June 30, 2011

Raw Chard Wraps

I remember a time in my life when I thought that "raw food" meant eating a bagful of baby carrots smothered in ranch dressing, or choking down a skinned, sliced pear that my mom forced me to eat after lunch or dinner, as a feeble attempt to get me to eat one nutrient dense food.

To me, at that time, vegetables were only palatable if they were cooked to near exhaustion - losing their luster, their vibrancy - and left clinging to whatever nutrient they could find in a bath of boiling water. Fruits were reserved for bowlfuls of summer fruit salads, scarfed down between handfuls of chips and cookies at my grandmother's backyard.

The word "sunflower seed pate" meant nothing to me. The only sunflowers I knew were in their salty shells, poking me in the gums every time I tried to eat them.

And then I went to Florida. I went on a little date to Cafe 118 in Winter Park and fell absolutely, head over heels, will-you-elope-with-me-tomorrow in love with raw food. And raw s'mores. Especially those s'mores.

I dream of those s'mores night.

Ahem. Anyway. I've made multiple attempts at making raw food meals, but never tried my hand at a raw wrap. The reason? I can't wrap things.

Don't ever think about asking me to making a burrito. Unless you want a tortilla flung across the room.

But I put on my big girl panties and decided to make these anyway. And you know what? They are marvelous. They're full of nutrients, varying textures, and give you a boost of energy that only raw foods can; these wraps are everything I hoped they would be.

Raw chard wraps

- 2 large swiss, red, or rainbow chard leaves
- Sunflower seed pate
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 1 small red pepper, sliced
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 2T cilantro


- Spread 1/4 cup pate on two chard leaves, in an even layer in the center. Divide remaining ingredients on top of each leaf. Fold bottom of leaf up, then fold the sides in, and roll tightly. Slice in half and serve.

Serves 2

Sunflower seeds pate

- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 1 hour
- 1 garlic clove
- 1T lemon juice
- 2t nama shoyu
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2t cayenne


- Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Add water until pate reaches desired consistency.

Serves 4

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