Diabetic Cooking

Stuffed grape leaves

Preparation time: 50 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour and 35 minutes.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (uncooked) brown rice
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup dried mint flakes (found in the spice aisle)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground round
  • 36 grape leaves (approximately H of an 8.5-ounce jar), rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine
  • 4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch



In a large bowl, stir together chopped onion, rice, 1/4 cup egg substitute, mint, parsley, dill weed, lemon juice, and pepper. Knead in ground round. Portion meat filling into 2-tablespoon portions and fold a grape leaf around each to cover completely. Melt margarine in the bottom of a large pot or electric skillet, then add stuffed grape leaves in a single layer. Pour chicken broth over grape leaves, cover, and simmer over low-medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is no longer pink and rice is tender (some broth will remain). Using tongs, remove stuffed grape leaves to a serving dish, reserving broth. Strain broth to remove any meat particles and add water if needed to make 2 cups of liquid. Return the 2 cups liquid to the cooking pan over medium-low heat.

In a bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup egg substitute, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon of the heated liquid to egg mixture, whisking well. Repeat 3 more times. Add egg mixture to broth, whisking constantly, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly (about 3–4 minutes). Pour sauce over stuffed grape leaves.

Yield: 36 stuffed grape leaves. Serving size: 4 stuffed grape leaves plus 1/4 cup sauce.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 161, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Protein: 15 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 623 mg, Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1/2 starch, 1 nonstarchy vegetable, 2 lean meat. Carbohydrate choices: 1.

This recipe was developed by Tami Ross, a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.