Vegetarian Inside-out Kousa

Traditional Kousa: Click Here for Image Source
Some of you may have already seen kousa - a Lebanese dish that is essentially stuffed zucchini. In an attempt to reach out to my roots again, I decided to buy zucchini on my last grocery trip. Unfortunately, when it came time to cook the deliciousness that is kousa (last night), it seemed I was lacking many of the ingredients necessary to make it what it is (mainly meat).

That's when I remembered my mom's inside out kousa dish that I absolutely LOVE! Basically, it contains all the ingredients you'd find in the traditional dish, but the zucchini is diced into the mixture instead of stuffed.

Lacking said meat, my mom and I came up with a great vegetarian alternative! Here we go:

Ingredients (yields about 6-8 regular portions):

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium-large zucchinis, diced
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp dry parsley
  • 4 1/3 cups water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil and lightly fry the onion (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add your diced zucchini to the pot over your onion and mix well.
  3. Cover the mixture flush with water (around 3 cups) and let boil until you can insert a fork in the zucchini with ease.
  4. Drop in your brown rice while adding 2/3 of a cup of water per cup of rice (around 1 1/3 cups). Mix well.
  5. Add in your diced tomatoes and your dry parsley. Mix well and let boil for a few minutes.
  6. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix your garlic, 2 tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Once that's done, pour it in your rice mixture and mix well. Side note: This mixture can also be used as a great light and simple salad dressing! 
  7. Cover the pot and lower your heat to let the rice cook.
  8. Your dish is ready once your rice is ready. If you WANT to pile up the carbs, eat it up with whole wheat pita bread - absolutely fantastic! ;)
*Carnivorous option: Before dropping in your zucchini, cook ground beef really well (the quantity you like) , then add the zucchini and continue with following steps. In this alternative, the tomatoes are optional, and you can use dry mint instead of parsley.

*Note: The quantities for this inside-out kousa are different from regular kousa. I haven't given it a try yet but you're more than welcome to leave comments on how you'd make yours! :)



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