There’s some kind of novelty eating something that’s wrapped. It sounds healthy, reminds of us burritos, it’s convenient, and hey-you can eat it with your hands and what inner-kid doesn’t want that?? So instead of a doughy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth flour tortilla, let’s get our greens and enjoy them too by making a collard leaf wrap (or several).
Once you get the science of the collard wrap down, you can literally fill these babies with whatever you want. Last night’s leftover stir fry, Mexican style with your regular burrito fixins, shredded veggies summer roll style dipped in a peanut sauce (people also LOVE to dip things… you know you do too), and the list goes on. Check-out the recipe below on how to prepare your collards and get inspiration for your filling!
1 bunch collards – look for large leaves with minimal holes or tears
1 can black beans
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
fresh cilantro to taste
Green tomatillo salsa
Collards: First wash all collard leaves gently and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then you want to shave down that thick stem and trim it at the leaf. Take a small knife and carefully cut the stem down as close to leaf as possible so its more of a smooth wrap (see photo). Have a large bowl of cold water next to the stove to submerge leaf post-boil to stop cooking. Then, place the leaves in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes, dunk in cold water, shake off water and lay to the side. Repeat for all leaves.
Filling: Sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes over medium heat with some olive oil (if you use high heat make sure to use coconut oil or another high-heat oil). Cook black beans in a small pot seasoning them with a little salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne (whatever moves you). Have your fresh cilantro and salsa ready to top it all off after you add the other ingredients to the wrap.
When you’re ready to fill, lay the leaf down, place your filling(s) in the middle along the stem (the amount will depend on leaf size). Starting with the large end of the leaf, roll it over the filling tucking in the ends, like a burrito.
Note: You can also eat the collards raw without cooking them if you’re going for a more salad approach. I’ve done it both ways and just personally prefer the cooked version… maybe also because it’s the dead of winter and just thinking about too much raw food gives me the shivers. Either way, experiment and see what YOU like!
Have fun & bon appétit!