Pssst… just a little piece of advice from me to you….
These Stuffed Vegetables/ Gemista are the thing you need today.
No, really. You can stop deliberating about what you’re having for lunch or dinner (or perhaps even breakfast, that’s not weird, right?) because here is the only solution:
Stuffed Tomatoes, Stuffed Eggplant & Stuffed Bell Peppers… GrΣΣk Style!
Reasons why you should be having these Stuffed Vegetables/ Gemista:
(BTW: I know tomatoes aren’t technically vegetables – neither are eggplants or bell peppers – but “fruit stuffed with rice” just wouldn’t have sounded quite right, right?)
- They are delicious – My love for these “vegetables” stuffed with rice and yet more vegetables is knowing no bounds right now. How can I express my love for them? Um… yummydleicioussotastyIwantsecondskeepthemcomingIwantmoremoreMORE!!!???
- They’re healthy. Yes it’s the double threat here you guys; they taste great and they’re loaded with wholesome goodness ?
- They’re versatile: as a side, as a main, have them for breakfast, lunch or (read: AND) dinner, or even just as a snack, these babies have you covered;
- Leftovers – there it is, the all important leftovers. This recipe makes a whole baking tray full of “vegetables” so you can keep eating them all week long.
And the ingredients you add to the stuffing are limited only to your imagination. This basic recipe is a vegetarian option but there is nothing saying you cant add a bit of meat in there (word of wisdom: lamb would be your ideal choice!), or perhaps pine nuts, bacon, chorizo…. the list goes on.
But, whatever you decide, it will only become 10 times more delicious because you’re going to be swirling that together with brown rice, garlic, onions and →drum roll please← Thyme to Mango’s 5 Minute Red Pepper Sauce – the sauce that replaces all other sauces.
This ^^^^^ = *swoon*
If you weren’t snooping around this blog last year you would have missed out on the brilliance and tastebud hugging awesomeness that is Time to mango’s 5 Minute Red Pepper Sauce.
But don’t worry because my devotion to this sauce is (apart from bordering on the crazy) only just beginning and you can expect many more recipes coming your way using this magical sauce.
Starting with these Gemista – the first Red Pepper Sauce-Containing recipe of 2016! Woo Hoo!
Ready in 5 Minutes (who would have thought?) this nutrient-bursting saucy spectacular is your new tasty alternative to any tomato based sauce. But, it doesn’t stop there. It can also take the place of that tin of chopped tomatoes you’re about to use, or even act as a wholesome alternative to a basic cheese sauce such as in my Red Pepper and Feta Mac and Cheese.
Of course if time is not on your side, and you just want to make these stuffed vegetables ASAP (who wouldn’t!?), I suppose you could swap the Red Pepper sauce for chopped tomatoes instead but, really, when a sauce tastes this great you need to consider spending an extra 5 minutes (seriously, it only takes 5 minutes) to make it.
Alright, so enough about the sauce already, get back to the stuffed “vegetables”
This is clean, wholesome cooking at its purest; no processed ingredients (depending on how you feel about rice) and nothing from a jar, just wholesome produce swirled together in slow-baked yumminess.
This is the perfect recipe to make on a lazy weekend (Gemista is a great accompaniment to any roast dinner!) and the left overs can continue to satisfy your hunger for the week to come.
But, let’s be honest for a second, you may not even have a chance to save any for leftovers becasue, once you cut into those vegetabless and have all that delicious red pepper-sauce-infused-stuffing fall out onto your plate, you may just continue eating until the baking pan is empty and clean. No more leftovers. No more stomach hugging, soul soothing lunches ready for the working week.
Don’t worry, you can always make more….
Gemista – Greek-Style Stuffed Tomatoes, Eggplants and Bell Peppers
Prep Time: 20 mins || Cook Time: 2hr 30 mins
Rate this recipe:
- Olive Oil
- 2 Medium Onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 500g Brown Rice
- 5 Cups water or vegetable broth + 1 Extra cup
- 1/4 firmly packed cup fresh dill, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp finely diced mint
- 2 tbsp finely diced fresh oregano
- 1 Cup 5 Minute Red Pepper Sauce (can substitute with chopped tomatoes)
- 50g Parmesan/ feta or other cheese of choice (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside. Slice off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the core and seeds.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Dice the flesh into small chunks, set aside.
- In a large pan or skillet fry the onions with three tablespoons of olive oil for a few minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds before adding the rice. Stir until all the rice has been covered with oil. Add the water or broth. Bring to the boil and then reduce to gentle simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 25 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add extra water in necessarily.
- Once the rice has cooked add the Red Pepper Sauce, chopped herbs and cheese (if using). Stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste
- Spoon the rice mixture into the prepared tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants. Place them into a large roasting pan and pour over the purred tomato flesh, 1 cup of water and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Cover and bake at 170°C/ 340°F for 1 1/2 hours, followed by another 1/2 hour, uncovered at 200°C/ 390°F.
- Depending on the size of your “vegetables” you may need more or less than stated in the recipe to use up all the rice mixture.
- If using meat in the recipe, add to the pan to cook after the onions and brown before adding the rice.
- Other extra ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, cheese etc, can be added to the rice mixture along with the Red Pepper Sauce and herbs