Simple Collard Summer Rolls


If you’re looking for a change from salads or sandwiches from lunch, pack these in your lunchbox. The rolls make a great quick meal that doesn’t require turning on the stove or oven (always a plus when the kitchen is naturally over 80F), and can be put together in the morning in less than 10 minutes. The fillings can vary– this is roughly what I’ve been eating for lunch this week– but try to keep them chopped finely or in matchsticks so they are well distributed through each bite. Your favorite dressing or sauces would likely work well in the place of the olive oil, if you care to try it. I’ve been meaning to make some peanut sauce for them.

Just don’t tell anyone how many servings of vegetables they’re eating!

Simple Collard Summer Rolls

3-5 collard leaves, without large holes or tears (12″ ones, not three foot ones)
1/3 c cooked brown rice or other grain
1/3 c cucumber, in matchsticks
1/3 c carrot, diced
2-3 T white onion, minced
2 T sweet red pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T black olives, chopped
1/4 c protein, diced if necessary (hummus, beans, chickpeas, cooked fish/meat, egg, cheese)
1 t olive oil
Herbs and black pepper to taste

Wash collards well. Cut the thick end of the stem off. For the bottom 3-5″, slice the stem horizontally to remove most but not all of the stem. Aim for a thickness of 1/8″ (as shown in the photo). Try to avoid cutting through the leaves as you trim the stems. Roll the wet leaves together loosely and microwave for one minute. (If you use dry leaves, they will likely scorch in places.) The leaves should be barely cooked– bright green and flexible with a little resistance.

Toss the rice, carrot, onion, red pepper, black olives, herbs (if using), garlic, protein, and oil together. Spoon the rice mixture into the center of back of the leaves and add some cucumber. Do not overfill. Fold one side over the filling, tuck it under them, fold both ends up, and roll like a burrito.

Linked to: Pennywise Platter
Simple Lives Thursdays

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