The Greenest Wrap

One of my favorite ways to eat more greens is to use them in place of bread or crackers.  Nothing against burger buns or sandwich bread but you can skip the processed wheat and grab a bunch of crispy Romaine or collard greens instead.  I use Romaine lettuce like a taco shell- fill it up with whatever you like- sliced avocado, tomato, homemade mayo and bacon for a healthier B.L.T.   Bibb lettuce is soft, flexible and makes for a great little wrap.  Want to eat that salad with your hands?  Wrap it up in the biggest lettuce leaves from the outside of the bunch.  Look at you, doubling down on your veggies!lettuce leaf B.L.T.

Using large collard leaves makes for a sturdier wrap that can hold such awesome summer foods as cheese burgers or the ultimate sunny seed hummus wrap.  You can use the leaves raw or lightly steamed — these are best for hot foods or for bigger wraps.  The folding is easy and unlike regular wraps, these stay sealed. The only prep work you need to do is to carefully trim them rough stems.

Cut the end of the stem off and then lay the collard leaf flat and slice off the rough stem that sticks up, so that the leaf is flat and entirely flexible, like in this photo from’s tutorial on how to use collards like a wrap! collard trimming for wraps

Don’t worry if you tear the collard leaf a bit, you’ll get the hang of the stem trimming and can fold around any small tear.

If you want to steam your collard leaves so that they are more flexible and easier to use and eat, there are a few methods that work well.  This video from Plant Powered has my favorite technique for when you just want to make up a few wraps.  Get some water boiling in your kettle and open the spout so you’ve got a nice stream of steam coming up.  Hold your raw collard leaf by the stem and wave it over the spout of steam, lightly steaming the whole leaf until it’s bight green and soft enough to fold.  Then trim off the stem as described above.  Repeat until you have enough wraps.

Or, follow the quick blanch method I found on Mind Body– bring a wide shallow pan of water to a simmer.  Take your de-stemmed collard leaves and give them a 10 second dunk in the pan, one at a time, using tongs to get the collard leaves in and then out and into an ice bath.  Dry in layers using tea towels. Once you’ve got all your wraps ready, fill as desired!

The wrapping part is easy, and there are a number of ways to do it, but this photo tutorial from Honest is easy to follow: collard wrap- wrap up in 4 photos

Add your filling to the center of one or two overlapping leaves.  Fold the sides in to contain the filling.  Then, starting at one long end, roll the leaf over the filling and keep rolling, making sure the ends stay tucked in. Slice in half and enjoy!

bareburger collard wrap                                                  Above, a collard wrapped Bareburger – it’s as good as it looks!


Raw Collard Green Salad with Romano and Walnuts

The main ingredients: Collards, grated Romano and walnut pieces, yum!

Raw Collard Green Salad

Serves 1-2 people as a main course or 3-4 people as a side.  I admit to eating this whole salad all by myself after an epic and hilly run!  Takes about 20 minutes to make.

Ingredients: all organic, always!

One bunch collards, ribs removed and sliced into thin strips

Handful or two of walnut pieces

Grated Romano cheese, about  1/3 of a cup

Optional: if you want to make this a more complete meal add some chicken pieces, a can of high quality tuna, kidney beans, tempeh or a couple of sliced hard boiled eggs

For the dressing:

¼ cup walnut or extra virgin olive oil or a mix of the two

1 Tablespoon balsamic

1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1-2 cloves of garlic pressed (if you don’t have a garlic press you can mash the cloves with a fork)

Removing the ribs from the collard leaves.

The Procedure:

In your large salad bowl add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.

Add the thin sliced collards and toss to coat.

Top with walnut pieces and the Romano cheese.  Toss again.  If you want to add any protein, now’s the time.  Reserve a little grated cheese and few walnut pieces to add to the top for a pretty presentation.

You can eat immediately or you can let it sit out for an hour or overnight in the fridge.  The longer it sits the softer the collards will be and the more the flavors will meld.  This is a great salad to make ahead or if you love to have leftovers for lunch the next day!

Ready to eat!