Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers from Greece

We embarked on our culinary trip to Greece with the help of our Little Chefs from the Montessori School of Los Altos at Greanmeadow. Our thanks go to the School, their amazing teachers, the Little Chefs and their parents for their participation and support.

Country we are exploring: Greece
Continent: Europe
National Language: Greek

Fun fact about the country: There are several islands in Greece where all the houses are small with white and blue windows and rooftops.

Did you know ?

 

A special type of sea turtle, the caretta caretta lives in the Greek waters. This turtle can be as long as 83 inches and as big as 300 lbs! Unfortunately caretta-caretta’s life is not easy! She has to come out to the shore to make a nest in the sand for its eggs. The trip to the shore is dangerous because boats might injure them, fishermen might catch them and other bigger fish and sharks might eat them.

 

Action ideas: What can you do to help caretta caretta lay its eggs safely?

 

Link to a resource for the kids to learn more about this topic or how they can help:

 

Spotlight ingredient: Tomato

 

Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  Specifically, tomatoes contain lycopene which helps defend against different types of cancer. Fresh tomatoes are also very rich in potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium (salt). Tomatoes originated in the South American Andes and were first used in food by the Aztecs in Southern Mexico.
As of 2013, the heaviest tomato according to Guinness World Record weighed 7 lb 12 oz and was grown in Oklahoma, USA.
English Recipe Name: Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers
Greek Recipe Name: Ghemista

Serving Size: 3

Ingredients:
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 1⁄2 cup rice
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1⁄2 bunch parsley
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 2/3 cup olive oil and some for sprinkling at the end
  • 14.5 oz tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 potato (optional)
Big Chef Duties:

 

  • Slice off the top of the tomatoes
  • Use a spoon remove the flesh of the tomatoes and keep it in a bowl. Try to leave the vegetables as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh, but be careful not to poke through their skin.
  • Arrange the hollowed peppers and tomatoes in a baking dish that fits them about right with the hollowed sides facing upward.
  • If there is too much space left in the baking dish cut a potato and add it to keep the vegetables from falling sideways
  • Add the tomato flesh to a food processor and puree.
  • Add the onions to a food processor and puree.
  • While the Little Chef is filling the vegetables, preheat the oven at 360 F.
  • After all vegetables are filled and in case any filling mix is left add it to the baking dish.
  • Pour 2 cups water in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp olive oil over the vegetables.
  • Bake the stuffed vegetables for 45 min.
Little Chef Duties:
  • Wash the tomatoes, the peppers and the zucchini thoroughly
  • Wash the parsley and the dill thoroughly.
  • Cut the top of the bell peppers while the Big Chef cuts the top of the tomatoes.
  • Remove the seeds and membranes of the bell peppers and discard. Chop the zucchini in small cubes.
  • Chop finely the parsley and the dill.
  • Chop finely the garlic cloves.
  • After the Big Chef has pureed the tomato flesh and the onions, add them in a bowl along with the chopped zucchini, the chopped parsley, the chopped dill and the tomato sauce and the olive oil.
  • Add the rice to the mix.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Use a spoon to fill the tomatoes and the peppers with the mix.

Learn while you wait:

Why does pop corn pop?

Salted, Buttered, Plain? We all love popcorn. But do you know why it pops? The trick is in the kernel. Each kernel of popcorn contains little water stored inside a circle of soft starch. Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand. Around 212 degrees the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a super hot gel. The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees and the pressure increase until the kernel finally bursts. As it explodes, steam inside the kernel is released. The soft starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and spills out. A kernel will swell 40-50 times its original size!

As they say in Greece: Kalí óreksi! (Bon Apetit)

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

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