The Greeks Call it Yemista- Healthy Comfort Food

Deliciously filled baked vegetables that hit the spot! Yemista as the Greeks call this rich and satisfying meal is perfect for these nippy cold autumn days. For the record, Italians make this too- they call it, Verdura Ripiena (thought I’d add that in, since today’s cook, yours truly, is Italian;)

On that note, my recipe is a mix of both cultures: A Greek delicacy with an Italian flare. I have to warn you, this dish does take a bit of time to make. Here’s my way:

About 12 vegetables

3/4lb minced meat (I use a blend of veal, pork and beef)

2 onions

1 cup rice

salt, pepper, dill to taste, chilli flakes

Pam, a tiny bit of olive oil to drizzle

You can use a variety of different vegetables such as: Zucchini, eggplant, red, green, orange..peppers, yellow zucchini squash, potatoes , tomatoes- basically any vegetable that can easily be hollowed. Today, all I had on hand were tomatoes, red peppers and potatoes.

I usually begin by scraping out the vegetables, while keeping the top for a cap (you’ll see later). Then, all the scrapings are finely chopped and lightly salted.

If you clean out the potatoes first, as I did, you will need to place them in a bowl filled with cold water. This way they won’t turn brown while you work on the other vegetables.

Mix meat, scrapings, rice and onions together. Then, in a large pan, cook the mixture. Add salt, pepper and dill to your liking. If you prefer your dishes on the spicy side (Italian touch), add some chilli flakes, or peperoncino. Keep adding water as the rice swells.

When the whole mixture is consistently cooked (rice should be almost semi cooked), just go ahead and fill up the vegetables.

Place them neatly in a greased pan (I use Pam, but you can also use olive oil). Top them with their caps (helps keep them moist and cook evenly). Add about a ½ cup of water at the bottom of pan. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil.

Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 175C (325F) for about an hour. The last few minutes, uncover and set on broil – just long enough to get them nicely roasted.

Et voila! Or as the Greeks say: Etima!

Kali Orexi! Buon Appetito!

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All is Well…Keep the Joy

Took a great deal of life to get us where we are dear Divas. Most of us have had our share of life’s ups and downs, with all the caring, nurturing, loving, raising, care taking and working that we’ve done. We deserve to be happy and enjoy the smallest or mega things we embark on. Happiness is a choice. Joy is a feeling that belongs to us. No one has the right to take that away from us. So- don’t let anyone.

Easier said than done- especially if you were rarely first on your list of priorities. Still. Make this a priority. Take the time, breathe and allow yourself. “All is well” This is my new motivating phrase. It’s my new liberating spot. We’re smart enough to know that things are not constant. Everything passes. So why not begin today by accepting your joy?

Today, if someone or something tries to steal your joy, don’t let yourself be dragged into the trap. Breathe and say to yourself: “All is well”. (Cause eventually, you know it will be). Start now. Embark on that new venture. Do what makes you happy. Keep the joy.

Have a wonderful day beautiful Divas. “All is well”.

How do you keep your joy?

#Confessionoftheday: Am working hard at making this a priority- and it ain’t always easy, but it certainly is a work in progress!

Cheers,

Lucy ❤️

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