Tag Archives: collard greens

Quinoa Collard Wraps (Vegan)

raw vegan quinoa collard wraps

In response to all of the intricate raw food posts I’ve made over the last several months, I’ve been hearing a common question: “When do you have time to do all of that?!” Well, the truth is that I don’t, and I often had to sacrifice my sleep to complete everything on time. The learning experience was fantastic, but I need a little break, so I’m taking the month of November off to rest and do some traveling.

Like most other full time working professionals, my free time is limited to evenings and weekends, and many times after a long day, I’m just tired and don’t want to put a lot of effort info food preparation. Of course, I always want to make sure that I’m not sacrificing the quality or nutritional value of my food when I do so. I still shop almost exclusively in the produce department and make everything from scratch.

So, what was on my dinner plate this evening? Quinoa collard wraps! There is a local restaurant here where we live that makes wraps, which my husband is very fond of (I’ve never tried them). Today, he mentioned swinging by there for lunch, and I suggested that since he liked wraps so much, we should just pick up some ingredients at the grocery store to make our own much more affordably. Big thumbs up from Mr. Frugal. =D

raw vegan quinoa collard wraps

We obviously have much different tastes in food (hence the name of this blog). While he is using whole wheat tortillas and turkey in his, I love to use gigantic collard greens as wraps and fill them with vegetables. Quinoa also makes a really hearty filling for wraps. While many traditional wraps put the grains on the outside and greens on the inside, I like to reverse it! I get a lot more green in my diet this way. 

These were really easy to make. I cooked some quinoa and seasoned it like a tuna salad with celery and onion. Something that I also really love to add to quinoa is a good quality mustard. In this case, I used a 100% homemade curry honey mustard! A little of this stuff goes a long way. Use it sparingly!

curry honey mustard

Of course, you can use any kind that you like, but but seasoning the quinoa with any sauce or spread you might put in a sandwich, you don’t have to worry about it dripping out of your wrap while you’re trying to eat it.

I also added tomato, some yellow bell pepper, some spicy radish sprouts, and a few slices of homemade pickles from cucumbers that I grew on my porch. 

dill pickles

Cucumbers in brine, at the start of the pickling process.

All you have to do is layer in your ingredients and then wrap it up just like a burrito. After that, slice it in half (on the diagonal to be a little fancier), and voila!

raw vegan quinoa collard wraps

I ate two of these for dinner, and I feel very satisfied. I also met my requirement of adding something leafy and green to every meal. 😉

This is an incredibly healthy meal for several reasons:

  • Quinoa is a great plant-based source of protein, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. It is one of the only grains which can be considered a “complete protein”, and it also contains more minerals than other grains.
  • Quinoa contains a bioflavanoid called “quercetin”, which is also found in the skins of apples and onions. It helps to stabilize mast cells and prevent the release of histamine. If you have allergies, this is a great food to incorporate into your diet. 
  • Leafy greens are a great source of calcium in general, but collards are the best source of calcium among all leafy greens, or any other vegetable for that matter!
  • Collards are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and vitamin C. 2 cups of chopped collards give you 92% of all the RDA for vitamin C. The leaves in this recipe are so large, they easily blow that out of the water. 
  • Collard greens are also a source of ALA (omega-3). Combined with vitamin K, they are a highly anti-inflammatory food.
  • Collard greens are effective at lowering cholesterol! Their high fiber content and the nutrients they contain bind to the bile acids that are released by our gallbladders after eating a fatty meal. Instead of getting reabsorbed into the body along with the fat, they pass through the intestines and existing cholesterol must be broken down to make more bile acids. This is actually the same mechanism by which some cholesterol drugs work. (Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138)

Please enjoy this recipe!

Quinoa Collard Wraps
Serves 1
These quinoa collard wraps are not only easy and quick to make, they are also delicious and nutritious!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Wrap Ingredients
  1. 2 giant collard leaves - washed, dried, and stems shaved down flat
Quinoa Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cooked quinoa
  2. 1/2-1tsp honey mustard
  3. 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  4. 2-3 tsp red onion, finely chopped
  5. pinch or two of salt, to taste
  6. twist or two of black pepper, to taste
Other Wrap Fillings
  1. 1/4 bell pepper, cut into strips
  2. 1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
  3. 6-8 small dill pickle slices (don't skip these!)
  4. sprouts of your choice (optional for extra "green")
Instructions
  1. If you have leftover quinoa, this is a great use for it! Just mix in the "Quinoa Ingredients".
  2. If you need to cook the quinoa, follow the instructions on the package or just throw it in a rice cooker if you can't be bothered to read such things (guilty). Just make sure you rinse it first to remove residue which can result in bitterness.
  3. Chop the vegetables. If you had to cook your quinoa, mix the celery and onion in while it's still warm to soften them a bit. They are also good crunchy!
  4. Lay your prepared collard leaves down on a flat surface. Don't forget to shave the stems down with a sharp knife so the leaves can be rolled easily.
  5. Depending on the size of your collard greens, add appx 1/4 cup of quinoa (or maybe a little more or less) to the center of the leaf.
  6. Add any other wrap fillings that you'd like.
  7. Roll it up like a burrito.
  8. Slice it up and eat it!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Collard Rolls with Lemon Dill Sauce (Raw Vegan)

Raw vegan collard rolls with a creamy avocado lemon dill sauce

Oh, how I love collard rolls. Heck, I love collard greens in general. They’re one of the best plant-based sources of calcium, they are available for most of the year, they are usually pretty cheap, they have a subtle flavor that works well in green smoothies, and of course, the texture is perfect for wraps and rolls!

Collard rolls with shredded vegetables and a creamy lemon dill sauce.

I missed out on the goodness of collards for way too long. I don’t think I even tried collard greens until maybe 2 years ago. I grew up in Florida, which is technically south of “The South” according to a true Southerner, BUT I still heard rumors of collard greens and how they were served in traditional recipes. Those recipes all sounded very unappetizing to me, so I developed a negative association with collard greens and never bothered to give them a second thought… until I got my husband on the green smoothie bandwagon and he came home with a big bundle of collard greens one day. I thought he was nuts until I tried his smoothie and realized that I had sorely misjudged the mighty collard green.

Shave the collard green stem down to make it more flexible for collard rolls and collard wraps!

When I first started eating more raw foods, I saw a lot of people suggesting the use of collard greens for wraps and tortilla alternatives. I tried it out, and couldn’t seem to figure out how to get them to roll nicely without some kind of ripping and breaking due to the thick stem in the middle. After looking at the leaves for a while and realizing the stem was only thick on one side, I eventually got the bright idea to just shave the stem down so it was relatively flat against the underside of the leaf. Alright, you got me. I figured it out as I was working on THIS recipe. I’ve been doing it wrong for years.

Behold, the more flexible collard green – now even more perfect for collard rolls and wraps! 

IMG_8771

With a little sauce, the wraps hold together nicely too. Notice the edge of the leaf in the above photo is magically holding itself down without the aid of toothpicks or sticky rice! Speaking of the sauce, in the name of using ingredients I already had on hand, I opted for a creamy lemon dill sauce that uses avocado to provide the desired texture and thickness. It’s easy to spread over the greens, and it holds the outer layers of the collard rolls together nicely, even after they’ve already been cut into smaller pieces.

A creamy lemon dill sauce made from whisking avocado, olive oil, and herbs.

Collard Rolls with Lemon Dill Sauce (Raw Vegan)
Serves 2
These collard rolls are a healthier alternative to tortilla based vegetable wraps and rolls. Collard greens are high in calcium, and the vegetables inside provide beta-carotine and vitamin C. The sauce is avocado based, making it a source of good fats and potassium, as well as vitamin C from a tangy infusion of lemon.
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Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Wrap Ingredients
  1. 5 large collard leaves
  2. 2 carrots, julienne sliced
  3. 1 jumbo pickling cucumber, julienne sliced (Pickling cucumbers have a nice firm texture)
  4. 1 Cubanelle sweet pepper
  5. 1 small wedge of sweet onion (How much do you like onions? 😉 )
Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce Ingredients
  1. 1 soft ripe avocado
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1 tsp dried dill
  5. 1 tsp onion powder
  6. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  7. 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  8. 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
Sauce Directions
  1. Mash the avocado until it is creamy (I use a potato masher).
  2. Whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients until well blended.
Preparing Wrap Ingredients
  1. Use a julienne slicer (or mandolin slicer with julienne blade) to cut carrots and cucumbers into thin strips.
  2. Cut sweet pepper and onion into thin strips with a knife.
  3. Turn each collard leaf over so that the bottom faces up and the fat part of the stem is on top. Carefully shave the stems down so that they are almost flush with the leaves.
Wrap Assembly
  1. Spread a thin layer of sauce over each leaf with a flexible spatula.
  2. Equally distribute the sliced vegetables among the leaves, placing the strips at the bottom of the leaves, where the stems were shaved down.
  3. Roll the collards up! As you roll, keep them somewhat snug.
  4. Slice down the center vein, and then slice in half again so that you get 4 pieces from each rolled leaf.
  5. Eat and enjoy! 🙂
Notes
  1. You can use a sushi mat to roll if you want, but I found it was easier to just use my hands due to the size of the collard greens.
  2. Some of the sauce may push forward as you roll, and that is ok. Just wipe off the excess.
  3. You might have a little sauce left over. If you do, you can dip the rolls in it to intensify the lemon-dill flavor, or save it for dipping vegetables or adding to a salad.
  4. If after slicing, you feel that the end pieces are a little loose, you can unroll a couple turns, tighten them up, and then wrap the ends back up. Sushi is not that forgiving!
  5. Feel free to get creative and swap out the vegetables inside or use some sprouts. Mmm, sprouts!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/