You know those beginning flare days with chronic illness where you’re starting to run out of energy, begin experiencing a little pain, but still have that little voice speaking to you, “Eat something healthy today!”
Well, I experience these days like many of you and it is in these moments when I turn to some of my easiest and quickest culinary options. My favorite (besides juices and smoothies, which are super simple!), are these collard or lettuce wraps.
My advice when making these wraps is the following:
- Look for collard greens, or Bibb/Boston lettuce with largest leaves.
- Get creative! Considering how many vegetable, grain, seed and bean options are available to us, you literally have 1,000s of recipe possibilities at your fingertips.
If you do eat grain, consider long-grain brown rice, quinoa, couscous, buckwheat and more. With vegetables, mix it up a little! You can add tomatoes, onion, broccoli, cucumber, carrots and so much more. Beans are a great addition that can make the protein count soar! I used black beans in this particular recipe, but white beans, pinto, kidney, chickpeas and black-eyed peas are also ideal. Also, try adding hummus, falafels, avocado, or even scrambled eggs if you are in the mood for more of a breakfast type wrap.
Adding extras such as your favorite spice combination and squeezing a little lemon, lime or orange on top with a dressing is the perfect way to finish off your creation. Also, if you have never rolled collard greens before, there are little tricks here and there to make a foolproof and beautiful roll. Check out this YouTube video from Forks & Beans here on collard wrapping.
One other tip I’d like to share with you is make sure your ingredients are chopped or diced small – this will help you roll the collard or lettuce wrap properly. As you see in my pictures, my radishes were not chopped yet, but to get a tight wrap, I had to make them smaller.
Once I knew what ingredients were going into this particular wrap, I was able to chop everything down, wash and dry my collard leaves and have everything completed within 15 – 20 minutes. The long grain brown rice I used was leftover from the day before and was a great addition to the wrap, and helped me not waste any food in my fridge.
Have fun with these! Children seem to love to get in on the action too when making these colorful and fun wraps.