This week has flown by in what's felt like a single blink. Anguel and I spent the end of last week on the other side of the country (for work stuff), and I think it was the mid-weekend flight home that put me all out of whack. On the upside, we had a couple wonderful days in our old stomping ground. We ate pizza dinners with friends (twice), met up with old colleagues, saw one friend's new house and met another's new baby. We wrapped up the trip with huge smiles on our faces…and then as soon as we stepped on the plane, unintentionally replaced them with ugly-cute sleeping faces that stuck for the entire flight home.
Neither of us bothered to go too crazy with the groceries this week (surprising, I know). But we still need to eat – so this week was a lot of clean-out-the-fridge-type meals that could be pulled together in a jiffy. These veggie wraps are exactly that. You could really put whatever you want in them, but I stumbled across a combination that we're totally obsessed with.
First off, let me start by talking about collard greens. I feel like they don't get as much love as their close cousin kale, but this humble cruciferous definitely deserves some respect. Raw collard green leaves make excellent 'wraps'. They're a great gluten-free, grain-free option and let you pack even more nutritious veggies into your meal. And unlike bread or grain-based tortilla shells, collard green leaves don't get all sad and soggy. Thankfully, this means you can make a bunch of extra wraps and keep them in the fridge for a couple days without worrying. It truly makes for stress-free lunches and dinners.
The wraps themselves are pretty low-maintenance. To prepare the collard green leaves, all you'll need to do is give them a good wash, pat them dry and cut off the stalks. The next step is trimming the part of the stalk that runs through the leaf. Simply take a sharp knife and run it along the edge of the stalk to thin it down. You won't remove it completely, but just shave it down as much as you can (without cutting the leaf). This will make it easier to roll the leaves into wraps.
In addition to the creamy (vegan) tzatziki, these Greek Collard Green Wraps feature a delicious lemony herb quinoa. Then they're stuffed with crunchy fresh veggies, like cucumbers and bell peppers. Tasty garnishes like kalamata olives, red onion and fresh mint really bring the Greek-flavors full circle. For our tastes, these toppings add the perfect amount of crunch, creaminess, saltiness and fresh herb-alicious flavors. At the end of the day though, the beauty of these wraps is that they are super versatile. Want to add in some nuts? Go ahead. An extra squeeze of lemon or even a crumbling of feta cheese (vegan or not) would also pair well. Hope you guys enjoy them as much as we do!
Greek Collard Green Wraps with Tzatziki
Lemon Herb Quinoa
- 1½ cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 1 bunch collard greens (about 8 medium leaves, see note 1)
- ¾ cup Vegan Tzatziki Sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- ½ English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- Lemon Herb Quinoa: In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, lemon juice, and olive oil. Sprinkle in parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to mix.
- Trim collard greens (see note 2): Set a collard green face-down on a cutting board, with the stalk side facing up. Starting near the top (rounded) end, slide a knife down the stalk to shave off as much of the stalk as possible (careful not to cut the leaf!). Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Assemble: Position a collard green with the back/stem side up. Generously spread tzatziki into the middle. Top with quinoa, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, red onion, and mint. Roll the wraps like a burrito: tuck in the short sides, then roll tightly. Refrigerate extras.
- Collard greens: The number of wraps will vary based on the size of the collard green leaves and how much filling you add to each. Have a few extra leaves on hand in case you need them. Smaller leaves are harder to fill and roll, so opt for medium or large sized leaves for this recipe.
- Trimming collard green stalks: For a visual example of this step, refer to post photos. Trimming the stalk makes the leaf more flexible for rolling. Be careful not to cut the leaf itself, because that'll allow the filling to fall out.