Friday, June 04, 2010

Raw Vegan Dolmas - Great As An Appetizer Or For Lunch

Select nice, large leaves of organic chard.

Gently clean chard leaves, remove stem, and marinate.

Place mixture on a strip of chard and roll up dolmas.

What Are Dolmas?
Traditionally, dolmas are stuffed grape leaves. Known as a Greek delicacy, they are also made all over the Middle East and other parts of the Mediterranean. Dolmas are typically made by stuffing cooked grape leaves with various combinations of rice, lamb, currants, pine nuts, lemon zest, onions, herbs and spices. The traditional version is very time consuming to make. This "raw vegan" recipe is quite simple to assemble but does require a few days to sprout the garbanzo beans. They make a wonderful appetizer or snack (I've been snacking on these for the past few days!). Dolmas would also be a good thing to eat for lunch. You can add this to your menus when you do your Raw Food Cleanse.

Nutritional Benefits
I made quite a few changes to the typical ingredients for dolmas. I substituted sprouted garbanzos for the cooked rice and used raw chard instead of the grape leaves.
Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite "long life" foods. They are high in protein and low in saturated fat. Their high fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. They are a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, and are an excellent source of molybdenum and manganese. They are also a good source of copper, phosphorus and iron. Try making Raw Hummus with Sprouted Garbanzo Beans or Garbanzo Bean and Raw Kale Salad with Lemon-Turmeric Dressing.
Swiss chard is also an exceptionally healthful food. One cup of raw chard has only 7 calories yet it provides more than 3 times the daily requirement of vitamin K. It's also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron.

Try different ingredients in your dolmas. Add currants or substitute some or all of the parsley with mint. Instead of garlic, try thinly slices green onions. Add some of your favorite spices.


Raw Vegan Dolmas
[makes 14 pieces]
For The Marinade
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the Dolmas
1/3 cup dried organic garbanzo beans for sprouting (or 1 cup of sprouted garbanzo beans)
4 large chard leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 packed tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup raw pine nuts (unsoaked)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

To sprout garbanzo beans, soak 1/3 cup of dried, organic garbanzo beans overnight in a sprouting jar. Rinse gently the next morning, put on the sprouting lid and turn the jar over to drain the water. Let the jar sit upside down and tilted (so oxygen can get to the sprouts) and not in direct sunlight. Rinse them 3 times a day in cool water for 3 days until sprouted.

Once the garbanzo beans are sprouted, you can prepare the dolmas.
Gently wash the chard leaves, being careful not to tear the leaves. Remove the stems and place the leaves in a large bowl with the marinade of lemon juice, olive oil and salt, making sure each leaf is covered in the mixture. Set aside.
Drop the garlic through the shoot of a running food processor with an S blade and process until it is minced. Add the sprouted garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and lemon zest and process until fairly smooth. Add the pine nuts and continue to process until they are well chopped. Add the parsley and pulse a few times until combined.
Cut the marinated chard into 2" by 4" strips. Place a spoonful of the garbanzo mixture onto the inside of the chard strip and roll up. This should make about 14 rolls.

Per dolmas (not counting the marinade): 62 calories, 4.6 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.8 g protein, 4.4 g carbohydrates and 1.3 g of fiber.


Terrell said...

The Turkey enthusiast in me can not resist pointing out that dolmas are Turkish. The name comes from the Turkish word meaning stuffed. Best dolmas I've ever had were in a traditional Ottoman restaurant in Konya that we went to after visiting the tomb of the great Sufi mystic, Rumi.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks Terrell. How were they prepared?

Unknown said...

As terrel said that dolmas are turkish.Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, 'to be stuffed', and means 'stuffed (thing)'.