"YES, YES, YES!" I am literally straight out of the Herbal Essences commercial right now!
Collard wraps are my new favorite thing, well, I mean, not new, I first experienced them a few years ago at Kye's in Santa Monica. Kye's catered an event I attended and I could not get enough of their awesome concept - a guilt-less, gluten-less, just-as-tasty burrito?! I remember thinking to myself that I would probably never make one myself because it seemed like a pain in the ass to get a leaf act like a tortilla but let me tell you now - IT'S SO EASY and I am so excited to share the method with you! It takes *maybe* 3 more minutes than using a conventional tortilla and I can genuinely say I like collards better - they are more pliable, the filling is less likely to fall out and I can eat my weight in them and not feel like crap afterwards.
The ingredients for traditional flour tortillas often look like this "Enriched Flour Bleached(Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, interesterified soybean oil, glycerin, hydrogenated soybean oil. contains less than 2% of: corn syrup solids, baking powder (sodium aluminum phosphate, baking soda), salt, monoglycerides, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate (preservatives), fumaric acid, enzymes." They usually come in at about 120 calories per wrap and contain up to 350mg of sodium and get 30% of their calories from processed fats.
Collard greens on the other hand are pillars of health - they supply the body with protein, fiber, calcium and iron and rack in at a whopping 11 calories a leaf meaning, more burritos for you!!!!
I've now tried a whole slew of different fillings in these wraps (because I'm obsessed) and it's always best to have some kind of grain or filling protein (like beans, quinoa or rice, bulking ingredients (like raw and cooked veggies) and some kind of healthy fat (tahini, avocado, cashews, etc.)- heres a few ideas:
- roasted sweet potato
- black beans
- corn salsa
- white rice
- brown rice
- butternut squash
- white beans
- nutritional yeast
- tahini drizzle
But my favorite has to be the Thai style wrap I share with you below...mostly because of the sauce (recipe included).
I have perfected my thai-peanut sauce in the past few months and have been eating it on everything. I have been waiting for the perfect time to share it on the blog and this is it! It's spicy, peanut-y, creamy - it uses no oil and is pretty damn good for you!
Scroll on down to check out the ingredients used in this recipe and then keep reading for detailed instructions on how to roll the perfect collard wrap - no matter what fillings you choose! Great creative and report back!
Serves: 2 (2 wraps per-person) • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Assembly Time: 5 minutes
- 4 large collard green leaves, steamed in the process described below
- 2 servings of extra firm tofu, dry seared in a pan with salt and pepper
- 2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 -1/2 of a large hot house cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped raw cashews *trust me*
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Thai basil, minced
Low-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce
(makes more than enough, but trust me, you want this much)
- 1/3 cup PB2 powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1/2 the juice of a lime
- 1-2 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp. hot sauce
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
- enough water to give you your preferred consistency (I use about 2-3 tbsp.)
All you have to do to make this sauce is chuck all the ingredients in a mason jar - throw on the lid and shake away!
MAKE A COLLARD WRAP/BURRITO: STEP-BY-STEP
Firstly, you'll need to get the largest, freshest collard greens you can find. I always have luck at farmers markets and in my experience bundles of 6-8 collard greens can be found in the organic section of most large grocery stores. Inspect the collards for tears and holes - those should be avoided if possible. Rinse them well.
If you won't be making your wraps right away, I like to stick the stems of my collards in a bit of water just as you would a bouquet of flowers and store them on the counter - this helps to to keep them super fresh. Plus, it makes your kitchen look pretty.
When you are ready to assemble your wraps start by heating a bit of water (2-3 tbsp) in a large, shallow pan that has a lid.
Grab a leaf and a sharp knife. Flip the leaf so that the underside or stem side is facing up. With your knife, gently shave down the woody part of the stem so that the whole leaf becomes more pliable. Trim the bottom of the stem off.
Place your leaves into the pan and cover with the lid for no more than 45 seconds - blanching the leaf gently - you are doing this to increase the flexibility of the stem, not to wilt the greens. A good way to tell if it's done is to look under the lid - the collard should get brighter, if it begins to darken, you've gone too far. You can add one leaf at a time or do them all at once, it doesn't effect the cook time much!
When ready, carefully remove the collards from the pan, separate them and allow them to cool throughly on the counter.
To wrap, begin by placing your collard leaf, under-side/stem-side facing up on a plate so that it lays flat. Add your filling into the center of the leaf *length wise* (from stem to tip of the leaf) leaving at least 2" on either side. Don't be afraid to pack these pretty full with sauces and tons of stuff- I actually find collard leaves to be more durable than regular flour tortillas when it comes to stuffing and wrapping!
Now comes the actual wrapping - if you've ever watched the masters at Chipotle, you're golden. The only trick with a collard is making sure you have the correct orientation of the leaf, so listen up! Fold the lengths of the collard leaf into the center- essentially touching the bottom of stem to the tip of the leaf over your filling as seen in the second image above.
Then pull the sides closest to you over your filling and roll upwards making sure to tuck all of your ingredients - end with the seam side facing down on the plate.
Your collard wrap should now look like the first image above - the outside of the leaf facing up so you have a nice clean surface. HOW GOOD DOES THAT LOOK?!
Sorry, getting excited.
Anyway, if you wish, you can cut your wrap in half - and do it on a bit of a diagonal please...you didn't just go through all of that hard work to not make it look great. Okay?