Sunday, March 6, 2011

Challenge recipe 7: Vegetables stuffed with spiced rice

So, time for another challenge recipe. But this time, I'm not posting the step by step photos. Because, frankly, I don't want to subject any more of this on you than I have to...

Here's the book:

After the disappointment of the mixed berry sorbet that was recipe number one from the Biggest Loser book, I was hoping this one would be better. It looked pretty tasty in the picture in the book. In typical fashion, I made some changes to the recipe.

So here's the recipe as it appears in the book:

2 small eggplants, cut in half lengthways and skin pierced a few times with a skewer (I left these out because I hate eggplant)
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthways
2 red capsicums, cut in half lengthways, cored and seeded
2 tomatoes, cut in half widthways, seeds removed and saved (I used 4 tomatoes to make up for removing the eggplant)

Olive oil spray
2 onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed (seriously??? I used 2 cloves and it was tons)
3 cups cooked brown rice (about 1 cup of uncooked brown rice)
1 x 400g can salt-reduced crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup finely shredded mint leaves (I had to use dried because mine had died in the fridge)
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Steam eggplants, zucchini and capsicums for 8-10 minutes until tender. Allow to cool, then using a teaspoon, gently scrape out the insides (leaving a 1-1.5cm wall) of the eggplant, zucchini and tomato. Dice the flesh and set aside. (Okay, I'm insanely lazy, and I didn't want to stuff the zucchini, so I just put them in the food processor)

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, spray lightly with oil and cook the onion and garlic gently until soft. Add the eggplant, zucchini and tomato flesh and cook a further 3 minutes. Add the cooked rice, tinned tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, pepper, cinnamon and allspice.

Pack the vegetable shells snugly into a baking dish and stuff. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Here's the end product:

The verdict? Well, it may look nice. But what a fucking waste of time. I'm sure it's really good for you and all, but seriously. It takes FOREVER to prepare (brown rice takes half an hour of solid boiling to cook), not to mention almost an hour in the oven.

And in terms of how it tastes? It was like chewing on a cinnamon stick. I honestly thought I'd read the recipe wrong when it said 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon. I hadn't. I mean, I know they have to add flavour somehow, but good grief... Oh, and the brown rice gets crunchy in the oven. I swear, I nearly broke a tooth... Needless to say, I wound up throwing out the other three servings.

The only thing that saved the entire meal from being a total disaster was the fact that I'd made this for dessert:

Chocolate self saucing pudding. Totally delicious. And it only took 10 minutes to make (and 40 minutes in the oven, but whatever)!

So, ridiculously long story short, I wouldn't recommend this recipe to anyone. If you're looking for a healthy, low calorie meal, just grill some chicken or fish in lime juice and serve it with steamed veggies. Don't waste your time on this shit. (Although weirdly, it apparently only contains 150 calories per serving. Which seems all kinds of bizarre and inaccurate. But what would I know!)

Here's hoping the rest of the challenge is an improvement now that the Biggest Loser book of doom is over and done with...

K xx


  1. No wonder the recipes in this book result in weightloss.

  2. PS - the last captcha was 'dyingent' - how apt! For both the dismal cookbook + Your R-Patz reference :P


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