Raw Veggie Chard Wrap with Ancho Chili Dip–The Balancing Act of Alkalizing Daily

by Julie on October 25, 2012

So, I know this chard wrap idea isn’t rocket science nor is it original but the dip….oh mee oh my!  The thing is if you are going to eat a bunch of regular old veggies why not jazz ’em up so you love ’em even more!  That’s my idea of a great veggie recipe. Sure, I really enjoy the pure fresh goodness and flavour of organic produce but I eat so much of it that this sauce business totally rocks my veggie wrap!  This recipe was inspired by a dear classmate Lauren from nutrition school who often brought a very similar dip to school.  A nibble of it really got me going and I made my version of something kinda similar but added the dried ancho chili powder to switch it up and wowsers!  I haven’t used ancho chili powder in many recipes so I am still experimenting with it’s rather sweet raisin flavour and with what ingredients it might complement.  But what I know for sure, according to my taste buds, is that it works well with this combination.  You’ll have to try it for yourself.  You will first have to locate some of the spice.  I found some in a Mexican shop that sold a variety of chili powders from obscure to everyday peppers.  You might also have luck at a specialty gourmet shop.  I’m pretty sure they carry some at the South China Seas in Granville Island market in Vancouver BC if you happen to live near there.

You’ll notice that I shot this when the pretty blue corn flowers were blooming in the summer with these yummy basic veggies but I’m sure you’ll still be able to find a variety of fresh veggies to tuck into some winter chard.  I like to have some sprouts, avocado, peppers, cucumber and sometimes slivered carrots too.  I’ve had this recipe up my sleeve for sometime but was saving it for you.  This is a great recipe to whip up for your lunchbox.  Just have the dip pre-made and a few veggies chopped and then it’ll only take a few minutes to put together a couple wraps in the morning, then just roll and wrap ’em up!  You can always bring the whole avocado along, with a knife, and add it later so it’s fresh.

Raw Veggie Chard Wrap with Ancho Chili Dip
Yield: 2 wraps
For the Dip yields 1/2 cup
3 tbsp raw almond butter
3/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
3/4 tsp fresh grated garlic
3/4 tsp dried ancho chili powder
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or raw almond oil
2 tbsp filtered water
2-3 drops stevia- this is optional depending on  your desire for sweetness
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the Wrap
2 large chard leaves
1/2 avocado
4″ pc cucumber, sliced lengthwise into 10 slender strips
1/2 small red pepper, thinly sliced
sunflower sprouts & radish sprouts or other sprouts
Combine all dip ingredients except lemon juice in a small bowl, adding the lemon juice last (so it won’t seize up) once it is well mixed, then set aside to allow flavours to mingle while you prepare the wrap.
Wash and pat dry the chard leaves and trim stems.  Place on large plate, then lay strips of veggies length wise down the center of the leaf.  Roll leaf to close and use toothpick to hold in place or wrap in a napkin to secure.  To pack in lunch box, use parchment paper or reusable waxed wraps like the Abeego.
Serve with dip which can be spooned onto each bite as you enjoy the wrap.  The more dip the better:)

This is a better example of the flowers that are currently in season now in October in my garden and on the roadside.  Bye, bye bachelor buttons… hello hydrangeas that are turning from periwinkle blue to pretty shades of green, Michaelmas daisy asters (purple with yellow centers), wild rose hips, winter fern and Nigella blooms that are still hanging on.  It was fun putting these autumn bouquets together for you and to then enjoy on these damp grey days that are now much more common.  This is my therapy and of course chopping veggies:)

Now, I’m wondering how you are doing with the balancing act of this lifestyle diet, rich in alkaline foods?

Stuck in a rut? Can’t get motivated? Bored with your food?  Surrounded by unhealthy eaters? Or are you over analytical and causing yourself too much stress?

The more you work at in the beginning, the easier it becomes, like a habit.  But you do have to put in the effort to make the change stick and to become comfortable with the lifestyle.  It’s crazy to obsess over it, but for a while, until you find your groove, you will notice yourself evaluating your meals with scrutiny.  I find that for myself it comes naturally now to eat this way but it did take a while.  I do however think about how I’m going to balance my intake if I choose to perhaps indulge in a baked vegan cookie.  In this case I’ll be sure to have an extra glass of super greens, or drink some green juice, nibble on extra raw veggies as a snack later on or have a 2nd helping of salad.

Most of the time, I find that I am truly drawn to and crave the foods that are most alkaline and I tend to minimize my portions of say brown rice or sprouted grain bread at a meal.  If I do have a craving for more than usual I’ll up my intake of veggies to balance it out.  This just happens naturally for me at this point.  I’m not saying I get it perfect all the time, far from it, I’m only human!  But I truly want the healthy body I deserve so I do my conscious best to find ways back to balance and that sometimes means juicing for the entire day! or two or three!  After being away in Mexico and having a few desserts along the way I am now cleaning up the residue. That quote comes to mind again, “It is easier to stay well that to get well.”  Taking stock right after a vacation versus making it an excuse for a years worth of unhealthy eating is a lot easier and way less painful, right?

How’s it going for You? What helps you to stay on track and what throws you off kilter? Can you share any recent successes you’ve had where perhaps you’ve held your healthy ground at a social function or  you maybe ate a salad at home before joining friends at a not so healthy restaurant?

A 70-30% alkaline to acid food ratio or 80-20% are ideal if you are not experiencing any ailments or chronic disease, which ever you can maintain and it may of course fluctuate each day since it’s more about eyeballing than measuring. For example, filling your plate approx 3/4 full with salad or veggies and then about 25% with legumes, organic whole grains, organic proteins either plant or animal become a well balanced meal.  If you suffer from symptoms of disease you truly need to make it around 90-95% or do 100% as a juice feast to flush those acids and continue on in a very high disciplined alkaline fashion to regain the required balance.  In this case alkaline water is your best friend to help carry out the toxins and assist your liver in dispensing with the old so the new cells can flourish and bath in alkalinity which is where they are happiest.  This post here sheds more light on why you need water.

I’d love to hear from you on this topic so that in the comments section we can help each other find ways to keep up the good work that we do everyday to maintain our healthy wonderful bodies or heal our precious bodies from the symptoms we are experiencing.  My goal is to continually inspire you to make the best choices possible to maintain a healthy alkaline state thus your comments are of great value and I truly appreciate the time you take to write them.

I hope you have a wonderful week and do let me know how you like the simple wrap & the dip or if you have a fave ‘go to’ dip:)


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