Busted for time, or ready to LEVEL UP your leafy green game? Try these collard green wraps and stuff them with whatever your heart desires.
Now although Southern collard greens are historically tied to our American roots and the cooking of our African American brothers and sisters, you must know that collard greens date way back to prehistoric times, similar to the close relative, KALE, as we talk about in our book.
Collard greens can be found all over this world, from Ethiopian gomen, to Portuguese soup.
BUT…for this recipe, you won’t be cooking them down much. Instead, you’ll be using them as a vessel, or like we say: “Mother Nature’s tortillas” — because these hearty leaves really hold all kinds of ingredients well.
Now, like most dark leafy greens, these can taste bitter, so the tricks are:
- blanche the leaves to tone them down a bit (and make them more pliable)
- use a spread (like hummus, kale pesto, or guac) to add flavor to every bite
- sprinkle with sea salt and pepper before you close them up
WHERE’D THE INSPIRATION COME FROM?
Back in the day, farmers markets were booming with hippy, raw, vegan pop-ups. Now you can actually find legit restaurants that serve up some of this yummy fair. My personal encounter of these wraps dates back to the early 2000’s, when I first tried ‘cashew cheese’ and sprouted almond milk. From there, the rest was history. I gave up the rules that meals needed to be centered around meat, and instead focused on filling up on lively vegetables with everything else being a “side.”
Collard greens are full of iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C — plus fiber of course. It’s a great low-cal, single ingredient!
FOOD is powerful stuff.
You put something in your mouth.
You chew it.
You digest it.
You absorb it.
You live it.
It’s kind of that simple. The quality of what you put in your body will have a direct role in how your body performs here on earth (mood, attitude, and all).
4 large collard greens (or 8 small ones)
¾ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup shredded purple cabbage (the thinner the better)
1 large avocado (or 2 small ones)
1/2 cup of Kale & Basil Pesto
2 15-Minute Pesto Chicken Breast
NOTE: experiment with other fillers – like sprouts, cucumber, peppers, and more. Heck make a collard wrap burrito!
- In a large skillet or frying pan, simmer about 1” of water.
- Remove the thick stems from the bottom of the collard leaf and quickly immerse it into the water for about 10 seconds (5 seconds on each side). Set aside on a plate until all leaves have been immersed. They should turn bright green and slightly waxy.
- Lay 1 large leaf (or 2 small overlapped leaves) on a plate and spread 2 tablespoons of Kale & Basil Pesto. Add a small handful of purple cabbage, carrots, chicken, and avocado. Add a bit more pesto on the top. Oh and be mindful of how much you put in, leaving enough space around the edges of the leaf to roll them up.
- Position the open-faced wrap so the spine of the leaf is horizontal to your body. With the top of the leaf in your left hand and the bottom of the leaf in your right hand, fold it towards the center and slip your thumbs under the flap closest to you. Simultaneously using your ring finger and pinkies to hold down the opposing flap and ingredients, begin to roll the wrap away from your body. It takes patience and practice.
- Secure collard wrap in a piece of parchment paper, saran wrap, or tin foil.
- Repeat for 3 other wraps. If storing for a “next-day” lunch or snack, be sure to put the wrap in a ziplock or glasslock container. The juices will begin to leak.
Yields 4 wraps
Kale. All Day. Err Day.
Kale. All Day. Err Day.