.
In a bowl, add the rice, the chopped mint, parsley, onions, garlic, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, raisins, pine nuts and seasonings. Also, add half of the olive oil.
Put your vegetable cups on a tray, upright.
Season the vegetables cups with some coarse sea salt.
Then, using a spoon put the mixture in each vegetable as required, living a bit of space as the rice with swell as it gets cooked.
Once all your vegetables are filled up, add the rest of the olive oil on top of each vegetable.
Put the lids on (the upper part of the vegetables that you kept on the side).
Add the water in the tray between the vegetables.
Cover the tray with foil. Cook in the oven, at 220 degrees Celsius for one hour. Then remove the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes
Enjoy them with freshly made bread!
Stuffed vegetables are lovely to eat warm but also cold the next day.
In Crete, this dish is very popular accompanied by yoghurt.