Grape Leaf Casserole

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Stuffed grape leaves are some of my favorite foods, but let’s face it, they are very time consuming to make! I love this casserole because it’s pretty simple and super delish! Hope you like it!

Recipe:
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 1/4 cups brewed green tea or water
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup fresh mint – finely chopped
6 oz black olives – strained
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds
30 oz garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – 15 oz finely chopped and 15 oz left whole
1 – 16 oz jar of grape leaves
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 cup parsley – coarsely chopped
1 medium onion – diced

In a medium sauce pan, combine rice, tea/water, lemon juice and mint. Bring to a boil, stir, then allow to simmer for 35-45 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, pour into mixing bowl and add olives and flax seeds. Mix well and set aside.
Place grape leaves in warm water to soak for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In an electric skillet or stove top skillet, cook meat, parsley and onion until done. Remove from heat.
Assembly:
Grease a 9×13 pan and line with grape leaves (approx 25 leaves). Cover leaves with 1/2 of the rice mixture and 1/2 of the meat mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 of the whole chickpeas over all. Repeat another layer (like lasagna). Top with another layer of leaves. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Yields: 12 servings
Serving size: 1/12 or 1 1/2 cups
Calories per serving: 215

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