This is a traditional greek dish called ‘gemista’ which means stuffed. It was my favourite food when I was little! I still remember my grandma making it in the wood fired oven in the summers. The traditional recipe has rice for the filling, but I like to use bulgur wheat instead along with a few more veggies. Don’t let the long prep & cook time put you off! The result will certainly justify your effort.
A few years ago I tried bulgur wheat for the first time and I have really loved it ever since. I find it much tastier than rice and now I use it in several of my recipes instead. Bulgur wheat belongs to the grains family and is made from different types of cracked wheat. It is rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and the best thing is that it has a low glycemic index which means that it’s more filling compared to rice and other carbs.
How to & ingredients
Look at all these colours! This food is full of vegetables and goodness. Most of the time, I put the filling inside peppers, tomatoes and courgettes but if you have any aubergines around you could stuff them too.
For the filling, you will need
- green beans
- spring onions
- flesh of the tomatoes
Chop the onion and the spring onions coarsely, grate the carrot and chop the dill and mint finely. I cut the leek lengthwise and then chop it coarsely. Regarding the green beans, I only use a handful, around 50gr more or less. Cut the edges and then cut them into 1cm pieces.
I use 3-4 tomatoes, depending on the size. Try to pick up some ripe ones as that will add to the taste. You will need to scoop out the flesh of the tomatoes without ripping the outer shell. Chop the flesh and add it to the bowl with the filling. Nothing goes to waste here!
Make sure the courgettes are not very small as it might be a bit difficult to core them. Depending on the size, cut them to 2 or 3 pieces and remove the core carefully without ripping the bottom. You could use an apple corer, a small knife or a teaspoon like I do.
Pick an oven dish that is not very big as ideally, you would like the veggies to just fit in standing. If the dish is big, you might find it difficult to place them standing, especially with the peppers. Fill in all veggies with the stuffing filling and close with their lids the tomatoes and peppers. If you have any leftover filling you can put it between the veggies in the dish.
We love having this with some greek yoghurt or feta cheese at the side. I know the yoghurt might sound a bit bold but believe me, it goes very well with the filling.
You can store any leftover veggies in the fridge and consume them within the next 3 days. In my opinion, food that has grains in it doesn’t freeze very well. I find that the rice or grains become a bit soggy after defrosting so I don’t really recommend it.
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Stuffed veggies with bulgur wheatFull of goodness, this healthy stuffed veggies with bulgur wheat recipe will become a favourite one if you try it. It takes some time to prepare and bake but it does worth the effort and depending on the size of your family, you might have a nice meal for the next day too!
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 leek chopped
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 2oz / 50gr green beans
- 2 tbsp dill chopped
- 2 tbsp mint chopped
- 3 peppers
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 courgettes
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
- Chop green beans into 1cm pieces.
- For the filling add in a big bowl the chopped onion, spring onions, leek, green beans, grated carrot, dill, mint, bulgur wheat, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Slice off the top of the tomatoes cutting about 1 mm from the edge.
- Scoop out the flesh of the tomatoes, making sure you do not rip the outer shell. Chop the flesh and add it to the bowl with the filling.
- Slice off the top of the peppers, remove the seeds and set aside.
- Cut off the hard end of the courgette and 2cm from the other end. Cut each courgette into 3 pieces.
- Core the courgettes using a teaspoon or an apple corer making sure you do not rip the bottom.
- Place the tomatoes, peppers and courgettes in an ovenproof dish. Add the filling to the vegetables. If you have any leftover filling, add it in between the veggies.
- Put the lids on the tomatoes and peppers. Add a cup of water in the dish.
- Cover the dish with kitchen foil or with a lid and place it in the oven. Bake for 1 hour then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.
You can store any leftover veggies in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.