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.
How is it already August?! Summer is flying by and I don’t want it to end! Being that watermelon is an iconic summer fruit, for me this salad wraps up some of the summer flavors in a nutshell (or should I say, a watermelon rind). Quick and easy to make, this recipe is perfect for a picnic, BBQ, or as a refreshing snack while you’re sitting on the porch drinking a tall glass of delicious _______.
Soak up the last few weeks of heat and enjoy these essential summer flavors!
Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil
- 1 personalized watermelon
- 4-5 oz of crumbled goat cheese
- 4-6 sprigs of basil, leaves removed and cut in a chiffonade style
- Cut watermelon in half. Using a melon-baller, scoop ball shapes out of the watermelon and set them aside in another bowl. Once most of the watermelon balls are removed, scrape out the extra melon flesh and place in tupperware for another use (Watermelon Margaritas anyone?).
- Add the crumbled goat cheese to the bowl with the watermelon balls and gently toss. Make sure not to let the goat cheese melt or smear.
- Add the mixture back to the hollowed out watermelon “bowl”, garnish with basil, and serve immediately
Holy Moly! The last week has been utterly amazing! I was fortunate enough to spend the last 7 days with my wonderful boyfriend, enjoying the sunny beaches of Cabo San Lucas. We ate, drank, swam, explored, danced, socialized, relaxed, and total rejuvenated ourselves.
As much as I would love to be on vacation forever, it feels good to be back home and back in the kitchen! While it was lovely being able to have food at a moments notice at our all-inclusive resort, I definitely missed my homemade meals and having more healthy options. Now that we’re back, I’m ready to get back to cooking, meal prepping, and eating clean!
As I designed my meal plan for the week, I wanted to incorporate foods and recipes inspired by our trip. Ceviche, seared fish and salad, guacamole, tomatillo salsa, and spicy “pulled” chicken are all on the menu this week and I can’t wait for all the yummy, fresh, goodness.
While this recipe isn’t “Mexican” per se, it does incorporate fresh mango. While mangos are mostly found in India and Asia, most of those sold in the US come from our southern neighbors in Mexico. This clean and fresh recipe fuses whole grains, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. Pair this with grilled flank steak or fish and you have a deliciously balanced and nutritious meal!
Quinoa salad with mint, cashews, mango and a curry vinaigrette
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 mango, diced
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
- 6 springs of mint, leaves removed and minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 and 1/4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Mix quinoa, mango, cashews, and mint in a bowl and gently toss with dressing.