World Vegetarian Day Chef Special Recipe
Today, meatless eaters around the world are celebrating for World Vegetarian Day! The North American Vegetarian Society established the holiday in 1977 and it was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978 to be recognized every year on October 1st.
This annual celebration raises awareness to the ethical, environmental, healthful and humanitarian benefits of the vegetarian diet and lifestyle. In support of this healthful day, Sundial Resort Chef Menassa has revealed her favorite vegetarian recipe: “Quinoa Stuffed Grape Leaves.” Celebrate with us at home by whipping up this mouthwatering meat-free meal.
QUINOA, APRICOT & PINE NUT STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES
Grape leaf prep
- Remove leaves from the jar and drain the liquid.
- Carefully separate the leaves and line them on the outer edge of a large pasta colander. Be careful not to tear them.
- Rinse the leaves to remove the brine that they are bottled in.
- Allow them to drain on the side of the colander.
- Grate the onions on a box grater. Squeeze out the excess liquid.
- In a large sauté pan add the olive oil, onions, tomato, apricots and lemon juice. Cook until the onions and apricots soften. Remove to a large clean mixing bowl and allow to cool.
- Place the pine nuts in a frying pan and cook on medium heat until slightly browned, add to the cooling mixture along with the quinoa, season with the dill weed, salt and pepper.
The Cooking pan
- Place slices of lemon in the bottom of a deep Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan with a lid.
- Add a layer of the torn or broken grape leaves to the top of the lemon bed.
- Drizzle with 1-tbsp of olive oil.
Rolling the leaves
- Lay one leaf at a time on your rolling surface. Snip off the stem. Veins side up!
- Place the stem side of the leaf facing you.
- Place an ounce or more of the filling at the base of the leaf.
- Fold the bottom two flaps of the leaf inward, folding up towards the point.
- Wrap the filling as if you were wrapping a burrito, tightly wrapping the filling in the leaf as a final product.
- Snugly lay the stuffed grape leaves on the bottom of the pan.
- Continue rolling and layering the leaves until the quinoa filling is used up.
- Cover the last layer with lemon slices and a layer of grape leaves.
- Pour six cups of water into the Dutch oven.
- Place a heat-resistant plate over the top of the stuffed grape leaves to ensure they do not float and unwrap during the cooking process.
- Place the cover on the pot, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 1-hour or until tender.
SPICY YOGURT DIPPING SAUCE
- Ensure the cucumber is squeezed dry of excess water.
- Combine the remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
- Refrigerate for at least 1-hour before using to ensure flavors combine thoroughly.