My Top 4 Stuffed Vegetable Dishes

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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It’s been cold outside, and this doesn’t happen that often here in Southern California.  As the weather dips, I often take out my stuffed vegetable dishes and plan my family meals. This method of stuffing meats, vegetables and fruit is an old Greek tradition. We often serve them with a side of Greek yogurt or sour cream. These recipes can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the oven. Sometimes, the flavors are more intense the next day.

But before shopping for the ingredients, I first venture outside to see what my garden has to offer. I try and plant peppers, eggplant, artichokes, and cabbage yearly in my boxes just for recipes such as these. My winter garden would include cabbage, beets, snap peas, fava beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts and many varieties of greens.  Later in the year my spring garden includes artichokes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, squash and green beans. The vegetables in this post can be found at your local farmer’s market or at your local grocery store.

I would like to encourage you to plant organic varieties for better health, and here are a few sources that can be found online. These are a few of my favorite seed companies below.

Organic Seed Companies: The Whole Seed Company , Renee’s Garden Seeds, San Diego Garden Seeds

 

I first chose lamb-stuffed peppers because this is a requested dish from my family and is easy to prepare as well. We stuff peppers with everything and anything we have on hand. I tend to have a big bag of peppers in my refrigerator at all times. You can also use red, orange, or yellow varieties for this recipe. For a larger group I do stuffed the peppers whole, but you must give them a longer cooking time. This recipe makes it easier to get dinner on the table sooner. Peppers are so versatile they can be added to so many dishes including quiche, chili, stew, and soup. Here are a few additional pepper recipes you may enjoy:  Greek Orzo Salad, Garden Tabbouleh, and Grilled Vegetable Chili.

Lamb Stuffed Green Peppers-Recipe

Let’s move on to Eggplant Stuffed with Grains. What I love about this recipe is that 1/2 of an eggplant is a meal in itself. The grains provide a hearty dish for the entire family. Serve it along a green salad and your dinner is complete. I look for the longer shaped eggplants, but any eggplant will do. Eggplant should be added to your garden list to grow, it’s a heavy bearing plant, so you have  fresh eggplant for the entire season.  Eggplant is another staple in the Greek Diet. Here are a few more recipes to try; Eggplant Dip, Eggplant Phyllo Pie, and Eggplant Rounds. 

Eggplant Stuffed with Grains- Recipe

One of my favorites dishes to order at an Italian restaurant is stuffed artichokes. You don’t see this dish in many places, but I happen upon one at a local Las Vegas hangout that was so memorable and delicious, I came home and created my own recipe. Try and find large artichokes with green strong leaves that are tightly closed. Artichokes are very common in the Greek diet, so I have included them in many of my recipes. Here are a few more dishes for your recipe box: Thyme Infused Artichokes with Pesto , Braised Lemon Chicken and Artichokes, and Arugula Salad with Fava Beans and Artichokes.

Artichokes Stuffed with Mushrooms

Now, on to comfort food for my entire family~my Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. This is one of my first blog post recipes, can you tell by the picture. I know I need to re-shoot it, but for now this picture shows our dinner plates, so it’s real. A very traditional meal Greeks often eat in the winter when their cabbage is ready to pick from their garden. I love to grow cabbage every season, because my winter garden is pest-free. If you stopped by to see me at the farmer’s market this is the recipe I served to you many times. Cabbage is also a great vegetable to add to your soups as I did here in my Cabbage Soup with Fresh Vegetable Stock.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – Recipe

So these are my Top 4 Stuffed Vegetables Dishes from my recipe box for you to enjoy!

Eat Healthy and Enjoy Life,

Mary 

© 2020, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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