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
(Note: You can use zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers or any other crisp veggies sliced into thin strips in place of, or in addition to, the carrots and green onions in this recipe.)
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.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.