mediterranean stuffed vegetables
PREPARATION: 25 MINUTES, COOKING: 11/4 HOURS
1/2 cup (100 g) long-grain white rice
1/2 pound (250 g) lean ground lamb
1 onion, chopped
4 peppers, mixed colors
4 large beef tomatoes
2 large zucchini
1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups (180 g) baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons (30 ml) shredded fresh basil, plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra, to serve
1 egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
1 Put the rice in a saucepan with 2 cups (500 ml) water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, and put into a large bowl and set aside.
2 Meanwhile, cook the lamb and onion in a nonstick frying pan over medium–high heat, stirring frequently, until the lamb is lightly browned and cooked through. Place a sieve over a bowl and put in the meat and onions. The fat will drip through and can be discarded. Clean the pan and return it to the stovetop.
3 Cut each pepper in half lengthwise, keeping the stems intact, and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and hollow them out, chop the tops and tomato flesh and place in a bowl. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and hollow out the centers, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick shells, chop the zucchini flesh and add it to the bowl with the tomato.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Heat the oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes and zucchini and cook until they soften. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Transfer the tomato mixture to the bowl with the rice, and add the lamb, basil and egg. Season with pepper and stir to combine.
5 Spoon the stuffing into the vegetable shells. Arrange the peppers and zucchini in a single layer in a deep roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost tender. Remove the foil and roast for another 15–20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the tops are lightly browned. Serve warm or cool, sprinkled with the extra basil.
Each serving provides
313 calories, 22 g protein, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 31 g carbohydrate (10 g sugars), 6 g fiber, 97 mg sodium
|mediterranean stuffed vegetables|