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Hy-Vee Dietitian: Lettuce Wraps

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“Leaf” it to a Hy-Vee dietitian to figure out how to pack even more veggie goodness into a vegetable wrap! Today, Kimberly Proctor from the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee will demonstrate how to use leafy greens to wrap your favorite fillings into a portable package. Perfect for gluten-free or calorie-conscious diets, these leafy wraps make a refreshingly light summer meal. Leafy greens like Swiss chard and collards are just right for wrapping. Choose vibrant, medium or large-sized leaves. Greens can be used raw, or for easier wrapping and milder flavor, they can be partially cooked. To cook, steam leaves for 2-3 minutes or immerse in boiling water for 30 seconds followed with an ice bath to halt the cooking process.

Once the leaves are prepared, get creative with the fillings. Any combination of protein, grains, and vegetables can be used. Leftovers, like grilled chicken, make great wrap fillers. Nuts or chopped veggies add crunch, and spreads like hummus or guacamole can help the wraps stick together. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap to store, or tie a strip of green onion around the wrap to secure.

Collard wrap with Hummus and Veggies (serves 1)

All you need:

1 medium-sized collard leaf

3 Tbsp. Hy-Vee hummus, any flavor

1 green onion, sliced

1/3 cup each cucumber, radish, shredded carrot and diced red pepper

All you do:

Lay collard leaf flat on cutting board. If stem is thick, use a knife to shave it even with the leaf. Spread with hummus. Layer vegetables on top. Roll into a wrap, tucking in the ends. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Source: Adapted from by Kimberly Proctor, RD LD, Hy-Vee dietitian

Moroccan Carrot & Quinoa Salad wrapped in Swiss Chard (Serves 5)

All you need:

1/2 cup quinoa

3/4 cup water

¼ tsp salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 medium carrots, peeled

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons raisins or currants

1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

5 large Swiss chard leaves

All you do:

1. Combine quinoa, water, salt (if desired), cumin, paprika, fennel and cinnamon in saucepan. Bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, covered, until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, slice carrots into ribbons and place in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey and lemon juice. Set aside.

4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, add to the carrots along with the raisins, almonds and cilantro. Add ¾ of the vinaigrette to the salad mixture and toss to combine well.

5. In a saucepan with a steamer basket, bring water to boil. Add Swiss chard leaves (steaming two or 3 leaves at a time is preferable to steaming all leaves at once), cover and allow to steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until leaves are softened and wilted. Remove leaves from steamer basket, unfold flat and place on a large cutting board.

To assemble the wraps: Place approximately ½ cup of salad mixture in center of lower 1/3 of Swiss chard leaf. Roll up the bottom to cover salad, fold in each side and continue to roll up. Continue with each Swiss chard leaf.

To serve: Slice each roll in half. Place on serving dish and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or cold. Keeps well in refrigerator overnight.

Source: Adapted from by Linda Ashley, RD, LD, Oakland Rd. Hy-Vee registered dietitian

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