I made these collard wraps last night that I am in love with! I can’t wait to share the recipe with you, but first wanted to make a comment on my blogging schedule. You may have noticed that I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with the 6x weekly posts that I did for most of this spring. I want to provide you with consistent, quality posts, so I’m starting to think that a 3x weekly schedule (Mon/Wed/Fri) might be more realistic for me and provide me plenty of opportunity to respond to the awesome comments and e-mails that we exchange. At least for a couple of weeks going forward, I am going to go with that. You won’t be missing much of my food intake considering that I really only cook every other day and eat leftovers on the non-cooking days. How does that sound?
By the way, in case you’re interested, I took a photo of the “Southern California headquarters” of Carrie on Vegan to share with you. Here’s my desk and laptop where I write my blog posts (desk, lamp and accessories by Ikea, chair by Office Depot, computer by Apple):
I try to keep my desk fairly clutter-free, but somehow always manage to pile up reminder notes or various papers or books. Oh well, that’s life! One more thing before we get to the food…
I had the opportunity to interview Michael Greger, M.D. for the Our Hen House website recently. Talk about a fantastic experience, Dr. Greger is brilliantly funny, charming and just plain nice. We did a written interview that is now posted here, and I’m still pinching myself that I was able to connect with him (what I am trying to say is that I may or may not have a celebrity crush on this man, ha ha). If you don’t know who Dr. Greger is, he’s the mastermind behind the NutritionFacts.org website that provides hundreds of free, easy-to-absorb nutrition videos on all types of topics such as which foods have the most antioxidants to whether or not coffee is healthy. One of the coolest parts of my interview? Dr. Greger is donating a complete set of the DVDs from the site to one lucky winner. The giveaway ends on Monday, May 28th, so don’t miss your chance to read the interview and put your name in the hat to win this really fantastic prize!
In my interview with Dr. Greger, he mentions that one of his favorite easy meals is to wrap “some steamed collard green leaves ‘cigarello’ style around canned refried beans and jarred salsa (with some adobe-sauce sautéed onions and mushrooms if I have the time).” He inspired me to make a version of this myself.
I started with these ingredients (for two people): three large collard leaves that I de-stemmed, onion, garlic, dehydrated mushrooms and fresh mint leaves:
I also used some chopped tomatoes, some cooked rice and beans and a touch of almond butter (for exact measurements, see recipe below):
To make the sauce, I started by water-sauteeing the onions and then adding the mushrooms to re-hydrate:
The next step was to add the garlic, tomatoes,rice and beans:
A few minutes later when all of the ingredients were hot, I stirred in the mint and almond butter and set the pot aside:
To prepare the collard leaves, I just blanched them in boiling water for about 30 seconds:
I then poured the contents of the pot into a colander and rinsed the greens with cold water to stop them from cooking. The last step was to lay them onto a board, blot them dry and put some of the sauce onto each leaf:
I wrapped them up and served some extra sauce on top. These were soooo good!
The almond butter in the tomato sauce provided richness that otherwise might have been missing. The beans and rice gave it enough heft to qualify for dinner. This recipe is mildly reminiscent of my Baked Lentil Collard Wraps that I made last year for Thanksgiving, but I like this version much better!
Quick Collard Wraps
3 large collard leaves
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dehydrated mushrooms (or 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (salt-free)
1/2 cup cooked beans (I used pinto beans)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons raw unsalted almond butter
1. Prepare the collard leaves by using a sharp knife to cut each side of the leaf off of the primary stem that runs down the middle. You will then have two halves of each large leaf. Discard the stems set leaves aside. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
2. In a separate saucepan, heat up two tablespoons of water to boil. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add mushrooms and let them simmer for a few minutes or until rehydrated.
3. Add garlic, chopped tomatoes, beans and rice and stir to combine. Simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes or until contents are hot. Add chopped mint and almond butter, stir and remove pot from heat.
4. Place collard leaves in boiling water. Let water come back to a boil and let the leaves cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour contents of pot through a colander. Rinse leaves with cold water to stop them from cooking.
5. Lay collard leaves on a cutting board and blot to dry. To make the wraps, simply place about 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture onto each leave and roll up. Serve with any extra tomato sauce on top.
Collard leaves are so incredibly healthy and it amazes me how tender they become after a quick bath in boiling water. I really want to start using these more often in my cooking, I am imagining all types of possibilities.
Remember when I said I wanted to start making green juice more often? Look what happened…my juicer broke!!!
Not to worry, I e-mailed the people at Omega and they are going to send me a new part (yay for warranties!). That is the biggest drama I have to tell you about. Here’s wishing you a drama-free day and I’ll see you back here on Friday!