Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer due to reducing your intake of total fat and increasing intake of healthy alternatives. Just going meatless is not enough to reduce your risk, but it is a great step in the right direction. Preventing chronic diseases is nutrition as well as lifestyle related. (www.meatlessmonday.com)
1 16 ounce jar grape leaves, drained
1 cup brown rice
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 lemons, juiced
1 15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the grape leaves in the boiling water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
2. In the same pot, place the brown rice, olive oil, sea salt, onion and garlic over medium heat. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes, stirring intermittently, or until the rice is browned and the onions are soft.
3. Mix the parsley, mint and tomato paste into the pot, followed by the vegetable broth and lemon juice. Allow rice mixture to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, but not fully cooked.
4. Add the chopped chickpeas and diced tomatoes to the rice mixture. Season with the cumin and salt to taste.
5. Place a grape leaf flat on a plate. Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the leaf and roll into a bundle. Repeat until you are out of leaves and filling.
6. Place all the stuffed grape leaves into a pot and pour enough fresh water in to cover the bundles.
7. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the rice filling is fully cooked.
Yield: 5 servings (450 calories, 16.3 g total fat, 1.9 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 73 mg carbohydrate, 17.9 g fiber, 15.1 g protein)