Are you familiar with the nutritional properties of grape leaves?
Despite being very low in calories, grape leaves are a rich source of essential nutrients.
They are a very good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C & vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium & manganese.
Grape leaves contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for cancer and, while genetics and lifestyle can contribute to it, the anti-inflammatory richness of grape leaves and other anti-inflammatory foods in a healthy and balanced diet can help to keep you at a lower risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.
Stuffing the grape leaves with healthy ingredients makes this recipe a very healthy and nutritious dish.
The stuffing I use for this recipe of Lebanese stuffed grape leaves is the same that I used for my “Lebanese stuffed zucchini” recipe as well as for my “Lebanese stuffed Swiss chard” recipe. It includes parsley, tomato, onion, mint, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. The nutritional properties of all of these ingredients together make this healthy vegan Mediterranean diet recipe of Lebanese stuffed grape leaves a highly nutritious dish that provides us with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
This is another family recipe that I enjoyed preparing with my mother in law during my latest trip to Beirut. You can see her hands in the step-by-step pictures. The hands of a fantastic and brilliant woman who has all my respect and admiration, and to whom I can not thank enough for giving the chance to my blog, Tasty Mediterraneo, to be written in Arabic too!
If you try this tasty and healthy vegan Mediterranean diet recipe of Lebanese stuffed grape leaves, please let me know, leave a comment and rate it. I would love to know what you come up with. Enjoy!
- 40 Raw organic grape leaves (small to medium size)
- 50g (1/4 cup) White rice
- A large bunch of fresh organic parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Medium tomatoes, thinly diced
- 1 Small onion, thinly chopped
- A few leaves of fresh organic mint, finely chopped
- 1 Large lemon, freshly squeezed
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt (or salt to taste)
- A pinch of freshly grounded black pepper
- Have all the vegetables well washed and prepared as indicated in the ingredients description.
- In a large saucepan, cook the raw grape leaves for 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove the leaves from the heat, rinse under cold water and drain.
- In a mixing bowl prepare the filling mix by combining the thinly diced tomatoes, the thinly chopped parsley, the thinly chopped onion, the thinly chopped mint leaves, the freshly squeezed lemon juice, the EVOO, the rice, salt to taste and a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper.
- Place a grape leave in the work surface, with the shiny side down. Remove the small stem, and stuff each leave with one heaped tablespoon of the filling while keeping at least 1cm from each side of the leave without filling. Fold the edges and roll each leave until it is completely rolled up. (See the step-by-step pictures for guidance)
- Once all the grape leaves are stuffed, in a large non-stick saucepan arrange the stuffed grape leaves one side by side to the other tightly packed, and once the bottom of the saucepan is full with the stuffed grape leaves arrange another layer of stuffed grape leaves on top of them until all of them are inside the saucepan. Pour on top of them the remaining juice from the filling, and enough water to have them covered, and on top cover the stuffed leaves with a dish (resistant to heat) to keep them in place and avoid them to open. Cover the saucepan with its lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer over low heat for 20 – 25 minutes until the rice is cooked and the grape leaves are tender (check the cooking time of the rice in the package to estimate the required time).
- Carefully remove the heatproof dish and remove the stuffed grape leaves from the heat. Serve warm or cold.