Today I came back from the Yoga Conference and Show in Toronto revitalized and stretched out from the Bollywood dance and yoga session. I was so inspired by all the health and wellness vendors (and samples!) that were featured that I had to continue that trend at dinner by making light and mostly raw Asian-inspired collard wraps.
Now these were a quick assembly (hence the sloppy rolling) with whatever I had in my fridge, but I have totally made these wraps with tofu or chicken, bean sprouts, sweet red pepper, mint and basil and even a different dipping sauce. I’ve even used the rice paper wraps, but figured the collard greens would pack a greater nutritional punch!
Collard greens are part of the same family of veggies as kale and cabbage. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber,and are a good source of folate, vitamin A, K, and calcium. Most importantly, they are a great source of anti-cancer phytonutrients like sulforaphane and di-indolyl-methane (DIM) which are known to boost immunity and inhibit cancer cell growth. That’s one tough wrap! Raw collard greens do have a slight bitterness which may not appeal to some people, so blanching the wraps for 30 seconds and plunging in ice water may help to slightly “cook” the leaf and remove some of the bitterness. But I say, just try it raw! The dip and fillings are so flavourful that you won’t even notice.
The ingredients pictured above were what I had on hand so they differ from the ingredients listed below. The recipe below includes more ingredients that would result in a much more flavourful and robust wrap. Keep what you like and omit what you don’t, they’re easy-going. 🙂
- 2 large collard leaves, washed and trimmed of the stalk
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1/4 red pepper, julienned
- 1/3 of a cucumber, julienned
- 2 green onions, julienned
- 1/2 avocado, sliced or organic extra-firm tofu
- small handful of cilantro leaves
- 10 mint leaves
- 10 basil leaves
- 2 tsp. low-sodium, gluten-free tamari
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 heaping tbsp. organic chunky peanut butter
- 1 tsp. chili paste
- 1 tsp. honey or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. garlic
- juice of 1 lime
1. Cut cucumber, green onion and carrot into thin julienne strips. Cut avocado into thin strips. Separate cilantro leaves from tougher stalks.
2. If the collard leaves are large cut in half down the length where the rib/stalk would be to produce two pieces.
3. Place a few carrot, green onion and cucumber strips at the thinner end of the leaf. Add one or two avocado slices. Add some cilantro leaves.
4. Wrap tightly starting at the filling end. If you are able to fold in the edges to seal the wrap, do so (I wasn’t able to so they are open).
5. Cut in half if desired. Dip into sauce and enjoy!