Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)

Stuffed Grape Leaves, a popular staple of heart-healthy Mediterranean cuisine, are rich in vitamins and minerals. If you like lemony, tangy, and creative, this is your appetizer.

Stuffed Grape Leaves Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Ready In: 50 min

Servings: 8

¾ cup cooked Brown Rice
4 oz Grape Leaves (these can be purchased in a jar at an ethnic-food store)
1 tbsp Olive Oil plus 1 tbsp Olive Oil for sautéing
¼ cup Minced Onion
4 med Cloves Garlic
2 tbsp chopped Mint Leaves
¼ cup chopped Fresh Dill
1/3 cup Raisins, chopped
1/3 cup Pine Nuts, chopped
1½ tbsp chopped Kalamata Olives
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp fresh Ground Black Pepper
¾ cup organic Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Arrange grape leaves flat in bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit for 2 minutes. Drain, cover with cold water, let sit for 5 minutes, and drain again.
Meanwhile, sauté onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Combine cooked rice, onion mixture, mint, dill, raisins, pine nuts, olives, slat, and pepper in large bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place one leaf on cutting board, vein side up, and cut off stem. Add a heaping spoonful of filling in the center. Fold the sides of leaf over filling, then roll tightly from stem end to tip to make a neat roll. If necessary, use a toothpick to keep each leaf neatly rolled.
Set seam side down in a wax paper-lined 9×13-inch baking dish. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling, placing grape leaves cozily together; make two layers if necessary.
Cut 3 garlic cloves into large pieces and poke them here and there between the grape leaves. Pour chicken broth over grape leaves, then remaining olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice and serve.

Tips & Notes
You can add 1/2 pound of uncooked lamb to this recipe and increase the baking time to 35 minutes for a richer flavor.
A popular Greek dish called dolmas uses grape leaves as a wrapper for rice, onions and meat. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists grape leaves on its suggested shopping list based on the healthy dietary guidelines for Americans.
A single serving of grape leaves is full of nutrients and has a low glycemic load of 1. Monitoring one’s glycemic load is important, especially for diabetics, since it measures the effect of food on blood-sugar levels. A daily total glycemic load target for the average, healthy adult is 100 or less, making grape leaves a healthy choice.
Individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome should aim for a lower number.
For general health and wellness, grape leaves are a good source of nutrients, including vitamins C, E, A, K and B6, plus niacin, iron, fiber, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese.
A single heart-healthy serving, or one cup of grape leaves, has no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium and sugar.
Grape leaves are mildly anti-inflammatory based on a rating system that estimates the inflammatory potential of foods and food combinations. Chronic inflammation is may cause certain illnesses and diseases, such as heart disease, many types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other diseases that are a result of inflammation include arthritis and many gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. While lifestyle and genetics contribute to chronic inflammation, maintaining a diet that is healthy and low in inflammatory foods is the best strategy for containing it and reducing long-term disease risks.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 131.8
Total Fat: 8g
Saturated Fat: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 160mg
Total Carbohydrates: 14.6g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6g
Protein: 2.5g


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Red White Bleu Spinach Salad

Red White Bleu Spinach Salad is a delicious combination of red apple, white beans and mushrooms and bleu cheese, tossed with baby spinach.

Red White Bleu Spinach Salad Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Chill Time: 20 min
Ready In: 65 min

Servings: 4

1 can (15 oz) of Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained well
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/8 cup Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Honey
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
¼ tsp freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 package fresh Baby Spinach, thoroughly washed (10-oz)
1 large Red Delicious Apple, thinly sliced
1 cup freshly slice White Button Mushrooms
3 oz crumbled Bleu Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss chickpeas with 2 teaspoons oil; spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Whisk together 1/8 cup olive oil, vinegar and next 3 ingredients (through black pepper) until well blended. Layer spinach and remaining ingredients in a bowl; top with roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Tips & Notes
To decrease sodium, use beans that you have cooked from dry and do not add salt.
Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, are used in many traditional dishes across the Middle East and East. These beans are full of protein, fiber and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are versatile and can be cooked in several ways.
Garbanzo beans are full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A 100-g serving of cooked garbanzo beans without salt contains 27.42 g carbohydrates, which helps to create energy; 7.6 g dietary fiber for good heart health and a healthy digestive system; 2.59 g fat; and 8.86 g protein.
Garbanzo beans also contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Minerals contained in garbanzo beans are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Garbanzo beans contain dietary fiber, which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. According to, a diet high in fiber reduces blood pressure, lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels and eases inflammation. High LDL levels can lead to heart attack, stroke and heart disease.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 380
Total Fat: 19g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 630mg
Total Carbohydrates: 41g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 12g
Protein: 15g


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Chocolate Comfort Sipper

Chocolate Comfort Sipper is ideal for when it is time to relax after a long, trying day. Sit back and enjoy this soothing beverage.

Chocolate Comfort Sipper Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Ready In:

Servings: 3

1 cup prepared Chamomile or Chamomile Lavender Tea
2 container Fat-free Chocolate Yogurt (6 oz each)
1 cup Low-fat Chocolate Milk
1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 packets Sugar Substitute (Stevia used sweetener in the analysis)

In a blender, combine tea, yogurt, milk, cocoa powder and sugar substitute. Cover and puree until froth. Pour into three large microwave-safe mugs. Heat each mug in a microwave on high power for 40 seconds or until froth begins to rinse.

Tips & Notes
You may keep unheated smoothie in a covered pitcher refrigerated up to two days. Heat when ready to serve.
Chamomile tea, a traditional drink mild enough for small children in small quantities, is nonetheless powerful enough to treat a number of maladies, from insomnia to stomach pain.
While chamomile’s effectiveness in humans hasn’t been scientifically proven, studies confirm that small amounts seem to relieve anxiety, while larger quantities aid sleep.
A 2005 study found that volunteers who consumed 5 cups of chamomile tea for two weeks showed an increased level of hippurate. Hippurate is associated with the botanical phenolics that boost immunity by fighting bacteria. This may explain chamomile tea’s reputation for effectiveness in fighting colds and viruses.
Studies also show that chamomile should be used in small children in moderation, and those pregnant and breast-feeding should not use chamomile. Consult your physician.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 200mg
Total Carbohydrates: 38g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 25g
Protein: 7g


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Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes with Dill Yogurt Sauce

Salmon Cakes with Dill Yogurt Sauce is a delicious alternative to crab cakes. The yogurt dill sauce truly brings out the flavor of the salmon. Put this dish on your regular menu.

Salmon Cakes with Dill Yogurt SaucePrep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 8 min
Ready In: 33 min

Servings: 8

½ cup Plain Fat-free Yogurt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (reduced fat)
¼ cup Egg Substitute
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp minced Chives
1 tbsp Parsley chopped
1 med Shallot minced
¼ tsp minced Garlic
¼ tsp Salt
1/8 tsp fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 lb canned Salmon
½ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Nonstick Cooking Spray

1 6 oz container Plain Fat-free Yogurt
2 tsp fresh Lime Juice
2 packet(s) Sugar Substitute (used sucralose in analysis)
¼ tsp Celery Salt
¼ tsp White Pepper
½ tsp Red Pepper Sauce
1 bag(s) Coleslaw Mix

Lime Dill Yogurt Sauce
1 6 oz container Plain Fat-free Yogurt
2 tsp Lime Zest
2 tsp Lime Juice
2 tbsp chopped Fresh Dill
¼ tsp Salt
1/8 tsp White Pepper

For coleslaw: In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, lime juice, sugar substitute, celery salt, salt, pepper, and pepper sauce. Gently stir in coleslaw mix until coated. Serve chilled.
For lime dill yogurt sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled.
For salmon cakes: Mix together yogurt, Parmesan, egg, mustard, chives, parsley, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gently mix salmon and breadcrumbs into yogurt mixture.
Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into 2-inch cakes. (Salmon cakes maybe refrigerated up to 4 hours before cooking.)
Place a large, nonstick over medium high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and slide salmon cakes into skillet. Cook about 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve hot with coleslaw and lime dill yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 680mg
Total Carbohydrates: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 9g
Protein: 17g


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