I love Greek cuisine and always try to find ways to make my favourite meals suitable for a keto diet. This delicious Greek appetiser is inspired by a popular resource for Mediterranean recipes, My Greek Dish. I followed the original recipe and made small adjustments to make my version grain-free and low-carb.
Nutritional values (per serving):
|of which Saturated||5.8||grams|
|Magnesium||23||mg (6% RDA)|
|Potassium||363||mg (18% EMR)|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (19%), fat (74%). This recipe will make 8-12 appetisers or 4-6 main dishes.
Ingredients (makes 10 servings):
- 1 small white or yellow onion (110 g/ 3.9 oz)
- 500 g minced beef (1.1 lb)
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
- 4 cups cauli-rice (480 g/ 16.9 oz) - here is how to make cauliflower rice
- 1 tsp salt (I like Himalayan salt)
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 250 g vine leaves, drained (8.8 oz)
- 3-4 cups water
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons, 120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
- 2 cups stock from cooking dolmades
- Prepare the vine leaves (aka grape leaves). Remove the leaves from the jar, and carefully separate them. To minimise the risk of tearing, pour water over the leaves and wait until they start to separate.
- Drain the leaves, remove and discard the stems. Place some leaves on the bottom of large pan or casserole dish until it's covered. If you have any torn leaves, use them here - they can't be used for wrapping.
- Prepare the filling. Peel and dice the onion. Place in a hot pan greased with ghee and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, for 5-7 minutes. Place minced beef and cauliflower rice (uncooked) into a bowl.
- Add the cooked onion, freshly chopped herbs (parsley + mint), salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and set aside.
Note: To make the cauliflower rice, follow this recipe.
- To prepare the dolmades, place the vine leaves, one at a time, on a chopping board, shiny side down. Place about a tablespoon of the meat filling at the bottom part of the leaf (the part where you removed the stem). Make sure you don't overfill the leaves or they will not wrap well. Start wrapping the leaves by folding the bottom part over the filling, towards the centre.
- Bring the two sides together towards the centre and then roll up the dolmades from the bottom part up tightly. To see how to wrap the dolmades, check out my quick Instagram video.
- Place the stuffed vine leaves, fold side down, in the casserole dish where you layered the vine leaves. Place them tightly next to each other in 2-3 layers. Put a large inverted plate on top to weigh the dolmades down and add 3-4 cups of water. Place a lid on top and cook over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes. When done, take off the heat. Pour the stock from the dolmades in a small sauce pan and set aside - keep 2 cups and discard any remaining stock. Pour olive oil all over the dolmades.
- Prepare the Avgolemono sauce. Place 3 eggs in a bowl and whisk until frothy using a hand whisk or a mixer. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and keep whisking.
- While whisking, slowly pour in about ½ cup of the hot (not boiling) reserved stock. Then add the remaining stock. The aim is to gradually warm up the egg & lemon mixture by slowly mixing it with the warm stock. Doing that will prevent it from curdling. Once all the stock is added, pour the mixture in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Cook over a medium heat for a minute or two until thickened and then take off the heat.
- Serve the dolmades with the prepared avgolemono sauce.
Dolmades taste great warm or even cold, as an appetiser or main dish, served with avgolemono sauce or even full-fat Greek yogurt.