One of the things I love most about what I do is teaching others how to live a healthy lifestyle through plant-based food. While love spending time in the kitchen experimenting with plants, herbs and spices, I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have received through hours of research and sometimes simple trial and error. I often encounter individuals who are apprehensive about living a plant-based life because they afraid they won't know how to feed themselves. My approach is simple: Keep it simple. That's it.
There are so many plant-based chef, just like me, who not only have culinary experience, but have spent thousands of hours creating and developing recipes. We take pleasure in pushing our culinary skills to the max, in an attempt to see how we can create new and innovative recipes using plants. While it's perfectly fine to try plant-based cuisine when dining out, I often discourage my clients to prepare these often complicated recipes when starting their journey. More often than note, there are so many components to preparing chef-quality recipes, that making dishes like these every day is not only unsustainable, it leaves you frustrated and, well, hungry. Make food fun to eat, but make it quick and easy. When you're hungry, you really don't want to put much thought into preparing your food.
This is why I love preparing food like this simple Collard Green Burrito recipe. It is simply delicious and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. I will say, the key to sticking to your healthy eating lifestyle and preparing for success. I recommend taking one day out of the week to shop for groceries and prepping produce in advance. Food prepping will save you valuable time when preparing your smoothies, wraps and salads. Less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your food.
Whenever I prepare this for workshop participants, they are always shocked at the flavor and texture of this recipe. Many people have never eating collard greens in the raw, which makes this such a fun recipe to demonstrate. This recipe is filled with nutrients and I highly recommend eating it in its natural form. can No cooking or heating elements required! However, if you don't want the earthy taste from the greens, you can always blanch your collard leaves before making your burritos. It's an extra and unnecessary steps, but will soften the leaves if you find raw leaves less desirable.
Collard Green Facts
The collard green plant is grown for its large, dark-colored and edible leaves; it grows in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, southern Croatia, northern Spain and northern India. Similar to kale, it has an upright stalk, often growing up to two feet tall. The leaves are thick and have a slightly bitter taste. Cruciferous vegetables, like collard greens, are unique because they’re rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which support detoxification, and indole-3-carbinol that greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer. Collard greens are a great source of vitamin K and vitamin A; they’re also rich is soluble fiber and have strong antioxidant properties. By adding collard greens to your diet, you reduce disease-causing inflammation, cure digestive conditions, detox your body and boost cardiovascular health.
One of the most important components of collard greens, and other cruciferous vegetables, is glutathione. This peptide consists of three key amino acids that play several vital roles in the body. It helps the liver cleanse and detoxify fat, boosts immune function, fights cancer, protects the body from environmental toxins, and prevents drug resistance. Glutathione is so important to our health that longevity researchers believe the levels that are present in our cells serve as a predictor of how long we are going to live. Collard greens boost glutathione levels and allow this molecule to do its magic.
How to Blanch Collard Green Leaves
About Ice Baths: By placing greens in an ice bath, you "shock" the vegetable leaves and which immediately stops the cooking process. This will keep the greens fresh, bright in color and helps preserve vital nutrients often lost when leafy greens and vegetables are boiled.
Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified chef, founder of Inner Sanctum Wellness, Regina Cooks Culinary School and the author of FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love. Available softcover, digital download and Amazon.