Healthy Dolmades with Ancient Greeks’ Favorite Kale and Quinoa



Quinoa-Beet-Kale-Dolmas-9In ancient Greece, kale used to grow wild in the countryside and was a staple in most households. It was widely consumed not only as food but as medicine too.

Disocorides, an ancient Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist informs us that kale “which is sown or set is excellent for the bowels. It is eaten slightly boiled, for when throughly boiled it is therapeutic for the intestines…With the meal of fenugreek and vinegar, it helps those with gout in their feet and joints, and applied, it is very good for foul or old ulcers…”

Kale is anti-inflammatory and wealthy in vitamins C, E, K, folate, minerals and fiber. It is an excellent antioxidant and protects the body from diseases.

It is believed that one of the ways ancient Greeks used kale was to stuff things in kale leaves. They generally mashed foods into a paste and then wrapped it in leaves or bread. So here is a recipe where we use kale instead of vine leaves to make dolmades and stuff them with quinoa instead of rice to make it more interesting:

1. Cook the quinoa as you prefer it. Set aside and let it cool down. Transfer to a bowl. Place the kale leaves in a steamer and steam them for five minutes until they are soft. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down to room temperature. Add chopped parsley, chopped spearmint, salt and pepper to quinoa and mix properly.

2. For the dressing, take a tub of Greek-style yogurt, add three tablespoons of olive oil, one chopped garlic clove and more chopped spearmint. Whisk ingredients.

3. Lay each kale leaf on a flat surface and spoon a generous quantity of the mixture on the finish, exactly where the stem starts. Fold the sides of the vine leaf more than the filling. Then roll the leaf all the way up, starting at the stem’s end, to form a neat parcel.

4. When you have completed folding all the dolmades, arrange them on a serving platter. Place a bowl of dipping sauce next to the platter and serve.


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