Thursday, May 12, 2011

Collard Burritos with Tomato Basil Nut Pâté


When I was eating all raw, I experimented a bit with nutmeat. Yes, That's right. I said nutmeat. Or more of a nut pâté , if you will.

Today's recipe may seem a bit "out there" for some of you. You don't have to try this with nutmeat, but I recommend making the nutmeat/ pate at least once. The flavor is very hearty and a great vegan/ vegetarian replacement meal for a meat meal. Even though I no longer eat all raw and do consume meat, we have significantly cut back our meat consumption. Meat (especially red meat) can be somewhat taxing on the digestive system because of the amount of energy it takes to break it down. However, I think it is an important part of a balanced diet. We just have become more "middle of the road" meat eaters and are seeing the benefits! Currently, we like to have fish, chicken, and other poultry only about 3 meals a week, and grass-fed beef about once or twice a month. So I go to a nut-based meal, like this one, for heartiness and lots of protein!

I have seen a lot of recipes out there for Collard Green Burritos, but have yet to try my own so far. I recently found a really helpful recipe from Daily Bites. So today I tried my own and it was very easy. These collard type burritos are great because you can make them ahead, wrap, and leave in the fridge for quick grab and go meals. Also, these would be a great school lunchbox idea. Try them with your own favorite sandwich fillings...the possibilities are endless.

And don't be afraid of Collard Greens! I remember as a kid Collards were equal to Brussels Sprouts in my mind- thinking they were both bitter and stinky! I don't know why, I never really had both that I can remember :) But Collard greens have very little flavor, and go well with many food types- try a real southwestern type burrito, sandwiches, or this little recipe:

Collard Burritos with Tomato Basil Nut Pâté

Serves 4 burritos

Ingredients

  • 4 collard leaves, mostly free of holes, stem past the leaves removed
  • ¼ bell pepper, sliced
  • ¼ zucchini, sliced thin
  • ½ avocado, sliced thin
  • These are what I used today, but any vegetable, and even sauce combo you like would work

For the Tomato Basil Nut Pâté

  • ¼ cup raw Pumpkin seeds*
  • ½ cup raw walnuts*
  • ¼ cup raw pecans*
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (the kind that come from a jar with olive oil- if you buy the dried kind you will need to soak them for 30 minutes first)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • Dash of pepper
  • 12-15 large basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: 1 tsp fennel seed (for a heartier, meat-like flavor)

*You don’t have to buy raw nuts and pumpkin seeds, but if you don’t make sure you get unsalted kinds. Also, you can mix and match the nuts based on your preference. I use walnuts and pecans because they are heartier in flavor.

Method

  • Prepare the collard greens by de-stemming, and boiling some water in a large pan or skillet. Then dunk them in the boiling water, one at a time for 1 minute only. Remove and let each collard leaf dry.
  • Slice the vegatables how you want them.
  • For the Tomato Basil Nut Pâté: Mix all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix (on power 4 using the tamper) until a pâté-like consistency.
  • For each burrito: Place one collard leaf with the side where the veins stick out are. Spread 2-3 Tbsp of the tomato, basil nut mixture on the leaf. Then top with other veggies like so:
  • Fold the long sides over like this:
  • Then roll like a burrito away from you (if unsure how to do this, watch the burrito rollers the next time you go to a Qdoba/Moe’s/ Chipotle/ Willie’s type place:) until you get these little guys:

In other news, remember my avocado tip from yesterday's Kale Avo salad recipe? Well, here is proof that the avocado did not brown (mostly) 24 hours later :)


Happy Collard Burrito Experimenting,
Eryn

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