In Cyprus ‘koupepia’ (stuffed vine leaves) are among the most famous recipes and of course is one of our favorites! The original recipe is made with mince meat but this vegan version is absolutely amazing and finger licking good!
They are so tasty, satisfying, flavorful, easy to make, insanely delicious and of course healthy! The grape leaves has great nutritional benefits. Despite being low in calories, are rich source of essential nutrients. They are a very good source of:
Vitamin C & K,
- Reduce the inflammation
- Control the blood glucose level
- Boost your immune system
- Prevent cancer
- Help the formation of collagen & brighter your skin
- Protect the nervous system
You can enjoy this vegan version of Mediterranean stuffed vine leaves as a main dish or even as a starter.
- 4-5 (800 g) big onions, chopped
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 40 g pine nuts,
- 1½ cup (280 g) brown parboil rice
- 7-8 (1200 g) very mature tomatoes, blended
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-1½ teaspoon pepper, to taste
- 8 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ cup chopped parsley
- 5 tablespoons dry mint
- 2-3 big potatoes cut in 1 cm thick slices
- 3-4 (500 g) very mature tomato’s, blended
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
For the filling
- Place a pot over medium to high heat.
- Add 5 tablespoons and chopped onions.
- Sauté for 10-15 minutes, until they soft and caramelised.
- Add pine nuts, rice, blended tomatoes, cinnamon, salt, pepper, lemon juice, tomato paste, chopped parsley, dry mint, and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Lower heat and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until the rice soaks up the juices.
- When ready, remove from heat and set it aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Spread the potato slices on the bottom of a pot.
- Place a vine leaf in a plate or on a cutting board (veins facing up and shiny side down).
- Add 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre, roll once, fold the sides of the vine leaf inward and roll to complete.
- Transfer to the pot, placing the stuffed vine leaves in a row, one next to the other.
- Repeat the same process for all the vine leaves.
- When the first layer has been added, continue with a second and third, if needed until they are all done.
- Add blended tomatoes, water, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and cover them with a plate. This is done so that they don’t fall apart while cooking.
- Simmer for about 40-50 minutes until the rice is done and the vine leaves are tender.
- When ready, remove from heat and set them aside to cool in the pot.
- Serve the stuffed vine leaves with salad, olive oil and vegan tzantziki.
- If you have fresh grape vine leaves, blanch them for 2-3 minutes in salted boiling water. Remove them and put them in a bowl with cold water.
- When all of the vine leaves are blanched, let them drain in a strainer.
- If your using store bought vine leaves preserved in brine or from a can, remove them from the container and place them in a strainer. Rinse with cold water and let them drain in a strainer.