Vegan Stuffed Veggies in Fragrant Tomato Sauce
The Delight of Lebanese Stuffed Foods
You might have figured out by now how much we enjoy stuffed food in the Lebanese Cuisine. I can name a long list of our dishes that require stuffing. Grape Leaves and Cabbage are not the only ones.
Stuffed Zucchini, for example, comes in the form of various dishes, be it cooked in Yogurt or in Tomato Sauce or in the Lemony Sauce of our Stuffed Grape Leaves, and our Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.
And they are all yummy!
This dish today is culturally known us Mehshi Qate’h, which translation is mainly an indicative insinuation of meatless dish for Lent.
In a clearer way, it pretty much nicknames the culinary preparation of various vegetables stuffed with Vegan filling.
Basically and traditionally, it is composed of Zucchinis, Eggplants and Green Pepper, in their smallest sizes. The stuffing is a mixture of rice, tomato, onion, and parsley, seasoned with dry mint, white pepper, salt & pepper, and fragrantly enhanced with lemon juice and olive oil.
A delicate preparation, it requires a degree of caution to maintain the veggies in good shape throughout the cooking. The outcome is a super delicious dish full of nutrients.
I might be bias in this since I love dishes cooked in tomato sauce. I find them delightful, specially this Vegan Stuffed Veggie that combines two of my so loved dishes: Stuffed Zucchini and Stuffed Eggplants.
For this culinary preparation, you are going to need a kitchen hollower tool in order to remove the internal parts of the veggies.
If you don’t have any yet, you might want to check one of these global online mega-stores or a Lebanese or Mediterranean ethnic store in your area. It is worth the trouble and the little investment. Trust me!
Stuffed Zucchini and Veggies in Tomato Sauce
- 1 Kg Green Zucchini very small; halved
- 1 Kg Eggplant very small; halved
- 2 Green Pepper small, halved
For the Stuffing
- 1/2 cup Rice
- 2 Onions (medium)
- 400 gr Tomatoes in Can cut small
- 1 bunch Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Dry Mint
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Olive Oil extra virgin
For The Tomato Sauce
- 200 gr Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
Preparing the Stuffed Vegetables
Mix well all the stuffing ingredients.
Stuff 3/4 of each vegetable with the mixture.
Arrange them in a deep stew pan.
Cooking The Veggies
In a small bowl, pour the liquid that remained from the mixture through a sieve.
Mix it with the tomato sauce and pour it all over the stuffed veggie to saturation.
Add water if necessary.
Place the casserole over high heat, with a heavy plate over the vegetables to hold them still.
NOTE: I usually use a dessert or salad plate and hold it still with a half cup of cold water on its top center.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat and leave it to simmer for 1h.
If you are receiving guests, remove carefully each veggie and place it one by one on a deep serving plate, preferably a glass one. Use your creativity to arrange them in an appealing way.
For instance, have the stuffed green peppers on both sides of the plate, the eggplants in the center and the zucchini surrounding these.
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