I’m having a love affair with collard greens and I’m not sorry. Move over bread and tortillas, there’s a lean green wrapping machine that is taking your spot in my lunch bag.
After having a wrap at my nearby PCC market, I was in heaven. The next day I purchased my very own collard greens and have made wraps for lunch ever since. The beauty about these leaves is that they are tough enough to withstand being filled with goodness and then left to sit in the fridge for 3 days before you eat them. Bread, however, is usually partially soggy by the time I get to work.
This past Sunday, I prepped enough wraps for lunch for the week, then just grabbed them out of my fridge each morning on my way to work. SO EASY! Although you could do just about anything with a collard wraps: humus and veggies, turkey caesar, southwest chicken…… this week it was all about the Thai chicken wrap.
Collard Wrap with Spicy Almond Butter Sauce, Chicken, Cucumbers, Carrots, Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil Leaves
Thai chicken collard wrap
- Collard greens (usually 1-2 leaves per wrap, the bigger the better)
- 15-20 Thai basil leaves
- 1 lb baked chicken breast, diced
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cucumber, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 serving of spicy almond dipping sauce or peanut sauce/dressing of your choosing
- Collard greens have a thick stem and center rib that need to be dealt with first. Start by trimming the stem, then trim down the center rib so that it’s about the same thickness as the leaf. You can go the extra step of making the leaves even more flexible (and less bitter) by blanching them, i.e. placing them in a large saucepan of boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transferring them to an ice bath. If you don’t plan to use all of your collards at once, wrap them in damp paper towels and store them in your fridge for 3-4 days.
- Mix the almond sauce and the diced chicken in a bowl.
- To assemble, lay the collard green in front of you, stem pointing towards you. Like a burrito, add your ingredients towards the end of the leaf nearest to you (Thai basil leaves, chicken/sauce, carrots, cucumber, and bell pepper). Begin to roll the collard up tightly, tucking in the sides of the leaf as you go. Wrap in parchment paper or Saran wrap to keep tight while storing/traveling. I like to cut mine in half and home and then wrap them again in tinfoil so they don’t leak and they are easier to eat.
- Store pre-made wraps in fridge for up to 3 days.
Although I don’t follow a “paleo” diet (or any diet for that matter), but I always like to read up on the latest trends and fads, often to find new inspiration. This creation is paleo inspired but not strictly paleo, as it does contain black beans (“GASP!”-said all the paleo followers).
Deconstructed Paleo Nachos
- 1 medium to large sweet potato, sliced thinly (Uniform sized potato if possible. The bigger the size the more “chips” you make.)
- 1/2 cup of canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef (</= 10% fat)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- Follow one of these methods to roast your red pepper and jalapeño. I prefer to roast them over the stove if I only have 1-2.
- While the pepper is roasting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.
- Cut potato into 1/8″ slices (or thinner), using either a knife or a mandolin slicer. Melt 1 Tbsp of coconut oil. In a large bowl, gently mix the coconut oil and the potato slices to coat well.
- Evenly distribute the sweet potato slices over the baking sheet, trying hard not to overlap slices (this will prevent them from cooking evenly and crisping). Cook for 20-25 minutes, checking halfway through to turn over.
- While peppers and potato are cooking, brown ground beef in a skillet. Mix in taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Let simmer until most of the water has cooked off.
- In a separate skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil. Add the red onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the black beans and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until warmed.
- Slice jalapeños cross-wise (leave seeds if desired) and red peppers length-wise (remove seeds).
- Serve all ingredients on a bowl or layered like traditional nachos. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.
One of my absolute favorite quick meals for Sunday meal-prep day would have to be curried chicken salad. All of the flavors and textures mix so well together, it ends up being a treat for my lunch all week long. Although I tend to stick to the recipe posted below, I love to mix it up with new ingredients and textures. Make this on a Sunday (and if it lasts) you’ll have an easy grab and go lunch all week long.
Serve this on whole wheat crackers, in lettuce wraps, in baby bell peppers or a tomato, or just eat it on its own!
Curried Chicken Salad
- Meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (skin removed)
- 1 honey crisp apple, diced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 cup of red seedless grapes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayo…or 1/2 mayo, 1/2 yogurt)
- 1/2 cup loose cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 green onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 Tbsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Prep all of the meat, veggies, and fruit
- In a bowl, mix yogurt and spices. Taste and adjust spices if necessary.
- Mix in meat, fruits, and veggies.
- Stir well until combined.
- Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.
*Will keep for about 5 days covered in refrigerator.