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!
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.
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!
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.
Collard Rolls with Lemon Dill Sauce (Raw Vegan)
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.
- 5 large collard leaves
- 2 carrots, julienne sliced
- 1 jumbo pickling cucumber, julienne sliced (Pickling cucumbers have a nice firm texture)
- 1 Cubanelle sweet pepper
- 1 small wedge of sweet onion (How much do you like onions? 😉 )
- 1 soft ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Mash the avocado until it is creamy (I use a potato masher).
- Whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients until well blended.
- Use a julienne slicer (or mandolin slicer with julienne blade) to cut carrots and cucumbers into thin strips.
- Cut sweet pepper and onion into thin strips with a knife.
- 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.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce over each leaf with a flexible spatula.
- Equally distribute the sliced vegetables among the leaves, placing the strips at the bottom of the leaves, where the stems were shaved down.
- Roll the collards up! As you roll, keep them somewhat snug.
- Slice down the center vein, and then slice in half again so that you get 4 pieces from each rolled leaf.
- Eat and enjoy! 🙂
- 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.
- Some of the sauce may push forward as you roll, and that is ok. Just wipe off the excess.
- 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.
- 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!
- Feel free to get creative and swap out the vegetables inside or use some sprouts. Mmm, sprouts!
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