I’ll admit it, I don’t branch out much for lunch.
I’m usually at home, so I’ll eat leftovers or whip up a sandwich. I rarely take the time to try a new lunch recipe.
But, I was super intrigued by the idea of collard green wraps.
Basically, you cut the stems off of collard green leaves, then lightly blanch them to make them more pliable. Then, voila, you have a convenient & super nutritious tortilla-substitue.
You can make a whole bunch of these blanched greens, then store them in the fridge for easy lunches all week. Anything you’d normally make with a tortilla or wrap, you can make with collards instead! You can roll up tofu, beans, lunch meats, cheese, veggies, tuna, grains, pilafs, ANYTHING!
Quinoa tabbouleh is always a go-to filling.
It’s delicious, easy to make, and chock full of mediterranean veggies and herbs.
Plus, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids your body needs.
So you’re getting tons of satiating and nourishing protein, plus antioxidant and fiber-rich veggies, AND greens! This is probably one of the most nutritious meals you could enjoy, which is why I’m obsessed with the idea of batch cooking the wraps & making it super duper easy.
Awwww look at these cute little wraps!
A big bite of deliciousness.
(PS I don’t actually recommend cutting these wraps in half. The quinoa filling will tumble out. Just enjoy whole! I only cut one in half for this shot 🙂 )
Quinoa Collard Green Wraps
Makes 8 wraps
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 heaping tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup chopped English or Persian cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
- 1.5 ounces pine nuts
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese or feta
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 large collard greens leaves
- A few handfuls of ice
First, cook the quinoa. I like to use my rice cooker (just put the quinoa inside with 3 cups of water and cook on the white rice setting). If you don’t have a rice cooker, just follow the directions on the package. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.
Add the pine nuts to a small skillet. Toast lightly over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly golden, just a few minutes. Turn off the heat and add the pine nuts to the bowl with the quinoa.
Add the grape tomatoes, green onion, mint, parsley, bell pepper, cucumber, olives, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and goat cheese or feta. Toss to combine, drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss again to combine.
Rinse the collard greens well to remove any grit. Cut the stems off at the base of each leaf, creating a large rectangle-like shape. If the remaining rib of the leaf is very large and thick, use a small paring knife to slice off a layer of the rib to make it more flush with the leaf.
Add a few handfuls of ice to a large bowl & fill with water and set aside. Add a few inches of water to a large skillet and bring to a simmer. Place each leaf, one at a time, into the simmering water to blanch for just about 30 seconds, until the greens are bright green and more pliable. Transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then pat dry and place on a plate.
When the collard greens are done, spread one out on a cutting board, mound a few generous scoops of quinoa in the center, fold the vertical sides, then roll up from the horizontal bottom, like a burrito. (For step by step instructions, check out this tutorial).
Alternate Prep Options: If blanching and rolling the collard greens seems too complicated, you can always skip the blanching and eat these taco-style, with the raw leaves as your taco shells! Or, you can chop the collards and use them as a salad base, then top with the quinoa and enjoy with a fork.