Just recently I have seen a whole host of recipes for stuffed vegetables and it reminded me just how useful they can be for a mid-week or weekend meal. You can use almost any vegetable of your choice that’s suitable for stuffing in this recipe – try peppers/capsicums, baby squash, marrow or pumpkin or stick like I have to Mediterranean ones for traffic-light colour and variety.
I’ve used lamb mince but you can use beef, chicken, turkey, pork or a
vegetarian option; and rice but really any cooked grain (or small pasta shape like orzo) would also work fine. The breadcrumb and cheese topping is optional but does make the dish a little more hearty for non WLS eaters. Nutritional stats are for the dish without topping.
I have also cooked this dish in my Philips air-fryer with good results. Set at about 190-200 C – mine needed about 25-30 minutes to cook deliciously tender.
MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED VEGETABLES
85 g/1/3 cup basmati rice
4 vegetables of your choice (peppers/capsicums, marrow, aubergines/eggplant, baby squash or pumpkin for example)
low-fat cooking spray or mist
1 onion, chopped
1 courgette/zucchini, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper/capsicum, deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400 g/14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
350 g/12 oz extra lean lamb mince/ground lean lamb
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4.
- Cook the rice in boiling water for 10 minutes then drain.
- Meanwhile, cut the vegetables for stuffing in half lengthwise or cut off the tops according to type. Remove any flesh with a spoon and chop into small pieces. Retain any tops/lids.
- Generously spritz a large non-stick frying pan with low-fat spray or mist. Heat, add the chopped vegetables, onion, courgette/zucchini, garlic, red pepper/capsicum, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a large ovenproof dish that will hold the stuffed vegetables later and season well.
- Mix the rice with the cooked vegetable mixture, lamb, egg and parsley. Use to stuff the prepared vegetable cases then place in the dish nestling in the tomato sauce.
- If making the topping, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and sprinkle over the stuffed vegetables.
- Replace the tops/lids and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until cooked through and tender. Serve hot with crusty bread if liked.
WLS PORTION: ½-1
CALORIES PER PORTION: 350
Recipe adapted from and image courtesy of tastyeasylamb.co.uk