Hello friends! Have you ever made a collard wrap? It’s really easy! I filmed this video during August, straight after a shop at our local famers’ market. I picked up these HUGE collard wraps and thought it was the perfect time to film a cooking video!
Collard greens are one of my favorite leafy greens. They are very nutrient dense, like kale, just doesn’t get the same attention. That’s a shame, because they are amazing greens to include in our diet. I use them in smoothies and also often make collard wraps – which make an amazing vegan, gluten-free, plant-powered lunch!
I used to make them just for myself, but after filming this segment our 13 year-old said, “mom, can I try one?“… uh, YEAH!!!! With some of her favorite ingredients tucked inside (hummus, olives, avocado) she loved them. I was surprised how much – she asked for seconds, and often asks for them at lunch now!
I’ve included most of my tips in the segment, but did forget a few! So be sure to grab my ‘recipe’ below.
1-2 collard leaves per person (can use more if leaves are small)
1/3 cup hummus, bean dip, cashew cheese, nut dip, or other thick spread or dip to “hold” fillings (roughly, can use more or less depending on size of leaves)
Fillings of choice, examples include:
- raw vegetables: chopped cucumber, chopped bell peppers, shredded lettuce, grated carrot, grated beet, sliced tomatoes (try to remove extra juices), minced fresh herbs (ex: basil, parsley, cilantro).
- lightly steamed/broiled vegetables: Think veggies that benefit from brief cooking, such as asparagus spears, chopped green beans, broccoli florets, sliced zucchini (I broil them with a little Herbamere, love them that way and so does my wee girl!).
- roasted or cooked vegetables: Think roasted cubed sweet potatoes (really good!) or winter squash, white potatoes, roasted rutabega, beets, parsnip, cauliflower, grilled or roasted mushrooms.
- Condiments/preserved foods: Things that give a pop of flavor like olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, kimchi (if you’re a fan!), pickles, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, seasonings salts, etc.
- seeds and chopped nuts: If you want to add some crunch, try pumpkin, sunflower, hemp seeds, or chopped nuts. A sprinkle of brazil nut parm or cheesy sprinkle is very good!
- cooked grains or beans: sprinkle in some quinoa, millet, cooked lentils; short-grain brown rice good and sticky to help hold fillings.
- sprouts (if you like them, I don’t like most sprouts – don’t kick me out of the vegan club!)
- cubed avocado (now this I do like, and it deserves an entry of its own!)
- Choose your collard leaf/leaves. Select ones that are large enough to fill and roll, and also preferably without any tears or holes. If they have a few, no biggie. So it gets a bit messy! All good.
- Raw or steamed? I like to briefly steam my collard leaves, as shown in the video. But as you see in the pic above, that wrap uses a raw leaf. When it’s raw, the leaf is a little tougher but also sturdier for fillings. With steaming, the leaf becomes more pliable to roll, but is more delicate. I prefer the flavor with that very brief steaming. No kidding, those 10-20 seconds of steam change the texture and flavor!
- Trim the stalk. About halfway down the leaf the stalk begins to thicken. Use a paring knife and carefully trim under that thick portion to the base, to remove all that heavy stalk. The leaf will be easier to roll – and chew!
- If you’ve steamed the leaf, lightly dry it! This is the step I omitted in the video. Just take a paper towel and dab off extra moisture. Otherwise, the collard will be slippery for rolling and messier to eat.
- Add your fillings! The fun part! Start with a base to “hold” the fillings – hummus, a nut pate, thick bean dip, slather of tahini – whatever you like. As long as it’s fairly thick to help hold some fillings… and tasty! 🙂 Then, sprinkle on your remaining fillings, judging on the size of your leaf.
- Wrap and roll! Starting at the edge, begin to roll your wrap. As you go, tuck in the sides and continue to roll. If, after rolling, you’d like more fillings, you can usually open it up and tuck in a few extra goodies. If not, make another!
- Cut…and enjoy!
Generally, I like to pair a balance of some fresh/salty/pungent/sweet flavors in a wrap. So, with a spread of hummus, I might then add the broiled zukes and chopped cukes and bell peppers (fresh), then some olives (salty/pungent), and roasted sweet spuds or avocado (sweet). You can play up whatever filling you like. Once you get started, you’ll get the idea and not need to measure or even read the recipe!
As a final note, If you have very large kale leaves, you can use those too. Most kale leaves are not quite as large as collards, but you can certainly do smaller ones and fill a bunch! You can also use lettuce leaves for wraps. They aren’t nearly as sturdy, however, so fill lightly – and don’t steam the leaves.
Have you ever made a collard wrap? What are your favorite fillings?