Paleo Greek Yemousto (Stuffed Veggies)

2012-12-13
Yemousto is a traditional Greek dish. In fact, many cultures have their own version of stuffed veggies. It makes sense. You use veggies and meat that you have around, and rice *(or some starch) would be added to make the meal go even further. Growing up, this was one of my favorite Greek dishes that my Mom made (at least in the entree department). The fun part is the different veggie “houses.” Depending on whether you eat a stuffed tomato, pepper or eggplant, the flavor profile is enhanced by that vegetable. The eggplant is my personal favorite, but I’ll leave it to you to decide.

My Mom made it the traditional way (with rice) when I was growing up. However, when my brother opened a Crossfit gym and started introducing my family to Paleo, my Mom decided to leave out the rice and just add more pignoli nuts.  Even my rice-loving Dad didn’t even notice the rice was gone… and that is a success if I’ve ever seen one.  The loss of the rice also cuts down the difficulty and length of cook time.  The addition of the salsa is also her doing.  It imparts a lot of depth in the flavor beyond the fresh vegetables that you saute for the filling.  You get the onions, the peppers, a touch of salt and heat.  What’s not to love?

I’ve used ground turkey in this recipe, but traditionally it calls for ground beef.  Feel free to experiment with your favorite protein.  If you want to get fancy, you could even drizzle a little organic olive oil upon serving, and sprinkle it with one pinch of sea salt.  It is a dish that tastes like it must have taken you forever, but hopefully will be easy enough to make all the time!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 medium-large tomatoes
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 4 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 (1 lb) package 93-7 ground turkey
  • 1 (1 lb) package 85-15 ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup pignoli nuts (pine nuts)
  • 1 jar of salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

Instructions

  • 1. Scoop out middle of eggplant and chop into small pieces, place into large bowl (save the eggplant lid!)
  • 2. Scoop out middle of tomatoes, add to large bowl (save the tomato lids!)
  • 3. Chop squash into small pieces (about size of eggplant) and add to large bowl
  • 4. Preheat oven to 350
  • 5. Heat 1 tbs coconut oil in large nonstick pan on med/med-high heat
  • 6. Add both packages of turkey meat to pan and brown the meat
  • 7. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place it in a bowl
  • 8. Add 1 tbs coconut oil to pan (if necessary)
  • 9. Add vegetable mixture from the large bowl to the saute pan
  • 10. Cook until vegetables have softened (10-15 minutes)
  • 11. Cook until vegetables have softened (10-15 minutes)
  • 12. Place meat back into the saute pan, salsa, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, and mix evenly
  • 13. Place scooped out eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers (with seeds removed) in aluminum foil lined baking pan
  • 14. Use a large spoon to fill each veggie with meat mixture
  • 15. Place vegetable “lids” back on the veggies
  • 16. Bake for an hour, uncovered
  • 17. Enjoy!