Stuffed Grape Leaves with Cucumber Tomato Buckwheat & Yogurt Tahini Dressing

This Lebanese inspired dish is fresh, healthy, and spiced to perfection. Traditionally called Dolmas, these stuffed grape leaves can easily be made vegetarian by substituting chickpeas for the grass-fed ground beef. Grape leaves, which are most commonly found in jars and often on the international aisles of grocery stores, are low in calories, but high in minerals and vitamins. Can’t find grape leaves? No problem, substitute cabbage leaves instead.

Our spin on tabouli skips on the mint and replaced bulgur with whole grain buckwheat, offering a more mild flavor with a better complex carbohydrate profile, increasing fiber and nutrient value. Learn about Mountain Trek’s nutrition tenants.

And finally, our version of tzatziki uses tahini (ground sesame seeds), greek yogurt, parsley, and lemon, resulting in a nutrient-packed dressing that is simple, delicious, and versatile.

The unique flavors of this meal make it a wonderful recipe to try if you’re looking for inspiration to change up your routine.

Note: 12 guests will make this recipe alongside our chef and nutritionist in an upcoming Basecamp Weekend Retreat.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 C buckwheat
  • 10 grape leaves or cabbage leaves
  • 5 Persian cucumbers (can sub other types)
  • 1 C grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf/Italian parsley
  • 4 lemons
  • ½ C Greek yogurt
  • ¼ C tahini
  • 1 ¼ t Kosher salt ( ¼ t + ½ t + ½ t used in recipe)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. Grass-Fed Ground Beef (substitute 1-15.5 oz can of Chickpeas for a vegetarian option)
  • ½ C pine nuts
  • ½ t allspice
  • 1 t cumin
  • ¼ t cinnamon

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring 2 C water to a bowl in a small sauce pot with a lid and rinse 1 C buckwheat with water until water runs clear. Place buckwheat into boiling water, bring to boil, reduce to low simmer, and cover until done (approximately 15 minutes). Fluff with fork when done.
  2. Rinse 10 grape leaves and bring 3 C water to a boil in a large stock pot. In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the grape leaves. If using cabbage, remove 10 cabbage leaves from head and pour boiling water over cabbage leaves. Let sit for about 30 seconds and drain. Cool and reserve leaves.
  3. Medium dice 5 Persian cucumbers, halve 1 C grape tomatoes, and small dice 1 bunch green onions. Place all in medium bowl.
  4. Finely chop 1 bunch parsley and place ½ in the bowl with cucumbers and tomatoes and the other half in another bowl for the dressing.
  5. Zest and juice 1 lemon each in each bowl for the cucumber salad and the dressing.
  6. In the dressing bowl, add ½ C Greek yogurt, ¼ C tahini, and ¼ t salt and reserve for dinner.
  7. When buckwheat is cool, fluff and place 1 ½ C into the cucumber salad bowl along with 2 T olive oil and ½ t salt. Stir to combine and reserve for dinner.
  8. Quarter 2 lemons, 2 tomatoes, and place in large stock pot with 3 cloves garlic and enough water to go halfway up the vegetables.
  9. Combine 1 lb. ground beef, ½ C pine nuts, ½ t allspice, 1 t cumin, ¼ t cinnamon, and ½ t salt using your hand to mix thoroughly. Roughly divide mixture into 10 balls and begin rolling 10 grape leaves as you would a burrito or sandwich wrap. (Form the ball into a cylinder that will fit into the leaf leaving some room at the sides. Start at the stem base of the leaf and roll the cylinder away from you, tucking in the sides as you roll.). As you finish each leaf, place in stock pot, seam side down and resting on top of vegetables.
  10. When all leaves are rolled and in pot, turn heat on high, bring to boil, return to simmer, cover, and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  11. When grape leaves are cooked, plate with the sauce and cucumber tomato buckwheat salad.
  12. Enjoy!

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below: