Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tabouli Chard Wraps...A.K.A. The Silly Green Burrito

Ever come up with one of those random, throw together in a pinch meals that turns out just fabulous?  I feel like I've been doing that a lot this summer.  All of a sudden it's lunch or dinner and I find myself thinking "well now what are we going to eat?"  Lots of random and simple meals happening in our house as of late.  Some are a success and some are not.   But it's summer and it's hot and I want to minimize my time in the kitchen so I can be outside playing too!  
So I got real excited when this recipe was actually a hit with my girls (and myself).  We had been outside playing and my girls started to get hungry.   I realized it was well past lunch time and nap time needed to happen soon.  I started rummaging through the fridge and found some leftover tabouli from the night before.   We had been weeding our little garden earlier that morning and I had been thinking about what I should do with all my swiss chard that was coming in.  Two birds with one stone as the saying goes.  So that's how this was created.  My kind of cooking necessary and oh so easy! 

Now I'm learning a few things about my 2 year old.  The first is that if she's involved in the prepping process she's way more likely to eat something.  The second is that if we give things funny names that increases our odds that she'll eat it as well.  So I let her harvest her swiss chard leaf out of the garden.  When I offered her the finished product, I presented to her in a very animated voice, the silly green burrito.  Apparently those two things combined worked because she was a bit skeptical at first but then quickly gobbled it up.  Whoa!  I was a bit surprised at this but I'm learning to never under estimate what kids will eat.  Even if they have protested it before.  Their taste buds are changing and I've read it can take over 15 times of exposing a kiddo to a new food before he/she will take to it.  That's a lot!!!  But that also gives us as parents hope.  Hope that enough times of presenting something eventually they will enjoy it.   So don't give up.
Here's my twist on tabouli:

2 cups cooked quinoa
Chopped Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Chopped fresh mint
Chopped fresh parsley
Raw Sunflower Seeds
Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine all of the above ingredients.  

The great thing about this recipe is that I don't measure anything out.  I know for some of you that may seem overwhelming but experiment with adding what is available and how much you have of each ingredient.  This is how I like to cook.  Everything is an experiment.  With the Tabouli recipe I add fresh mint from our garden, which I have a surplus of.  My parsley hasn't done real well this year so I only added a little bit of parsley to this batch.  I had quite a few cherry tomatoes so I cut them in half and tossed them in.  Tossed in some raw sunflower seeds for a little extra protein and overall nutrition boost.  Finally, I tossed it all with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice.  Just enough to coat it and to taste.  I know there's no definitive amounts but it's good to experiment and taste as you cook and see what you like and how you can adapt what you have to what you want to make.  Creative cooking.  It can be so fun!

To create the wrap I cut the stalk of the leaf off.  I put a scoop of the tabouli in the swiss chard leaf and rolled it up like a sushi roll.  I then used my kitchen scissors to cut on either side of the rib of the leaf.  So essentially I cut it in half and removed the tough part, which makes it the perfect size for little hands to handle.  

This tabouli makes a great side dish with any meal or wrap it in a swiss chard leaf and you've got yourself and Silly Green Burrito.

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