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Gemista (Greek Stuffed Peppers & Tomatoes)

Guest Chef Recipe

Gemista (Greek Stuffed Peppers & Tomatoes)
Courtesy of TJ Waterfall
gluten free
wheat free
kid friendly
low fat low sugar, diabetic friendly
1 spoon difficulty rating

Serves: 3

Gemista (Greek Stuffed Peppers & Tomatoes)

Gemista is a traditional Greek recipe that’s bursting with fresh flavours and colours. It’s perfectly suited to being meat-free because then the flavours of the wonderful vegetables and aromatic herbs really shine through. There are hundreds of gemista recipes in Greece - almost every family has their own take on it. But this vegan version, with the addition of fragrant capers, the bite of the toasted almonds, and the hearty puy lentils, just takes it to another level. This is by far my favourite gemista recipe because it’s also so easy. You don’t even need to boil the rice first, there’s plenty of moisture in the vegetables and filling mixture to cook the rice in the oven, plus that way it absorbs even more of the delicious flavours!And this vegan gemista recipe packs over a third of your recommended protein intake and around half your daily iron. And that’s before you even add any salad or other sides.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp almonds
  • 100g uncooked medium-grain rice
  • 1 x 250g pack pre-cooked puy lentils
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • Handful fresh mint, chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp caster sugar or sugar alternative
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree

Method: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).
  2. Roughly chop your almonds then lightly toast them in a small frying pan for a few minutes without any oil, until they start to smell fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  3. While the almonds are cooling, cut the tops off the peppers and tomatoes. De-seed the peppers and discard the seeds. Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes using a spoon, then chop up the tomato flesh and add to a large mixing bowl, with any juices.
  4. Add the toasted almonds and all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl, and stir thoroughly to combine.
  5. Arrange the hollowed out peppers and tomatoes snugly on a baking tray or dish, then spoon the filling into the vegetables, until level with the cut. Put the tops back on the vegetables, place the tray / dish in the oven, and bake for 60-70 minutes until the rice is cooked through and the vegetables are soft and tender.
  6. This vegan gemista is best served warm rather than hot, and goes brilliantly served with just a simple green salad!

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