An array of colourful stuffed vegetables makes an appetising main dish, ideal for an informal help-yourself meal. Serve with lots of French bread and a mixed leaf salad.
Make Middle Eastern-style stuffed vegetables. Use brown rice instead of white rice and combine it with the fried lamb and onion. Add 3 thinly sliced spring onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 tbsp each chopped fresh dill and mint, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, a good pinch of ground cinnamon, 3 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt, 2 tbsp raisins, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut 2 aubergines in half lengthways and steam for 5 minutes or until just tender. Leave until cool enough to handle, then hollow them out, leaving shells about 5 mm (1/4 in) thick. Dice the flesh and add it to the rice and lamb mixture. Blanch 4 large Savoy cabbage leaves for 30–60 seconds or until pliable. Arrange the aubergine shells in a roasting tin and spoon in some of the filling. Roll the rest of the filling in the cabbage leaves and place in the tin. Mix 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 225 g, and their juices with 120 ml (4 fl oz) lamb or vegetable stock and spoon around the vegetables. Cover the tin with foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue roasting for 15–20 minutes or until the tops of the vegetables are tinged a light brown. Serve hot or cool, garnished with chopped fresh mint.
Plus points * The Mediterranean-style vegetables used in this dish are high in phytochemicals and antioxidant vitamins. Among these is beta-carotene from the peppers, spinach, tomatoes and courgettes. The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene help to protect cells from damage by free radicals produced in the body in response to stress. * Courgettes belong to the same family as melons, pumpkins and cucumber. Their skin is rich in beta-carotene, and they also provide niacin and vitamin B6.
A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, folate, niacin, zinc * B2, iron, potassium * calcium
I liked this meal, but we used too much rice in ours. My Italian friend preferred the beef tomato to the peppers (preferring the yellow pepper to all others). While I myself enjoyed it all, but, second time round we added 250g (twice the amount - actually as we made the meal in halves it would have been 200% more) which made the meal better I think. We didn't get our beef mince from the butcher and all Tesco had was 500g, which was lucky. We added another egg and supplemented the Spinach (my friend didn't like Spinach) for Savoy cabbage, again of which we added more in. It was a filling meal, it was good. - 29 Oct 2011