Before leaving Rosarito, I was on the quest to find healthy car snacks for our road trip. I really love dolmas, but there were none to be found in small town Mexico. I decided to make my own with brown rice and tofu to up the amount of protein in this easy and delicious snack. This is how we made it:
½ jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups brown rice, rinsed and drained
⅓ cup walnuts or pine nuts, chopped
1 block firm tofu, cut into tiny, tiny cubes or crumbled
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp mint
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
Heat a medium saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft for about five minutes. Add the rice to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice is translucent. Add one cup of water and lower the heat to low.
Allow the rice to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. Your rice will still be hard at this point. We will continue steaming it inside of the grape leaves later, so DO NOT PANIC LIKE I DID!
Mix in the nuts, tofu, juice of 1 ½ lemons, allspice, mint, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir.
Now let’s roll your dolmas. Take one rinsed grape leave at a time and lay it flat on a dry surface. Add about one tablespoon of the rice mixture at a time, and roll the leaf into a little mini tube. Place each grape leaf into a large pre-oiled skillet. Pack them in their tight in a single layer.
Once all of your dolmas are packed into the skillet, cover with 2 cups of water and the rest of your lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour or until your rice is cooked. Add more water little by little if necessary as your water cooks off.
Cool and eat them all!