Swiss Chard Makes For The Perfect Leafy Green Taco Shell

Given their range of meaty, cheesy, and veggie toppings, there's no denying the fact that classic tacos make for a deliciously filling meal. However, their signature starchy tortilla shells can start feeling a bit heavy after just a few bites, and they might not be the best choice for folks on low-carb or gluten-free diets. If you're looking for a way to lighten things up for your next taco night without having to sacrifice any flavorful fillings, all you have to do is swap out your traditional corn or flour taco shells with some healthy and delicious leaves of Swiss chard.

The tender greens are known for their colorful stems and large, crinkly leaves, which are indeed thick enough to withstand even the most hearty taco fillings. Better yet, Swiss chard, when eaten raw, tends to have a mild and earthy flavor, so it shouldn't clash with or take away from the flavors inside your dish, making them the perfect choice in terms of both texture and taste. Not only are Swiss chard leaves a practical taco shell substitute, they're also a particularly nutritious one. According to Healthline, the leafy greens are packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, all while being relatively low in calories. One leaf of Swiss chard has roughly 9 calories, while one store-bought flour tortilla can have around 140 calories. Swiss chard is also gluten-free and extremely low in carbohydrates, so the greens are suitable for multiple dietary restrictions.

How to turn Swiss chard leaves into taco wraps

If you'd like to use Swiss chard as a delicious and nutritious taco wrap alternative, you're in luck — the leaves are super easy to prepare and can be ready for fillings in no time. Though Swiss chard can be cooked or eaten raw, you'll want to keep the leaves nice and crispy if you'll be using them as taco shells, so raw is the way to go. After giving the leaves a good, thorough cleaning, separate each chard leaf from the tough main stem by chopping horizontally where the stem meets the leaf, leaving whole, individual leaves laid out on your station. You'll want to keep the thick, veiny stem running up the center of the leaf intact, as it will help keep the leaf sturdy and provide a natural fold, which is ideal for cupping your fillings and holding each taco in your hands.

Once you've got your Swiss chard shells cleaned and separated, you can start loading up your tacos. You can use any of your favorite fillings, but since you'll be getting your greens in the form of the chard leaves, you can skip the lettuce and have more room for zesty diced veggies, hearty beans, and plenty of protein to achieve a perfectly balanced bite. Whether you fill them with juicy ground beef or spicy chicken tinga, the leafy green wraps will hold steady as a tasty tortilla swap anyone can enjoy.