I’ve been known to get on a kick when I find something new that I’m excited about and most recently it’s wraps and rolls. Anyone who’s lived with me knows that I tend to eat the majority of my meals out of a giant bowl. I’ll throw all sorts of ingredients in from grains to greens to roasted or raw veggies and nuts and seeds and munch away, either sitting or strolling around my house with my bowl and fork in hand. Sometimes the ingredients will each stay in their little quadrant of the bowl allowing me to enjoy each flavor individually, but other times I mix it all up and enjoy the way the different tastes and textures combine. This has always been my favorite format for mealtime..that is, until I recently discovered the beauty of the wrap.
A wrap is basically like a next-level version of a bowl because it’s a super portable meal packaged up like a delicious, little present. What could be better? Plus, like the bowl, there are endless possibilities when it comes to how to fill a wrap. On my first try, I stuck to what was familiar, and created a veggie-packed version of the sushi hand rolls I grew up eating with my family. I have always loved nori and was surprised by how easily my little wrap came together so I decided to try my hand at a different kind of wrap. Enter, Chard. To be honest, I’ve never really known quite what to do with chard. I’ve always admired it’s bright, leafy beauty in the grocery store and at farmer’s markets, and have occasionally thrown a handful of chopped chard into a stir fry or sautee, but other than that felt a bit intimidated by the giant, thick-stemmed green. And then, as I was imagining all of the wonderful wrap possibilities that awaited me, I knew that I had finally found a wonderful way to get down with chard.
This wrap combines the fresh, earthy flavor of steamed chard with rich, creamy, and lightly salty ingredients that are classic staples of Mediterranean cuisine such as hummus, garlic, cucumber, and kalamata olives. It feels light but is surprisingly filling and would make a perfect lunch or dinner dish on a hot summer afternoon or evening!
Mediterranean Chard Rolls
- 1-1 ½ cups of cooked quinoa
- ¼ - ½ cucumber, chopped
- sprouts (I used red kale sprouts but any mildly flavor sprout would work)
- 1-3 tablespoons of kalamata olive tapenade (or roughly chopped kalamata olives)
- 2-3 large chard leaves
- Majestic Garlic Creamy Garlic spread
Remove the ribs or stems from the chard leaves by running a knife along the stems starting at the point where the leafy green first meets the stem and cutting all the way to the top edge of the leaf. This should create two, roughly semi-circle-shaped sections of chard from each leaf. Wash the chard pieces thoroughly and then place in a steamer. Steam the leaves lightly for about 6-8 minutes and then remove the leaves from the steamer and set aside.
While the steamed chard leaves are cooling, wash the sprouts and set aside to dry. Then, mix the kalamata olives into the cooked quinoa and the creamy garlic spread into the chopped cucumber, each to taste. (I like to add a couple of tablespoons of kalamata olives to my quinoa and a heaping tablespoon of the garlic spread to my cucumbers because I love both the saltiness of the olives and the spicy, pungent flavors of the garlic, but base the amounts you add on how much you like each of these flavors.)
Next, lay chard leaves out on a flat surface with the thinner ends of the leaves extending away from you. Spread a small spoon of hummus on each one. Add little scoops of both the quinoa-olive mix and the cucumber-garlic spread mix to the center of the leaves. Place a small bunch of sprouts at the base of the fillings and then, one at a time, take the bases of the leaves (the section closest to your body) and fold them up and over the fillings, so that the edges of the leaves come just past the edge of the fillings. Tighten up the roll by using the part of the leaves that cover the fillings to push the fillings down until there isn’t extra slack and then continue to roll the wrapped fillings towards the top, tapered part of the leaves until the leaf is completely wrapped around the fillings. And viola! You just made an ultra-nutritious, super flavorful wrap! Enjoy!