7.22.2011

easy and healthy

On my way out of Vermont a couple of weekends ago, I stopped at a farm stand and left with some beautiful collard greens and other fresh produce. I hadn't used most of it by the time I went to Cape Cod last weekend, so I brought them along with me with this easy and delicious beach snack in mind.

Before I share this with you, I have to make a confession. While the recipes I create are usually so simple it's embarrassing, I've learned through writing this blog that I actually HATE to write out the recipes, tell you the quantities and then describe the steps. As I head to culinary school in a little over a month, this could be a problem. I'm hoping it 's something I'll get over (or at least get better at), but until then, here is, yet again, another dumbed down recipe for your experimental pleasure.


Quinoa and Fresh Vegetable Green Wraps


Collard greens (about the size of your open hands, side by side - nothing too monstrous)

1 cup cooked quinoa (I think red is nuttier/more flavorful and a bit more al dente than regular quinoa)
Sliced cucumbers
Sliced bell pepper
Diced scallion
Simple vinaigrette (below)

Other nice additions if you have them:

* cilantro

* avocado
* tomato
* hummus
* jalapeno
* feta
* toasted pine nuts

And away we go:

Flip over a collard green leaf and, using a paring knife, run the blade along the rib of the leaf to remove some of the thickness of the stem. Use the same method you would when skinning a fish. This will help the leaf bend without cracking when you roll it up later. Repeat with however many other leaves ya got.

Boil some water in a kettle, and place 2-3 collard leaves in a baking dish (depending on their size). Pour the boiling water over the leaves to blanch them. Once they've turned a lovely, bright green color (10 seconds maybe?), remove the leaves and run under cold water or place in an ice bath.




Lightly season your quinoa. I normally cook quinoa with vegetable broth to give it a bit of flavor, but for a quinoa/veggie mixture like this, I like to whip up a basic vinaigrette of the following ingredients. Note that I recommend you season the quinoa lightly. It should not be wet, just have enough of this mixture in it to give it some flavor.

2/3 parts olive oil

1/3 part fresh lemon juice (or apple cider or rice vinegar)
Dijon mustard to taste (1/2 tsp maybe)
honey, agave or maple syrup to taste (1/2 tsp or more)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne

Begin to assemble your wraps a-la burrito style. Collard greens are surprisingly resilient, and after blanching them they become almost stretchy. I like to roll mine nice 'n tight.
 Start with a big spoonful of the quinoa, then layer your choice of fresh vegetables and roll away.



 

Place your wraps in a plastic bag or tin foil and throw them in your beach cooler. These crunchy treats are non-perishable so there's no reason to worry if you don't have a cooler. The collard greens stay intact, so if you don't finish them all the day you make them, they'll keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.


1 comment:

runninginthekitchen.com said...

These look so good! Thanks for sharing! P.S. I share your recipe writing sentiments.