Noor’s Lemony Veggie Grape Leaves

Grape Leaves are a very popular dish in my culture. I made these two shown below a year ago while down South visiting my favorite uncle, and this is one of his favorite dishes so my sister and I got down to business. They are usually made with rice, ground beef, tomatoes, and parsley, but being a cook, I enjoy playing around with different ingredients (usually to make dishes healthier). This recipe is vegetarian and very tasty! Feel free to use any veggies or meat for the filling that you feel suit. (I’ll definitely make a step by step post for these in the near future, since many people question the rolling process). 😉

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.

Homemade, veggie full, lemon topped grapeleaves.

Ingredients:

2 jars grape leaves, washed

2 cups washed rice, brown rice, or burghul (cracked wheat)

1 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed

½- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large tomatoes

1 bunch fresh parsley

2 bunches green onions

5 cloves fresh garlic pounded

1-2 red, yellow, green bell peppers (optional, and organic preferred)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried mint

1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

¼ tsp cumin, ground

1 teaspoon all spice (7 spice) My mom makes this fresh at home. 

2 teaspoons onion powder

Directions:

  1. Wash brown rice/burghul well in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and chop tomatoes, parsley, green onions, fresh garlic ground, and optional bell peppers. Add to mixing bowl.
  3. Add lemon juice, EVOO, and spices. Mix well.
  4. Roll into the grape leaves by placing a small line of filling the middle, folding the edges, and rolling tightly. Stack and cook in a pressure cooker about 45-60 minutes.
  5. Enjoy it with cucumber yogurt salad!
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Quick & Easy Steamed Beets

I was not planning to put the beets recipe up now but since I was asked to I will. Beets are a very healthy vegetable which unfortunately many people don’t eat. You may have tried them canned or fresh, either way they are packed with over a dozen nutrients (the canning process does kill a good amount of phytonutrients though).  The red betalain pigment scares many away, but hey, that’s where all the benefit is! So this recipe is fairly easy, the hardest part is peeling the beets without looking like you just walked out of an art classroom. Other than that, it’s a quick and trouble-free method.

Ingredients:
5-6 medium fresh beets

3 fresh lemons squeezed

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt (this is real salt you should use, full of numerous nutrients!)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh mint leaves

Iceberg lettuce (for décor, and eating 😉 )

Directions:

STEP 1

Wash and peel the beets and dice them into cubes. Place them in your steamer and if you don’t have one then in a small pot filled with VERY little water (that  you shouldn’t toss out afterwards, since a good majority your vitamins will be in the water). Cover and allow steaming for about 15 minutes.

STEP 2

Mix the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and seasonings together in a small mixing bowl.

STEP 3

Lay out the lettuce on the serving platter. Top with the beets, and then drizzle the dressing. Garnish with fresh lemon and mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

Awesome top view. I absolutely love fresh mint leaves.

Noor's quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

Noor’s quinoa, beets, and lemon-full barley.

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