As I am sometimes on the Whole 30 plan which recommends No Grains for 30 days, I have had to come up with a version of my Yemista (rice stuffed vegetables) for me to cook at the same time I am preparing the rice stuffed vegetables for my family. Basically it is the same ingredients but I leave out the rice and replace it with mince and chia seeds. The chia seeds are not only good for my gut health but they absorb the excess liquid released by the vegetables, which would normally be absorbed by the rice. So! If you are looking for a grain free alternative or a low carb option, these are what you are looking for!  

Sweet Potatoes:

2 -3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbs olive oil

sea salt / pepper


4 large tomatoes

2 eggplant, each cut in half (cut two ends as well so they can sit nicely in the tray)

2 green capsicum

500g beef mince

1 large potato grated and liquid squeezed out of it with a cheese cloth

1 large brown onion, peeled and diced

3 green onions, scallions, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup parsley, finely chopped

½ cup dill, finely chopped

2 tbs chia seeds 

sea salt / pepper

  1. Preheat oven 180C fan forced.

  2. Prepare the vegetables. Slice off the top of all the tomatoes and eggplants. Scoop out most of the flesh leaving the outer layer intact and creating a sturdy shell. Finely chop the tomato and eggplant flesh and set aside in a bowl. For the capsicum, slice off the top and discard the seeds. 

  3. Place all hollowed vegetable in a baking tray.

  1. In a frying pan, brown the mince and using a wooden spoon break down the chunks. Season with a good amount of sea salt and pepper. 

  2. Add the onion, garlic and sauté for a minute then add the potato, green onions, parsley, dill, tomato flesh and eggplant flesh and chia seeds. Saute for 3-4 minutes. 

  3. Take off the heat and using a spoon fill the vegetables to the top and drizzle some olive oil over the top. 

  1. Prepare the sweet potatoes by adding them to a deep bowl with the olive oil and seasoning and tossing them until they are all coated. Then add them to the baking dish with the stuffed vegetables and spread them all over and in between the vegetables. 

  2. Cover with a sheet of baking paper and then with a sheet of foil but do not fold in all the sides to allow steam to evaporate.

  3. Bake for 45 -50 minutes.

  4. Serve with olives and optional feta. Enjoy x

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