The other day I went out to lunch. During the week. This never happens. I’m at home, I’m constantly cooking for the blog, there is no reason to eat out.
However, eating out for lunch every so often is such a nice treat. It was refreshing to get out of the house, have a break from the heat, and catch up with my good friend Lauren. The restaurant’s air conditioning was thoroughly enjoyed.
We headed to one of my local favorites, Tasty Harmony. I knew Lauren would approve. Their menu is fully vegetarian, mostly vegan, and a decent amount is gluten free. They even have a few raw dishes and desserts. The one thing I find funny is that they don’t offer gluten free bread. I actually asked why that is and they said it’s because if they offer a GF bread they want it to be homemade, as most store bought GF breads are filled with a long list of ingredients. They said they don’t have enough time to keep fresh GF bread on hand at all times but they would keep the idea in mind.
In lieu of bread, you can get any of their sandwiches wrapped in a collard leaf. Not always super appealing but I went with it. The sandwich ingredients sounded like they would be a good fit for a big leafy green to be wrapped around.
Upon first bite I was totally convinced. Sure I’ve had things wrapped in leaves before, but nothing as fresh as this. It hit the spot! I declared to Lauren this would be on the blog within a week. And here we are today. A fun summer recipe open for your interpretation.
Slightly scared to use a collard to wrap up your veggies? I was at first too. When you cook collards they can have a bitter taste, but somehow it’s less flavorful when raw. It is also much sturdier compared to other leafy greens, like chard.
Also, chard has a noticeably earthy flavor while collards are much milder. The chard stem is what really gets me. I just can’t do it!
Besides the crunchiness and all of the flavors, the best thing is that no heat is required to make this wrap and it comes together in just minutes. It could also be something you prep ahead and take to work. I would just leave the tomatoes out until you’re ready to eat, to avoid the wrap from becoming wet.
Spread on any favorite topping or a variety of the three you’ll see below. -- hummus + mashed avocado + cashew spread [in the circular bowl] -- The healthy fats in the spreads really help this wrap have staying power. Two large, fully stuffed leaves did the trick for me with a giant bowl of summer fruit on the side.
Raw Veggie Collard Wrap
Adjust ingredients depending on your specific tastes and how many wraps you want to make. I made 2 large veggie wraps for myself.
- large collard leaves
- cashew spread
- salt + pepper
other ingredient ideas: zucchini, red pepper, carrots, beets, radishes, fresh basil, red/yellow onion, mozzarella, ricotta cheese, nutritional yeast, salt + pepper cashew butter, etc.
- Trim the end of the stem where it meets the leaf.
- Evenly apply any spread toppings over the entire leaf. Sprinkle with salt + pepper.
- Layer the veggies parallel to the stem and centering the veggies between the outer edge and the stem. Leave about 1” of room at the top and bottom of the leaf as well.
- Starting at the edge where you placed the veggies, roll tightly parallel to the stem. This will keep the stem and leaf intact.
Salt + Pepper Cashew Spread [yields just over 1 cup]
Similar to my salt + pepper cashew butter [linked above] but not as creamy of a texture and with an added “cheesy” flavor from the nutritional yeast.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4hrs
- 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Drain soaked cashews and empty them into your food processor along with the other ingredients. Start with 1/4 tsp of both salt and pepper.
- Turn on and let spin for 1-2 minutes, scraping multiple times, until the mixtures smoothes out. Be careful to not process too long as it will turn into nut butter. It will be fairly crumbly at first but will then start to smooth out.
- Taste and add more salt + pepper if needed and process for another 5 seconds to combine.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge.