Leafy Greens: Gluten-Free Superfood!

I don’t think I need to tell any of you that I’m a huge fan of leafy greens. I try to eat them every day (some days, I fail, but that’s just between us). I toss spinach into my lunch. I add salads to dinners. If there’s a way for me to squeeze chard into a meal, you know I’m doing it. Heck, lately I’ve been noshing on collard green wraps filled with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, capers, and other goodness.

Yeah, it’s basically a hummus wrap, but with more texture. I based the recipe on this one for vegan “tuna”. See my take on this recipe in the Meal of the Week section. Seriously, give this a shot the next time you’re looking for a high-protein, gluten-free wrap for lunch.

I was moved to write about leafy greens due to the incredible abundance in my local store. Kale, chard, spinach, collards, more kale, more chard, lettuce, just about every shade of green known to the vegetable kingdom was represented.

You know I’m fond of a green shakshuka, and I’m in love with just about every salad known to mankind. And I don’t need to tell you about the health benefits, but, sigh, cannot resist. I’ve also been seeing a lot of those “gluten-free diets are unhealthy” articles come across my browser. The one thing all of these articles miss is this: if you’re eating a healthy, whole-grain based diet, you’re getting all the nutrition you need.

Or, it ain’t the lack of gluten, it’s the lack of healthy choices.

Leafy greens help with adding fiber to your diet, along with potassium, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and protein. Whole grains are also great sources of protein, vitamins, and fiber. These foods help people get the fiber and other nutrients they need.

I’ve mentioned about a million times that eating processed gluten-free foods is bad for our health, and highly recommend other choices. Adding leafy greens to your daily menu is a terrific, delicious, easy way to keep your diet healthy. The added bonus is there are infinite ways to achieve prepare these greens — in fact, since I’ve already made the collard green wraps I love for my lunch this week, now I’m turning my attention to a light, bright, and filling soup based around chickpeas (yeah, I made a *massive* batch this weekend) and Swiss chard for next weekend.

What is your favorite way to prepare leafy greens?

Tip of the Week

Kale, oh kale. I’m pretty darn fond of kale, but I get there are a lot of haters out there. Particularly when you’re served a kale salad in a restaurant that is, well, chewy beyond belief. Kale is a tough vegetable, and I find I get the best results when I massage the dressing into my kale. Maybe it’s psychological, but I believe the best results come from getting my hands into the salad bowl, and massaging the dressing into the kale. It works!

Gluten-Free Meal of the Week

This week is all about easy wraps. I’ve spent some time playing with the Internet-famous Cloud Bread, and will have more to say on that soon, but one thing it made me crave was this easy and delicious collard green wrap. I love that I can make these in advance for workday lunches.

Collard greens are generally associated with black-eyed peas and good luck for the new year, but they also make a fantastic, sturdy wrap for all sorts of fillings. The key is to briefly cook the collard leaves in boiling water to soften them, then trim the thick stalks, fill, and wrap. So simple.

I love the simplicity of a filling that incorporates Mediterranean flavors. My take on this includes cooked garbanzo beans, miso (yes, miso!), pickled onions, and preserved lemons. Plus a bit of chopped parsley, because, well, it’s pretty. Once or twice, I’ve tossed in a tablespoon or so of pickle juice to amp up the tangy flavor!

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