Celebrating My Heritage With Stuffed Grape Leaves


Welcome back to our weekly Foodie Friday link up! I’m linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl and Jess from Hello to Fit.  Also, make sure you hop around to check out all the amazing recipes in this link up and feel free to add your recipes as well! 

Today our theme is all about celebrating recipes from our heritage so I decided to share a recipe which was originally posted over a year ago.  Not only are these grape leaves a family favorite but they are a favorite of mine as well! 

Stuffed Grape Leaves {Gluten Free}

I have posted a lot of Italian recipes and mentioned before that I am part Italian but I am also actually part Lebanese and grew up eating a variety of different Middle Eastern and Lebanese dishes.  One of my favorites since I was little is stuffed grape leaves.  My late grandmother and her siblings were all first generation Americans with their parents coming straight off of the boat from Lebanon.  This particular recipe was popular amongst their family and has been passed down from their mother to my grandmother and each of her sisters.  

Naturally I called on my Mom to help me make this recipe.  I needed her guidance and expertise, plus it is a family recipe after all!  While the ingredients themselves are pretty simple she showed me how to artfully spread out each leaf and neatly tuck and roll them up just as she was taught as a child.

Stuffed Grape Leaves #GlutenFree #FoodieFridayStuffed Grape Leaves Recipe #GlutenFree #FoodieFriday

Stuffed Grape Leaves #GlutenFree #FoodieFriday

She instructed that when you lay out the leaf, you make sure that the vein is right side up then you place about a tablespoon of the lamb meat and rice mixture at the bottom, carefully fold in the sides and roll up making sure that it is tight.  She likened it to being similar to rolling a cigarette, which made me chuckle because she’s never smoked a day in her life!

Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe | TheFitFoodieMama.com

 

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While the original recipe back in the day called for fresh picked grape leaves, we resorted to using jarred which was still fabulously tasty and much less work.  I could only dream of being lucky enough to live amongst a vineyard where I could just pick the greenest grape leaves at my leisure! Maybe someday 😉 For now here is the recipe for those of us who have to shop at the grocery store like regular people:

Stuffed Grape Leaves
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup long grain rice, precooked according to instructions
  2. 1lb jar of grape leaves in vinegar brine
  3. 1 lb raw lamb meat
  4. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  5. 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  6. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  8. ground pepper (to taste)
  9. 1/2 tsp all spice
  10. 1/2 tsp onion powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove grape leaves from jar and set aside brine.
  3. In a large bowl combine raw lamb meat, cooked rice, lemon juice, seasonings & a splash of brine.
  4. Unfold grape leaves and lay out flat, vein side up.
  5. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture at base of grape leaf then gently fold in sides and roll up.
  6. Place in a 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Repeat until all leaves/mixture have been used and rolled.
  8. Pour remaining brine and splash of lemon juice over top of stuffed grape leaves.
  9. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.
  10. Remove & enjoy! :)
You might also like:  Foodie Friday: Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas
The Fit Foodie Mama http://thefitfoodiemama.com/

We’d love to keep in touch with you, here are more ways you can connect with us! 😀 Plus don’t forget to check back next week where we will be sharing some very pinteresting recipes! 😉

Pin for later:
How To Roll Grape Leaves Tutorial via TheFitFoodieMama.com

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aelicatese
About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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56 Comments

Emily @ Whatever Floats Your Oats
Reply September 26, 2014

These look delicious! My grandmother is Armenian and often has stuffed grape leaves at her home. As always, your pictures look fabulous!
Emily @ Whatever Floats Your Oats recently posted...Healthy Refried Beans!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    Thank you! That is awesome, I bet your grandmother's recipe is amazing too!!! :)

SuzLyfe
Reply September 26, 2014

Beautifully done! I respect stuffed grape leaves, though they aren't my absolute favorite (often too oily). But it totally depends on the stuffing as well!
SuzLyfe recently posted...Friday Five: Favorite Fall ActivitiesMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    Thank you! I don't really like ones that are too oily either- these came out perfect though!

fitmamalove
Reply September 26, 2014

I am 1/4 Greek and also had these sometimes growing up. I have never tried making them, though, and I really should since my dad has a backyard vineyard. Trader Joe's sells canned ones, which I was highly skeptical about, but they are actually really good! You may have just inspired me to head over to my dad's to pick some leaves. :)

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    You should definitely visit your Dad and grab some leaves- that would be delicious!!!

Esther
Reply September 27, 2014

Wow, those are so beautiful! You did a great job. I have to say I have never had a stuffed grape leaf before, but now I am intrigued!!
Esther recently posted...Five Things Friday: Favorite Fall Activities!!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    Thank you! You should definitely try it out, I think you'd really like them :)

Redd
Reply September 27, 2014

I honestly had NO idea how easy these are to make! Any chance I could sub the lamb for chicken??? Maybe that wont taste very well?
Redd recently posted...Sweet Spreads GIVEAWAY!!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    They are pretty easy! I think you could maybe sub ground chicken but I am not sure how it would taste. They are also traditionally made without meat as well which would work.

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply September 28, 2014

I've only had stuffed grape leaves once, but they were delicious! If I can find grape leaves, I'll have to try these : )
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...Life In Pictures Link Up #4My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    They can be hard to find, we usually buy ours at a regional market! I am sure Whole Foods has them though :)

Cassandra @PoweredByBling
Reply September 28, 2014

Yum! Dolmades on a Greek Salad are soooo good.
Cassandra @PoweredByBling recently posted...Foodie Friday Heritage Appreciation: Baked Eggplant ParmigianaMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    These grape leaves and your falafel would be perfect together! YUM!

Montana
Reply September 28, 2014

These look delicious!! I just recently tried grape leaves at a Greek restaurant and loved them. I'm trying to branch out on food testing. Making them looks simple with your pictures!
Montana recently posted...I’m a NEW Color Run Ambassador!!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 29, 2014

    Thank you! They are pretty simple to make, I think you'd really enjoy it! :)

Lean Lena
Reply September 30, 2014

Hi Annmarie! Thanks so much for linking up with Tasty Tuesday today! I've been thinking about making stuffed grape leaves for a loooong time now - they are SO delicious! Thank you for this recipe. Definitely pinning for later.
I'd appreciate if you could link back to the Tasty Tuesday post or add our linkup badge to your post/blog. Gotta spread the love :)
Lean Lena recently posted...Zucchini Latkes Recipe and Tasty Tuesday Linkup PartyMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply September 30, 2014

    Thanks! Yes, I just did :) Sorry about the delay- my server was being extremely slow when I was trying to edit it.

Lean Lena
Reply September 30, 2014

Oh no problem at all :) Thanks for linking up and I look forward to your next Tasty Tuesday link :)
Lean Lena recently posted...Zucchini Latkes Recipe and Tasty Tuesday Linkup PartyMy Profile

Michelle Hartgraves
Reply October 2, 2014

I have never eaten lamb before. I do love "real" Italian food though. When I was in the Navy, I was stationed in Sicily. The food and coffee was amazing!
Michelle Hartgraves recently posted...10 Healthy or Almost Healthy Pumpkin RecipesMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 3, 2014

    I would LOVE to taste the food in Sicily, I can imagine that both the food and coffee are to die for!

Andy Bland
Reply October 4, 2014

Mmmm. That looks good enough to eat.
Andy Bland recently posted...Auto ResponderMy Profile

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Reply January 15, 2016

Totally love stuffed grape leaves! I made them the first time this summer and they were glorious!

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    They really are!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply January 15, 2016

I love stuffed vine leaves, especially when they are really lemony. You have inspired me to make a Belgian recipe to celebrate my heritage.

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Yay! Can't wait to see it! :)

Crystal Renaud
Reply January 15, 2016

Lebanese!!! That is it! I knew that your striking features were not just Italian. I have a close friend who is part Lebanese and now I see it!!
These look good too btw :)
Crystal Renaud recently posted...The Power Of One Word; My Word Of The YearMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Haha I get asked a lot "what else" I am! I'm a mix but the Lebanese definitely shines through!

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply January 15, 2016

Wow! These look delicious!!! My "earthy" grocery store has a version of these on their salad bar. There's don't have meat-- so I eat and love them! Is that not authentic at all? Or do you make them without the meat too? I love the flavor!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...Fashion Friday – Navy Vest & Floral ScarfMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    I think it's still authentic but my family just likes to include the meat in them :)

Sarah
Reply January 15, 2016

I love that you are celebrating your heritage! Food and meals that have memory or meaning are my favorite. I have never had grape leaves, probably because I only look for them in the produce section of stores or at the market and never knew they came in jars. Guess I have something new to look for when I go shopping!
Happy Foodie Friday!
Sarah recently posted...Savory Sweet Potato PorridgeMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Yes! They come already brined in jars, though we usually have to find them at our regional market- they don't sell them in the "regular" grocery store.

Sarah @ BucketListTummy
Reply January 15, 2016

I agree with the above commenter - food is such an integral part of our culture and lives, and I'm sure this recipe brings back many memories for you. Thanks for sharing. These look delicious. *pinning!
Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted...How to make your own creamy hummusMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Food really is such an integral part of our lives! Thanks so much for stopping by and for pinning! :)

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply January 15, 2016

Recipes that are a taste of home are the best! These look so amazing - perfectly rolled!
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...Pins To Kill ReviewMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Thanks! :)

Carly @ Fitliving blog
Reply January 15, 2016

YUM! There was a Greek restaurant we used to go to that had stuffed grape leaves and my mom would always get them!
Carly @ Fitliving blog recently posted...Blueberry Vanilla Almond Granola {Gluten Free}My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    They are one of my fav things to order when I am at a Greek/Middle Eastern restaurant too!

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply January 15, 2016

Beautiful! I love lamb and need to try this dish! I had no idea where to find grape leaves though, I will look at the grocery store! TGIF!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...I Love My Food! I am a Snacker!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    I find them at the regional market here though you might be able to find them in the international section of the grocery store! :)

Jess @hellotofit
Reply January 15, 2016

Mmm I haven't had stuffed grape leaves in SO long!! Love 'em, and I've always wondered how to make them ;)
Jess @hellotofit recently posted...5 Recipes That Showcase Cultural HeritageMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Now you know! ;)

Lauren
Reply January 15, 2016

Oh this looks yummy! I have never attempted grape leaves but this recipe looks totally doable!
Lauren recently posted...Bacon and Brussels: A Dream Come TrueMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    It is so easy! Give it a try! :)

Sam @ PancakeWarriors
Reply January 15, 2016

I've had vegetarian versions of stuffed grape leaves and I loved them!! I don't eat meat, so I would have to modify this a bit but still love this recipe!
Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted...Quick Beginner HIIT Workout For A Strong BodyMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    You can definitely make them without meat- a lot of places replace the meat with rice, pine nuts and herbs.

Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner
Reply January 15, 2016

I know my husband would really love these! All the flavors look great. I've had veggie stuffed grape leaves but not recently. Now I want them!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted...Hemp Hearts Are Here To StayMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    I love the veggie version too!

Esther
Reply January 15, 2016

I remember this post from before and I was so impressed by how simple, yet beautiful these look!
Thank you for sharing the recipe again :)
Esther recently posted...Scottish Porridge …My styleMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    I thought it would be fun to share again since it had been a while!

Ilka
Reply January 15, 2016

The pictures with the leaves look so beautiful. I would love to try one! :)
Ilka recently posted...My Disney Marathon 2016 RecapMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    I think you'd really like them! :)

Farrah
Reply January 16, 2016

Yay for grape leaves! I think I had them for the first time back in 2009, and I love em'! I never knew you could get canned grape leaves! :O
Farrah recently posted...8 Chinese Recipes To Try This WeekendMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply January 17, 2016

    Yes ma'am you can! :)

Amber
Reply January 19, 2016

These look so amazing! I love grape leaves! And what a great idea putting cinnamon in them! Thanks for hosting the healthy blog hop once again!

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