Archive for the ‘Collard Greens’ Category


Raw food, how I am growing to adore you…You are beautiful to look upon and grace my meals with vitality and health. 


Raw Falafel


2 cups sprouted legumes [I used a combination of garbanzo beans and lentils]

1 cup freshly chopped parsley

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

½ cup raw walnuts

¼ cup chopped shallot

¼ cup raw tahini [What a wonderful flavor this has!  It reminds me of an unsweetened halva, something regular tahini has never hinted at to me]

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

crushed red pepper flakes [I used about ¼ tsp for a little zip, add more if you like it spicier]

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper


Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I used raw organic collard green leaves as wrappers for the falafel and rolled them with a slice of tomato and cucumber.  I served this with some dilled raw tzatziki sauce.


Raw Dilled Tzatziki Sauce

I purposefully made this sauce on the thin side because I wanted it more as a dipping sauce rather than a dip.  If you want a thicker sauce, use ½ cup cashews.


⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours

¼ cup water

Juice of ½ lemon

1 -2 cloves garlic, depending upon how garlicky you like it

2 T fresh dill, divided

¼- ½ cup cucumber, deseeded and diced

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper


Place the cashews, lemon juice, 1 T dill and one clove of garlic in a blender and pulse until combined.  Slowly add the water until you reach a pourable consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if you wish more garlic flavor, add the second clove.   Blitz again until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a container and add the remaining dill and cucumber.

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Mu Shu was always my favorite Chinese dish to order when I was a kid.  There was something special about it because you got to assemble it at the table and slather on the thick, dark and sweetly-rich hoisin sauce.  Thing is, like the machaca,  Mu Shu is traditionally loaded with animal proteins.  Since that just wouldn’t do, I needed to figure out another way to create this classic Chinese dish.  Once again, I turned to yuba because it has that wonderful chewy texture and takes on the flavors of marinades very well. 

Another part of this dish that I wanted to reinvent was the wrapper.  Rather than use a Mandarin pancake, which is simply white flour and water and brings nothing of nutritional value to the plate, I chose to use a supple steamed collard green leaf that is full of iron, calcium and fiber.  I also added red bell pepper to the mix in order to add a healthy dose of vitamin C so that the iron and calcium in the collards would be more readily assimilated.  This meal was fantastic and one that I shall make often.


Mu Shu Yuba with Collard Green Wrappers

Serves 4


1 block regular firm tofu [I used half a block of my homemade tofu]

2 oz dried bean curd sticks [Yuba], rehydrated in warm water and drained

1 large red bell pepper, cut into medium dice

1 large green bell pepper, cut into medium dice

1 cup finely sliced bok choy

6 green onions, sliced thinly

1 cup mung bean sprouts

Juice of ½ a lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ inch fresh ginger, finely diced

2-3 dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced [@ a cup’s worth]

1 T tamari

1 tsp agave syrup

1 tsp dry sherry

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp turmeric

Hoisin sauce

2-3 large collard green leaves per person

coconut oil for stir-frying the vegetables and tofu


For the Filling:

Cut yuba into thin shreds.  Place in a zip lock bag.  Add the tamari, sherry, half the sesame oil and the cornstarch.  Mix well and marinate at least one hour.

Drizzle a bit of coconut oil into a pan over medium-high heat.  Crumble the tofu into the pan and sprinkle the lemon juice and turmeric over it.  Mix well and cook until slightly browned.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add another small drizzle of coconut oil to the pan and add the onions and peppers.  Cook until slightly softened.  Add in the garlic and ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add in the marinated yuba, wood ear mushrooms and bok choy and cook for a few minutes longer.  Return the tofu to the pan and add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil.    Add the bean sprouts and mix thoroughly until the entirety is heated through.

For the wrapper:

Cut the large thick part of the stem out of each leaf.  Steam or blanch the leaves until tender [This only takes a few minutes].  Spread hoisin sauce on the leaf and add the Mu Shu filling.  Roll it up and eat!

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I’ve been slacking on collard green recipes lately and have had this recipe kicking around in my head for a while now.  Today it expressed itself and they turned out really well.  They’re sweet and spicy hot and would go great with some savory black beans.


1 bunch collard greens, washed, destemmed and cut into a 1/4-inch chiffonade

1/2 onion, diced

2 clove garlic, minced

2 T currants

1/3 cup orange marmalade

minced chili pepper [To your tastes, I used a single Thai chili, for something   milder use the whole or part of a ribbed and seeded jalapeño.  A pinch of red pepper flakes would also work.]

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

zest of half an orange

canola oil


Sauté the onions, garlic and chili pepper in a drizzle of canola oil until the onions begin to soften.  Add in the collard greens and currants and mix well.  Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.  [If the collard greens weren’t still wet from having been rinsed, add in a splash of water to help steam them.]  Once wilted, but still bright green, add in the marmalade, orange zest and grate in the nutmeg.  Stir to combine and set aside off the heat.  Once cooled, place on a cutting board and chop the filling so that no long strands of collards remain.

Masa Harina Dough:

1-3/4 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup canola oil

3 cup masa harina

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp sea salt

dash of cinnamon


Add the dry ingredients to a mixer and then add the wet.  Mix slowly until the dry ingredients are damp and then turn up the mixer to a medium speed.  Mix for 5 minutes.


Spread a golfball-sized amount of dough over the middle area of a softened corn husk.  [ You can certainly make larger tamales that cover most of the husk area, I just prefer sweet tamales to be petite.]  Place a tablespoon of the filling down the center in a line.  Roll the cornhusk over while rolling the dough over the filling.  Once rolled, use a strip from another corn husk to tie around the center and secure the tamale into shape.  Steam vertically for 30 minutes.

Serve fresh from the steamer.

[ETA:  Fixed a massive spelling error]

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I was in the mood for something spicy and needed to use up some tortillas that have been lurking in our fridge for a while now.  Our fridge is also still over-run with collard greens. Imagine that.  I went a bit overboard at the store the other day and bought a few too many bunches, heh.  To resolve these issues, I decided to make a slaw to go along with some potato tacos for dinner.


Mix together the sour cream and lime juice first to loosen up the sour cream,  then simply toss it all together.

1 cup shredded red cabbage

1 cup raw collard greens,  cut in a chiffonade

1/4 red bell pepper, sliced thinly

1/2 papaya, diced

1/2 lime, juiced

1 tbsp. Tofutti sour cream

1 tsp. adobo sauce [or more if you want it spicier]

1 tsp. cumin

dashes of garlic and onion powder

Mmmm, it scratched all my itches, though my mouth is still on fire. [Not always a bad thing, heh.]

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This was such a great way to incorporate greens into a meal on a cold Winter’s night.  H told me she’d been craving pasta and this is what I came up with for her.


Fettuccini in a Garbanzo Bean and Walnut Sauce


1-15 oz can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 white onion

one bunch of collard greens [destemmed and cut length-wise into long strips 1/2 inch wide]

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 head radicchio

1/2 cup walnuts, oven roasted for 5 minutes at 400 degrees [Grind half of them into a meal in a food processor for the sauce]

pinch of red pepper flakes

zest of one lemon

vegetable stock  [Kitchen Basics is the brand I favor]

olive oil

fettuccini pasta [I used brown rice pasta this time, but any type would do]

toasted bread crumbs [I just blitzed a stale heel of a baguette in the food processor and then toasted in the oven for a few minutes]


Sauté onions and garlic in a couple teaspoons of olive oil for a few minutes and then toss in the pepper flakes.  Add garbanzo beans and some vegetable stock.  [I don’t give an amount for the vegetable stock because it’s a matter of taste, if you like a thinner pasta sauce use more stock.  Just add it a little bit at a time and if you over-add simply remove the lid of the pan, raise the flame on the stove and reduce it down.] Mash one half the beans in the pan and then add in the ground walnuts and lemon zest.  Adjust the volume of sauce to your liking with vegetable stock and then cover and let simmer gently.

While the above is happening, have a pot full of salted water heating to a boil for the pasta.  Once the water boils, toss in the collard greens and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes then transfer them into the pan with the sauce.  Add pasta and cook till al dente.   While the pasta is cooking, add the radicchio to the pan with the collards and sauce and fold in.  The radicchio will lose that gorgeous purple color turning a warm tobacco brown but will retain that wonderful bitter flavor.  When the pasta is ready, strain it and fold it gently into the greens and sauce along with the remaining walnuts and mix well.  Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs onto the pasta once plated for a nice little textural crunch.

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White Bean and Collard Green Hummus

1 can white beans, drained
1 cup artichoke hearts, packed in oil
2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
5 collard green leaves, lightly steamed and diced
toasted pine nuts


Place the artichoke hearts, capers, half the sun-dried tomatoes and half the beans into a food processor and pulse till chunkily blended.  Add in the lemon juice and zest and the remaining beans.  Pulse quickly to mix but not so much that you lose the texture of the freshly added beans.  Remove from processor and add in the remaining sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and the diced collard greens.  If the texture is too thick, drizzle in some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to loosen it.  An alternative if you’re trying to reduce your fat intake would be to loosen it up with some vegetable broth rather than oil.  Slather onto some grilled pita and chomp!  Delicious way to get in your greens.

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Alrighty!   Another way to use these amazing greens:  as a pocket!  I made up a caponata of sorts with lotsa wintery goodness, let it cool and then stuffed some steamed collard leaves.

Winter’s Stuffed Collards

1 cup eggplant, diced

1 cup butternut squash, diced

1/2 white onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup cooked wild rice

3 dried kalamata figs, diced

1/4 cup dried tart cherries

fresh thyme sprigs

olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

Collard leaves, de-stemmed [the thick part] steamed until pliable but still bright green


Drizzle in a bit of olive oil (couple of teaspoons worth) and heat.  Add in diced eggplant, squash, onion,  garlic, and a handful of thyme sprigs tied together with some kitchen string [really makes it easy to remove them later].  Sauté until the squash is slightly tender to a fork.  Add in dried fruit and wild rice.  Sauté for another few minutes and then set aside off the heat to cool.  Lightly steam the collard leaves and allow to cool.  Place a collard leaf flat on a cutting board and fill with a few tablespoons of the filling.  Roll up like a burrito or an egg roll.   After you have as many as you wish, place them into the steamer and heat through, shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.  Enjoy!

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Greens just plain rock!  Packed full of vitamins and minerals including one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium on the planet, collards are a great way to ensure that you’re on your way toward eating healthfully.  I’ll start off with a very basic recipe for a quick dose of goodness and then over the weeks include some more recipes on how to handle and add variety to these great greens.

Basic Braised Collard Greens

Collards, rinsed and de-stemmed and then sliced into strips [After destemming, stack the leaves atop one another and then roll together into a cylinder.  Cut across the roll into a chiffonade of 1/2 inch widths.]

Olive oil


Red Pepper Flakes

Vegetable broth

Dead simple.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil into a pan, preferrably one with sides to it.  Add a clove or two of sliced garlic; mince it if you want a more potent dose of garlic flavor.  Toss in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes [ or none at all if you don’t like the heat] and stir about until the garlic releases it’s aroma.  Toss in the sliced collards and coat with the olive oil.  Cook for a few minutes and then pour in a bit of vegetable broth and cover.   The longer you cook them the softer they shall become.  H and I really like them cooked for a minimal amount of time; perhaps 5-10 minutes.  If you’re going to cook them longer make sure that you check the broth level so that they do not scorch.

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This is the meal D and I had for Christmas Day dinner. Coincidentally, it was so good and there was enough left over that we had it again tonight! I said to D, after scooping the last bit in my bowl onto my spoon, “I don’t know how anyone could not like collard greens.” Sure, where I’m from in the South, collard greens are a sloppy, almost brown in color, inedible side dish served in some generic chain restaurant (like Cracker Barrel), and most people I know wouldn’t touch ’em with a ten foot pole. But, I betcha if they’d all try it like this, their opinions would change. I know mine did. The currants in the dish add a lovely, nice, sporadic touch of sweetness.

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