Today is National Celiac Awareness Day. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, more than 2 million (or 1 in 133) people in the United States have celiac disease. Also known as celiac sprue, celiac disease is characterized by an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and, to a lesser extent, oats.
While there is no cure for celiac disease, those who have been diagnosed can live normal, healthy lives if they follow a gluten-free diet and lifestyle. There are many foods that are naturally gluten free, but increased awareness of the disease has also led to the development of many prepared gluten-free food products.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or simply prefer to eat gluten-free foods, this recipe for Gluten-Free Swiss Chard Sushi is a great main dish that’s also vegetarian friendly, and absolutely delicious!
Gluten-Free Swiss Chard Sushi
8 large leaves of Swiss chard
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked brown rice, white rice or fried rice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
2 medium carrots, cut into thin strips
2 green onions, white part and roots removed, cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup Ume plum vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Prepare Swiss chard
Rinse Swiss chard leaves under cool running water. Fill a large bowl with ice water and ½ tablespoon salt; set aside. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil; add ½ tablespoon of salt. Blanch leaves by submerging in boiling water until rib is softened and leaves become limp (about 1 minute). Transfer leaves to prepared ice bath; drain cooled leaves and stack between sheets of paper towels until dry. Cut out the rib of each leaf; set leaves aside.
Make the rolls
Stir coconut oil and soy sauce into the cooked rice. Lay a prepared Swiss chard leaf, vein side up and stalk end pointing toward you, on a cutting board. Sprinkle with vinegar and sesame oil. Sprinkle remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper over carrots and green onions. Place a few strips of carrots and green onions and 2 heaping tablespoons of rice at the end of the leaf.
Fold bottom edges of leaf over filling. Roll into a tube shape, until it forms a tight bundle. Repeat with rest of leaves and filling. Chill until ready to serve.
Make the Dipping Sauce
Mix Ume plum vinegar and toasted sesame oil together in a small dish. Serve alongside rolls.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”