Greek-Cypriot Stuffed Vegetables
 
 
I have made this recipe Slimming World friendly, by omitting olive oil, and using a low calorie cooking spray instead. If you are not following this plan, then please feel free to use olive oil where indicated - we Cypriots love our olive oil! If you are following Slimming World, please do check the latest plans to ensure this dish is still Syn free.

Like all Greek-Cypriot recipes that have been handed down to me, they are very much to personal taste. If you don't like certain herbs and spices, you are welcome to leave them out - or change the ratio of them.
Author:
Cuisine: Greek-Cypriot
Yield: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
For the stuffing
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince (5% fat)
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried parsley (or a handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped)
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g dry white rice
For the cooking liquor
  • 1 beef or vegetable stock cube
  • 500ml boiling hot water
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F
Prepare the vegetables:
  1. Bell Peppers: Slice off the "lid" and put to one side. Remove the seeds and membrane and discard.
  2. Beefsteak Tomatoes: Slice a "lid" and put to one side. Scoop out the flesh, roughly chop, and place in a bowl.
  3. Courgette/Zucchini: Slice a tiny sliver from the bottom so that they can sit without falling over. Then slice a "lid" off length ways, and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. Chop the flesh and add to the tomatoes.
  4. Potatoes: Peel, then slice a sliver from the bottom so that they can sit without falling over. Slice off a "lid" then using a knife and teaspoon, scoop out some of the potato to make a hollow for the stuffing to sit. Discard this inner potato, as it's not needed.
  5. Onion: Top and tail, then peel off the skin. Cut a slit from top to bottom, a few layers in, and place in boiling hot water for about a minute. Remove, and you will be able to easily pull off the layers keeping them intact.
  6. Spray a roasting dish with some low calorie cooking spray, or with a brush of olive oil. Stand all the vegetables inside the dish.
Prepare the stuffing
  1. Spray some low calorie cooking spray (or a drizzle of olive oil) into a frying pan. Add the chopped onion, and sweat for 2-3 minutes, then add in the reserved tomato and courgette flesh from the vegetable preparation above.
  2. Add the beef mince, and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned.
  3. Remove from the heat. Add the dried mint, ground cinnamon, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well. Taste for seasoning - add more of the herbs and spices if you so wish.
  4. Stir in the white rice and mix well.
  5. Distribute the stuffing mixture between the various vegetables. For the onions, place some of the mixture into one half of the "shells", and wrap it around. You could secure with a cocktail stick, but I never do.
For the cooking liquor
  1. Crumble a stock cube into the hot water, and stir in the tomato puree.
  2. Pour some of this mixture into each of the stuffed vegetables, and around the vegetables too.
  3. Cover the tray with foil, and place in the oven to cook for 1½ to 2 hours - remove the foil for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking time to brown off.
  4. Serve hot with a Greek salad and dips. Can also be served cold/room temperature.
Recipe by The Purple Pumpkin Blog at https://www.thepurplepumpkinblog.co.uk/greek-cypriot-stuffed-vegetables/