Posts in Wrap + Sandwich
MEL × Riverbend Gardens: Summer Rainbow Cabbage Rolls

There is a bounty of vegetables available in all colors of the rainbow this time of year. It’s such a fun thing to challenge yourself to have as many of those colors on your plate as possible.

These rolls really go the extra mile in the “eat-the-rainbow” department. With beets, carrots & radishes in there it not only has a wonderful sweet-spicy-ness to it but it’s also such a fun way to eat those raw veggies.

If you have kids (or a reluctant hubby) you’re in luck because even the most finicky eaters will enjoy assembling their rolls before eating them. I suggest doubling up the recipe (these make good lunches) and serving the toppings in bowls on the table so that everyone can make their own!

A table!


4 servings

6 large cabbage leaves
4 medium carrots, spiralized or julienned
2 cooked beets, julienned
2 raw beets, julienned
2 green onions, sliced
4 medium radishes, sliced
1 can tuna or 1 can of chickpeas
1 T yellow mustard
1 T sriracha
2 T coconut yoghurt
Salt & pepper to taste

10 min prep

In a medium sized bowl, mix tuna (or chickpeas) with the mustard, sriracha, yogurt, salt & pepper.
Set this bowl aside in the fridge while you prepare your other veggies.
Now, julienne your carrots, beets, green onions, radishes & two of the cabbage leaves
Take the remaining cabbage leaves and carefully cut them in half while removing the stem. 
To make rolls, simply add veggies & tuna mix into each half of cabbage leaf then roll it up tightly.

Sweet Potato Latke Bites

These sweet potato Latkes are baked, instead of fried, which not only makes them yummier, (in my books) but also gives the garlic a chance to intensify in flavor. They are really quite amazing as a salad topper but are also rather delightful in wraps. 

Traditionally, these potato pancakes are served with savory toppings (likes sour cream or cottage cheese) but sometimes they can also be served with sweet toppings (think apple sauce). Either way, they are a great crowd-pleaser and you can be sure a tray of these served at any party will disappear quickly!

For the sake of making this a lunch recipe, I've opted for some savory spices & accoutrements. Feel free though, to use this as a base for your imagination! 


Makes 24 bites

1 medium size sweet potato, grated
1 C spinach, finely chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
1/2 C flour ( I use Cloud 9 )
2 eggs
1/4 t each chili, coriander, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon
1/4 t each basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, parsley

Salad or Wrap

Arugula & kale greens
Cherry tomato
Pickled red cabbage


1 C Yogurt
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t italian spices
Salt & pepper to taste


5 min prep + 15 min bake

First, peel & grate your medium sweet potato.
In a large bowl, add the sweet potato, flour, minced garlic & spices.
Divide mixture between the 24 holes of the mini muffin pan. 
Bake for 15 minutes at 375 or until golden at the edges.
Pull out and let sit for 5 minutes before serving over salad or in a wrap.

If you want to eat these as a snack, you can make a quick yogurt dip by mixing all the ingredients under DIP in a small bowl. They're seriously divine like this! 

You can also use the dip as a dressing if you chose to have them as a wrap!


Chickpea Gyros

The key to a good gyro is good bread & good tzatziki.

If you have both of those things, you can essentially fill it with whatever you want and it will still be a gloriously tasty mess. Now, I am not recommending that you make a sub-par meal, ever. I'm just saying that if you overcook your chickpeas, or if you don't have red onion... this meal can be saved by adding more tzatziki. Just sayin'.

Tzatziki, like everything else you will ever make, starts with good ingredients. I used local Lebanese cucumbers because they pack a ton more flavour. I also used Balkan style yoghurt because it's unstirred & doesn't have any fillers. Go out of your way to source the best ingredients you can find, truth is, they're often cheaper too!


makes 4 gyros

4-6 small tomato
2 C chickpeas, cooked
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/2 t black pepper
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
2 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 Naan * see notes
1 Lebanese cucumber, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C balkan yoghurt
Salt & pepper to taste

Note: For the naan, I used this recipe and switched out the flour for cloud 9, worked out perfectly. If you don't have issues with wheat, you can also use store bought.


20 mins roasting + 5 mins prep

If you're using dry chickpeas, rehydrate them first (by soaking them overnight). If you're using canned, make sure you rinse and drain them well. 
In a bowl, add your chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano & thyme.
Mix until everything is well coated, then add to a baking pan & roast in the oven at 400 for about 20 mins. 
While the chickpeas are roasting, grate the cucumber over a clean kitchen towel & squeeze it a little to remove extra moisture.
Mix it in a bowl, along with yoghurt, garlic, pepper & salt. Refrigerate while you wait for the chickpeas to be done.
Before serving, place your naan in the hot oven to warm them up for no more than one minute.
Pull out the naan and chick peas, load up with sliced tomato & red onion. Yum!



Pulled Chicken Arepas - with veg option
Pulled Chicken Arepas recipe with vegetarian option. This taste of the south replaces burgers on our summer table.

Arepas are these chewy little corn breads which can be used to dip into things (like soup or sauce) or made into larger "burger" like breads. They're divine, super easy to make and require only 4 ingredients. Corn, flour, salt & water. 

How cool is that? 

I stuffed these with a chicken mixture but you can easily swap out the chicken for chickpeas to get a similar kind of filling. Either way, they're DIVINE. No, seriously. We had a friend over for dinner when I made these and he said "you're keeping this recipe forever, right?".


Arepas are traditionally done with avocado & chicken or beans inside, but this twist on it really rocks my boat! Hope you enjoy it!


makes 8 arepas

2 C corn flour (I use a blender to make flour from corn meal) 
1 1/2 C water
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
Enough flour to make a sticky dough


4 chicken thighs
1 14 oz can diced tomato
1 red chili pepper, chopped
1 lime, juiced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 large bunch parsley, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Mayonaise & avocado for topping
Salad for serving

Note: Use chickpeas or black beans instead of chicken to make this dish entirely plant based!


prep 10 mins + cook 25 mins

Start by cooking your chicken in a large pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil.
Once it's browned on both sides, add your chili, tomato, garlic, onions, lime juice & pepper.
Cover & let the chicken simmer for about 25 minutes, until you can easily pull it apart with forks.
Time to prepare the arepas. 
In a large bowl, mix corn flour, salt & water. It should make a watery mix. 
At this point, start sprinkling gluten free flour over the top & mix it in.
Repeat, little by little until you have a sticky dough. Don't go too far or your arepas won't stick together.
Let your mix sit until your chicken is ready.  Then it's time to fry your breads. 
On a hot pan, with a little olive oil add your arepas dough a few spoonfuls at a time. The goal is to make breads that are roughly 3-4 inches across & 1/2 inch thick. 
Flip when the edges are set.
Let the arepas cool a little before you cut them in half, then stuff them with the chicken mixture. 
Serve with avocado, mayonnaise & salad on the side.

Black Bean Burritos


Makes 4 portions

4 ancient grain tortillas
2 C rice, cooked
1 C dry black beans, cooked (or 1 14 oz can)
1 small onion, minced
1 head of garlic, minced
1 T coconut oil
1 sweet pepper, cubed
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 bunch parsley
Yogurt, for serving


1 C cherry tomato, halved
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
Pinch of salt


prep 10 mins + Cook 20 mins

Start with cooked & rinsed black beans.
Add garlic, onion & coconut oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir until fragrant.
Add sweet pepper, cumin, chili powder & black beans, then give it a good stir.
After about 2-3 minutes, add enough water to barely cover the black beans, cover and lower to a simmer.
Your goal is to get the black beans partially mushy, so keep adding a little water and cooking them down until they fall apart. Takes about 15 minutes.
While they cook, get your rice going.
Taste the beans, if they are a little bland, add a little more cumin & salt to bring out their flavor.
Once your rice & beans are cooked, it's time to throw together a quick homemade salsa. 
Add your cherry tomato, garlic, olive oil & salt to a blender and pulse a few times.
Let it sit while your get your parsley, yogurt (if using) & tortilla ready.
To serve, layer on rice, beans, salsa & toppings!