Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collard and Quinoa Wraps

If you’re like me, always looking for ways to sneak greens into your diet, here a great way to do it that at the same time helps to reduce the amount of bread/starch/gluten you may be eating.  It substitutes large collard leaves as wraps for just about anything you would put into a wrap.  Think grilled vegetables and hummus, egg salad or chicken with avocado and tomatoes, beans and rice with salsa or any combination you can come up with. 

The other day, after making a red quinoa with onions and beets, I decided to try it as a filling for collard wraps.  To make it more “sticky” so that it wouldn’t spill out while eating it, I combined it with roasted, mashed butternut squash and avocado.  The combination was unexpectedly great and the best part was that I was able to prepare a few the night before a trip and they made a great late breakfast the next morning.  I simply wrapped them in wax paper, put them in a sealable bag and packed them in my backpack.

This wrap combines a complete source of protein, fiber, a nice variety of carotenoids from the colorful vegetables, and a healthy source of fat.   To give them a bit of a kick, add some Tabasco, a splash of chili sauce.  Give them a try. 

Collard and Quinoa Wraps

Several Collard Leaves
Roasted butternut squash
Mashed or sliced avocado
Tabasco or Chili sauce (optional)

Wash and briefly steam the collard leaves.  Tip:  To save time and having to wash an extra pan, if you’re preparing a grain or bean mixture in a large frying pan/Dutch oven, place the leaves on top and cover the pan for a few minutes.  Any leftover steamed leaves can be placed in an airtight container in the fridge for filling later. 

Allow the leaves to cool and remove the tough bottom stems.  Working with one at a time, place the leaf down sideways on a working surface.  Place a small serving of squash on the center of the leaf, leaving plenty of room around all the edges.  

Spoon a tablespoon of quinoa on top of the squash, pressing it down a bit.  

Add a slice of avocado onto the mixture and a splash of the sauce if desired. 

Fold the top and bottom of the leaves in toward the center, then fold up one side and roll towards the free end to seal the wrap.  Enjoy immediately, or if packing for lunch, wrap a few tightly in wax paper and place in a ziploc bag, or place in a sealable container.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.  

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