Sick of making the same thing when it comes to appetisers or entrees? It’s time to try something different with these amazing Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves that are full of South American flavours and absolutely mouth-watering. Of course they work in perfectly with our Plant Based Eating from around the World Blog
These Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves are not only full of tantalising flavours, they are loaded with vegetables which of course comes with an array of many health benefits. The Lima bean salsa that accompanies these South American style Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves, certainly takes this dish to the next level. Lima beans (a popular legume that originated from Peru) are rich in nutrients, are a good source of protein and are full of healthy complex carbohydrates. Lima beans offer a buttery mild taste which makes these beans an easy ingredient to incorporate into side dishes as well as being added to soups, salads and casseroles.
Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypo-glycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fibre and protein, but this is far from all Lima beans have to offer.
If you are unable to source grape vine leaves, simply substitute with cabbage leaves. This recipe is quite versatile, feel free to use similar vegetables that you may have on hand or add in other South American inspired flavours such as sweet potato and even diced pineapple.
Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves – South American Style
- 32 Lg Grapes leaves bottled
- 2/3 cup Frozen spinach (chopped) excess moisture squeezed out
- 2 med Red capsicum seeded and diced
- 1 Lg Zucchini diced
- 3 Yellow squash diced
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 tbsp Coriander chopped
- 2 tbsp Lime juice
- 1 1/2 cup Lima beans soaked overnight
- 8 cup Water
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 2 Jalapeno peppers seeded and slivered
- 1 Red capsicum seeded and diced
- 1 cup Tomato diced
- 3 tbsp Oregano finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Coriander finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the grape leaves in cool water for 10 minutes.
- Rinse, then dry on paper towels and cut away tough stems.
- Combine all prepared vegetables (including spinach) in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, cumin, oregano and salt.
- Lay out in an even layer on a greased baking/roasting tray and roast in oven for 30 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.
- Drain off any excess juices and add to a bowl along with the lime juice and freshly chopped coriander, toss to combine.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the roasted vegetable mixture on each leaf, 3/4″ from stem end. Fold stem end over the filling & roll into a firm packet.
- Soak 4 or 5 long wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. Thread stuffed leaves onto skewers, about 1″ apart. Set aside and continue with the lime beans.
- 15 minutes before serving, heat a grill to medium to high heat. Lightly brush the stuffed vine leaves with a little oil and grill for 5 minutes on each side.
For the lima beans:
- Drain the beans and rinse well.
- Add the lima beans to a pot of water along with bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the oil; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until almost tender, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Remove any skins that may float to the top and drain.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook stirring often until just golden.
- Add jalapeno and capsicum, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato, sauté for a further 2 minutes then stir in the cooked beans, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
- Spoon the bean mixture onto a warmed platter & top with grape leaves.
- Sprinkle with remaining lime juice and serve at once. Enjoy!