I’m always looking for new ways to get dark leafy greens into our diet. Although we get a healthy dose every day in our green smoothie, I like to serve them a couple of times a week in other forms too. These stuffed collard greens are a unique twist on cabbage rolls and so long as you’ve got collards and some leftover rice on hand, the rest of the ingredients can be found in a well-stocked pantry for a meal any night of the week.
Once you’ve tried them as the recipe suggests once or twice, experiment with other flavor additions (carrots, mushrooms, toasted nuts, and different herbs come to mind) to make it uniquely yours.
Stuffed Collard Greens
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
1 cup brown rice, cooked as per package directions
1 15-oz can adzuki or navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup water or vegetable broth
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
12 leaves collard greens
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the grapeseed oil, onion, green pepper and celery and sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Remove 3/4 of a cup of the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the rice, beans, oregano, paprika and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid is absorbed and the flavours are well blended.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Wash the collard leaves and cut off the stems level with the bottom of the leaves. Turn them with the coarse stem-side of the leaf up, and holding a very sharp knife parallel to the leaf, trim off part of the thick central rib. Be careful not to cut through the leaves.
- In two batches of 6, place the collard leaves into the boiling water, pressing them down gently to make sure all leaves are submerged. Boil until just tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into a bowl filled with iced water. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Combine the reserved ¾ cup of vegetables with the diced tomatoes and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a bit of dried oregano. Spread half of the mixture into the bottom of a 8×11 casserole dish. Set aside.
- Assemble the rolls: Place a collard leave in front of you, trimmed side up and stem closest to you. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture about a quarter of the way from the bottom. Fold the side edges over the middle. Fold the bottom (stem end) over the filling, tucking it in behind the filling. Roll up tightly, and place each roll into the casserole dish, seam side down. Spoon the remaining tomato mixture over the rolls, and cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the rolls are heated through.
Note: You can make these rolls well in advance. If you are planning on cooking them within 1-2 days, complete the entire recipe, up to the point of baking. Put the foil-covered casserole dish into the fridge and then bake at 350F for 45 minutes before serving.
Alternately, you can make large batches of the collard rolls and freeze them. Place individual rolls, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe resealable bag or container. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then place in a casserole dish with tomato sauce and bake as directed.
I’m blogging for Meatless Monday . This great initiative asks each of us to go meatless on Mondays in support of our health and the environment. Visit their website to learn more.
By giving up meat just one day a week, you can cut your animal protein consumption by 15%. Most of us eat too much meat and this simple change can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other debilitating diseases.