School Lunch – Dolmades


The little dude is a creature of habit. We rarely eat at restaurants, but when we do he loves the local bakery where he always orders the Greek Sampler. This includes dolmades, olives, tomatoes, hummus, bread, and peppers. Let’s just say he’s not a cheap date. Anyway… we sometimes recreate it at home. (He took hummus and bread separately.)

Most dolmade recipes use white rice, so I’ve finally landed on a recipe that works for me with whole grain rice. Most recipes include pine nuts. We usually add crushed walnuts instead. His school is nut-free, so we omitted those this time.

Serves: 3-4
  • 12-15 grape leaves
  • ½ cup whole grain rice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB dill
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 additional cup water or vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup lemon juice + 1 TB
  1. Add rice and ¾ cup water to a pot. Bring to boil, cover and lower heat to low. Cook 30 minutes. (It will be undercooked. That's ok.) If there is any liquid in the pot, cook and stir uncovered until dry. Remove from heat and set aside. Saute diced onion until translucent and beginning to brown. Add onion to rice. Add dill, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 TB lemon juice. Set aside to fill grape leaves.
  2. Drain and rinse grape leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook grape leaves 5 minutes. Drain and place leaves on towel or cutting board. Snip any extra protruding stems.
  3. Lay one leaf shiny side down. Add approximately a tablespoon of rice mixture to the center. Fold bottoms of leaf over mixture. Then fold over sides and roll tightly. Similar to a burrito, spring roll, or cigar. Repeat with other grape leaves.
  4. Add grape leaves to a shallow pan. It's ok if these are very close together. Add 1 cup water or stock along with ¼ cup lemon juice. Bring to a bubble, cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for an hour. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature.

This usually also includes parsley, but I didn’t have any that day. 🙂 These are so great for  lunches or quick snackers.

So….I’m a little disappointed because the little guy’s school changed the daily schedule which means he will no longer have lunch at school. Bummer dude! We were having fun with it, but now we will have the opportunity to have lunch as a family. Big win. The frog will be lonely for while. lunch box

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