My current obsession...collard green wraps! I'm so addicted to this healthy meal option. There are several reasons why. They are healthy, clean feeling, easy, versatile, can be made in advance, and fit just about any dietary needs out there. Enough said!
Let's chat about collard greens. Including collard greens as one of the cruciferous vegetables is a smart choice. They are loaded with Vitamins K, A, & C, as well as being stocked on maganese. They are known for their cancer preventing properties, their detox support, and being chock full of antioxidants. Being that collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, they provide us with two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients as well! Cardiovascular and digestive support are also received by these leafy greens. So basically, if you haven't incorporated collard greens into your diet yet, it's time to start! You don't need to make a wrap to enjoy them. You can easily sliced the leaves up and blend them into your next salad.
I really love using them for wraps though. Not only for their hearty, fresh taste, and their nutritional benefits, but they are very sturdy. These bad boys can hold your stuff, you know what I mean? No wimpy lettuce here! So as I said, these wraps can be tailored to your liking. Include whatever protein you like in your diet. Whether it be legumes, animal protein, tempeh, tofu, whatever. And of course using a variety of veggies is completely encouraged. You can make these a day ahead of time for a quick lunch to take to work the next day, or even have some wraps handy for an easy dinner when you are running kids to their after school/evening activities. Because collard greens are sturdy, they don't get wimpy or mushy too quickly like other leafy greens.
The cashew cream sauce adds some nice flavor. Tossing the veggies in a tablespoon of lemon juice adds some vibrant color and a little zing to the wraps. That is actually a great option when you are planning on making them ahead of time. It just helps to keep everything a little fresher. In this day of over-scheduled and busy lives, these wraps can certainly make life not only healthier, but easier!
8 collard green leaves, stems removed
2 sweet potatoes, roasted & sliced into 4 wedges lengthwise (variety of choice)
1 bunch green onions, washed & cut into 3 inch pieces
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage (green or purple)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, optional (toss over veggies)
Creamy Chipotle Cashew Sauce or Garlic Cashew Cream
1. Wash sweet potatoes, pat dry, and prick them with a fork. Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes. The cooking time greatly depends on the size of your potatoes. You want them tender, but not mushy. So keep a watchful eye.
2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the veggies and cashew sauce if making. You can make the cashew sauce in advance as well as roasting the sweet potatoes in advance. Store them both in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. You will want to remove the stems from the collard greens for easier assembly and eating as well! I cut along the outer parts of the stem until the stem thins out a bit. Check out my picture for a visual.
4. Once the sweet potatoes are done, allow them to cool. Then slice them into fourths going lengthwise. I keep the skin on, but that's just my preference. I also prefer the white sweet potatoes for these wraps, but again, choose what you love.
5. Now that all the ingredients are prepped, simply assemble your wraps. Lay 2 of the collard green leaves together so that they overlap a little. Spread your cashew cream sauce on the leaves, then add the remaining veggies. Fold in the sides and then roll it up like a burrito! You can eat these right away or wrap them up in some plastic wrap or parchment to keep them rolled tightly. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours for a quick & delicious grab n' go meal!
6. Feel free to play around with the ingredients. Obviously, you can choose a variety of vegetables to go into these wraps. If you want to add some protein, beans are great for a vegan option. Chicken would be fantastic for a paleo option. Avocado is a nice addition as well. Just use your imagination and be creative. That's one of the things I love about these collard green wraps...endless possibilities!