If you’ve ever been to Greece, you’ve probably tried some variation of today’s recipe for ‘Yemista’ – a classic Greek dish, consisting of stuffed vegetables such as ripe tomatoes, courgette, aubergine, or bell peppers like in this recipe.
The stuffing includes quinoa, pine nuts, onions and chopped tomatoes, as well as fresh herbs: parsley and mint. Try eating it at room temperature the following day (rather than steaming hot) as the flavours will have enhanced and it tastes even better! Feel free to play around with the veggies, and don’t forget to serve with a side of crusty bread – I enjoyed this with some gluten-free seeded sourdough!
This variation on Yemista is a recipe by Marialena, a London-based food blogger. Being Greek, she loves Mediterranean/Greek cuisine with a nutritious twist. Marialena’s blog, ‘My Nutri Calendar’, expresses her love for healthy food by sharing her homemade recipes, with an emphasis on Greek food! Find her on Instagram @mynutricalendar or visit her blog online at mynutricalendar.com and get inspired!
- 4 peppers (2 red & 2 yellow)
- 70g quinoa
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 handfuls parsley, chopped
- 1 handful mint, chopped
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 250ml water + 1 more cup of water
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Optional: fresh bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°.
- Wash and dry peppers, remove the top of the peppers making little “caps”. Remove any seeds and put them into a baking tray. Leave the tray aside while you prepare the stuffing.
- Preheat a non-stick frying pan, add some olive oil and stir-fry chopped onion. Reduce the heat to medium to low and put a lid to the pan. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Remove the lid, add pine nuts and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Rinse and dry quinoa, add it to the pan and stir-fry for a few seconds (add more oil if needed).
- Add chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and put the lid on the pan. Cook the stuffing for 20 minutes (low heat). Then remove the lid so most of the liquids (if any left) can evaporate.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chopped parsley and mint.
- Add salt and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to each pepper. Stuff the peppers about 3/4 full. Add another drizzle of olive oil to each pepper. Place the pepper “caps” on top.
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon of tomato puree in a cup of water and pour over the vegetables.
- Season the peppers with salt, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake for about 60-80 minutes or until the vegetables have become tender and cooked through.
Preparing your lunch in advance is an easy way to stay on track with your healthy diet whilst saving a huge amount of money over time that would be spent on shop-bought sandwiches and chemical-filled takeaways. I often make some sort of veggie stir-fry (like this Peanut Tofu Stir-Fry), but I also love filling my lunchbox with homemade burgers/patties, whether it’s my Edamame Mushroom Burgers or these chickpea patties, which are packed full of protein, high in fibre and most importantly, absolutely delicious!
This recipe makes 4 burgers and you can freeze any leftovers to eat at a later date. Pictured below with a generous dollop of my Homemade Hummus (with added turmeric to give it that golden colour!) You could also add heaped spoonful of Baba Ganoush (smoky aubergine dip) or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and a sprinkle of Homemade Za’atar Herbs!
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 4 tbsp porridge oats
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- Pinch of salt
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until fully combined.
- Roll into 4 patties.
- Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan and fry on a low heat for 5 minutes on each side before serving or placing in tupperware in the fridge for tomorrow’s packed lunch!
I’d love to know what you guys think of this recipe – tag me on Instagram @cerealandpeanutbutter
if you make them!
This dish of baked eggs combines spicy tomatoes to give the dish a real punch of flavour whilst the peppers provide a slightly crunchier texture. The eggs offer protein as well as deliciously soft, oozing yolk – making it the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner! I love the Middle Eastern taste you get from the za’atar herbs, which is a blend of herbs including sesame seeds, thyme, coriander and sumac – a single teaspoon completely elevates the flavour!
Whilst Israelis traditionally serve it with a loaf of challah or pita bread, I love it with warm crusty rye sourdough that can be dipped into a homemade guacamole or hummus or babaganoush (aubergine dip) on the side. It’s a vegetarian one-skillet meal that is straightforward to make, very healthy and extremely versatile – if you’re missing any spices or other ingredients, feel free to play around with whatever you have at home.
I love dolloping a few tablespoons of Homemade Hummus
on top to add whole extra level of taste and texture!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp za’atar herbs
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tin (600g) crushed tomatoes
- 4 eggs
- Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- To serve: bread/crackers and hummus
- Heat the oil in an oven-proof stainless steel skillet, on the stovetop.
- Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil.
- When the onion is translucent, add the pepper and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the za’atar, spices and tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir most of the coriander (save a little to sprinkle on top).
- Use a spoon to poke four holes in the sauce, and crack an egg in each one.
- Cover the skillet and let the sauce simmer around the eggs until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
- Remove from the heat, garnish with coriander and serve hot in the pan with hummus or babaganoush on the side.
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @cerealandpeanutbutter – I LOVE seeing all your creations!
Try serving it with one of the following dips:
Lentils are a delicious source of vegetarian protein and fibre, plus they are incredibly cheap, easy to cook and will keep you feeling full for a while.
These fantastic pulses work well in soups, stews and curries. Last week I didn’t have many ingredients at home for dinner so needed to make do with what was in the cupboard and I just had to share the result with you: Indian Dahl. I used a few of my favourite spices, including TURMERIC which is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as so many other health benefits – click here to read my post 7 Mind-Blowing Facts About Turmeric.
I used a
1 cup (200g-250g) red lentils, pre-soaked for 2-8 hours
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne powder or chilli flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
Optional extras: mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas
Place lentils in a pan covered with cold water.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, add the turmeric and coconut oil and stir well.
In a separate pan, melt the coconut oil and fry the onion, garlic, tomatoes and remaining spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne/chilli).
Stir the fried mixture into the lentils and add lemon juice.
After 15-20 mins of simmering, remove from the heat.
Serve with a side of rice and green veggies for a warming, balanced meal.
Let me know if you guys make it, or if you have any other favourite Indian inspired dishes!
Roasted vegetables are one of my favourite side dishes and a brilliant way to add nourishment to any meal. The key to making them exciting is adding a variety of herbs such as this Homemade Za’atar, and combining different coloured veggies for maximum nourishment!
Try serving these vegetables alongside a selection of dips like this Easy Hummus or this Baba Ganoush (smoky aubergine dip).
Here is the recipe for a really classic tray of delicious roast veg:
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 sweet potatoes
2 large mushrooms
2 shallot onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp coconut oil
1. Remove the outer layer of the onion.
2. Chop courgette, peppers, sweet potato, aubergine, carrot, mushrooms, leeks and onions into pieces roughly the same size.
3. Remove the outer layer of the garlic and chop into 4 chunks.
4. Scatter all vegetables, onion and garlic on to a large roasting tray.
5. Add your oil, salt, pepper and herbs and mix together thoroughly using your hands so that everything is coated in some oil.
6. Bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes until cooked through and slightly charred.