It is the weekend before Thanksgiving. I have been pretty slow to post on here lately. I have been flying quite a lot as well as coaching people on their journey to becoming healthy via a plant based diet. I spend a lot of time developing recipes that are delicious as well as healthy for them. My intentions are good and I have a cache of great recipes, I just can’t seem to fit it all in. Sometimes I make a yummy dish, and my pictures are horrible so I can’t post. Other times, the dish tastes good but doesn’t look picture worthy.It keeps me from posting and I envy the gorgeous food blog pics on Foodgawker. Sigh.
Also, my friend, Stephanie Andrews of http://www.organicsupersproutsllc.com and I have a tent at the local Peachtree City farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Stephanie is selling her awesome organic wheatgrass and sprouts and I am selling various plant based baked goods and meeting new people interested in becoming plant based. I develop a new collection of mix and match plant based recipes every single month and have it available at the market, along with little bags of Vegan Essentials…stuff like nutritional yeast and besan.These things are still not widely available where I am. I absolutely love the Peachtree City Farmer’s Market. It is such a great mix of local vendors, a really supportive community. The produce is fantastic!! Every week we set up our tent and right across form us is a local farmer, Rick Minter and he has a red pick up truck overflowing with such gorgeous produce it almost brings tears to my eyes. I always rush over and ask him to save me a bunch of collards(for those that don’t know, my very very favorite green). Growing up in the South, I consider myself a collard aficionado. I personally think the only collards really worth eating are bought from the back of a pick up. Roads all along the South are dotted with farmers parked and selling their produce from the back of their trucks. So it is with Mr. Minter. This is his front license plate…this is a man after my own heart!! This is the back of his truck loaded with produce last Saturday. It is a thing to behold! I came home with 2 bunches of collards so big I literally had to wash them in my bath tub! They were 26.5 inches long. I have previously posted on basic cooked collards and potlikker. These are the traditional methods, yet I have been hearing buzz in the food blog world of a “collard wrap”, a burrito of sorts. So I trolled the blogs….surprisingly (or not so) these collard wraps were being hawked by non Southern foodies. Almost all used a RAW leaf. Now, I have nothing against raw greens. But collards? See collards are a brassica…a cruciferous vegetable, like cabbage and kale. They are bitter when raw unless you massage the heck out of them. Massaging basically does a quick cook via heating up the fibers between your hands. But seriously, I may be superstitious but I just can’t treat collards that way as my Nanna’s granddaughter. Nanna would literally think I had lost my mind. Nevertheless, I did attempt a raw collard wrap. After I spit it into the trash, I swear I could hear Nanna say, I told you so Laurie Ann. So, I tried again. This time, I briefly dipped a leaf in boiling water until it was just bright green. Perfect. It was pliable and not at all bitter. I’m pretty sure my Nanna still wouldn’t go for a collard roll up. But they are really good. The possibilities for fillings are endless. Again, the blogs using raw collards were using beets and hummus. I went with a mashed sweet potato mixture…something you would have as a side with cooked collards. I also think a black eye pea rice and tomato mixture would be excellent.
Southern Style Collard Wraps(with sweet potato filling)
For sweet potato filling:
2 medium sweet potatoes, baked, cooled, removed from skin and mashed in a bowl using a fork.
2 Tbsp. dried cherries(or raisins) soaked in red wine vinegar to soften
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. hot pepper vinegar sauce(such as Trappey’s)
Mix seasoning with potato puree. Add more or less hot pepper vinegar based on your preference
1 bunch collards, washed
Use medium collard leaf. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. While water is boiling, place leaf stem side up on a cutting board and shave the thick bottom stem flush with leaf.
Now place 2 leaves, opposite ends overlapping. This helps you to have ample room to place filling and it rolls up very snugly. Place plenty of filling down the middle and fold the short end up. Now fold up the long sides and roll. You have to tuck and roll. They are really pretty easy as long as your leaf is pliable. They keep in the fridge several days and are extremely portable. I carried them on a trip on the airplane the following day. My fellow crew loved them and couldn’t believe they were collards.