Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paleo Dolmades (a.k.a. grape leaves)

As I mentioned in my post for chicken souvlaki, we had a greek feast with some friends on Saturday.  I decided to make some dolmades/grape leaves to go along with our meal.  Some people think making dolmades is really labor intensive, but I don't think so.  Yes, they take some time to roll up each dolma, but it goes really quickly, in my opinion.  I prepped these the night before so they were ready to stick in the oven to cook before dinner on Saturday.  And I probably only spent about 20-30 minutes prepping them on Friday night... which I don't consider bad at all. 

I used my own pickled grape leaves for these, but you can pick up a jar at the store in the international section, also.  Normally, dolmades have rice in them, but since we are avoiding grains as much as possible, I decided to try making them without the rice.  They turned out great!  No one missed the rice at all and everyone commented about how delicious they were. 

Paleo Dolmades

1 jar grape leaves
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 Tablespoons dried dill
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 - 2 cups chicken broth

Take the grape leaves out of the jar, rinse, and drain. 

Mix the ground beef, onions, dill, mint, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. 

Place one grape leaf on a flat surface.  Place a small amount of the meat mixture (about 2-3 Tablespoons, maybe?) in the center of the bottom part of the leaf. 

Fold the bottom pieces of the grape leaf up over the meat. 

Then fold in each side of the grape leaf.  Once the sides are folded in, start to roll it up.  You'll want to roll it pretty tightly.

Then place the rolled dolma into a casserole dish.  You'll want to pack in the dolmades very tightly so that they are held in place during the cooking and don't risk opening up. 

Once you have all your dolmades in your casserole dish, pour the chicken broth over top, just enough to cover.  I actually ended up switching mine to a different casserole dish so that it wasn't filled to the top edge and wouldn't risk boiling over in the oven.  You can do all of this ahead of time.  If you are prepping ahead, cover the dish and stick it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them. 

When you are ready to cook the dolmades, preheat your oven to 375.  Cover your casserole dish with its lid (or foil if you don't have a lid) and bake for an hour to an hour and a half.  I cooked mine for an hour and a half.  Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and serve!  I've had dolmades with a tomato based sauce over them, an egg based sauce, and tzatziki.  They are great with any of these!  I decided to serve mine on Saturday with tzatziki

This post is linked to:
Traditional Tuesdays @ Delicious Obsessions
Pennywise Platter Thursday @ The Nourishing Gourmet
Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade
Simple Lives Thursday @ A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Primal Cave @ Primal Toad
Grain Free Real Food Carnival @ Real Food Forager


The Voogts said...

I've never had grape leaves! These look good. And they do seem easy. You don't even have to cook the meat. Maybe some day I'll have to try these.

Anonymous said...

Can I use fresh grape leaves?