|sunflower seed miso spread in veggie collard wraps|
I love to eat with my hands, but I don't like to get my hands dirty (ever). That is why I love wraps. They are everything delicious in one neat tidy package that I can pick up and enjoy without anything sticking to my fingers, or dribbling down into my sleeve.
For this wrap I chose collard greens as the container for all the goodness I piled inside. Collards are a great choice for a wheat free wrap because they are sturdy. And with a little blanching, they are flexible enough to hold everything securely in place- right down to the last bite. They are also full of nutrition.
Collard greens, along with broccoli and cabbage, are a cruciferous vegetable. A serving provides more than 100% of our daily requirement of both vitamins K, and A. They also have a respectable amount of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and calcium. And when talking about cancer, I read that collard greens have glucosinolates, which can convert to isothiocyanates. Not that I know what either of those are, but apparently isothiocyanates can stop the harmful effects of carcinogens. They are the cancer fighting food of the season in my book.
The sunflower seed spread in this recipe is one of my favorites for sandwiches, wraps, or crudite. I started making it when I was on my raw, vegan diet last year. While I no longer strive to eat all raw food, I do still make this sunflower seed spread on occasion. It is a nice alternative to hummus, and if you read this post from a while back, you can read their nutritional profile. Sunflower seeds are full of important vitamins and minerals.
This spread is bold with flavors. The miso adds a nice salty savory flavor, and the cider vinegar adds enough acid to keep it from losing it's zip under all the veggies. It's garlicky too. I find that the garlic can overpower, if you don't consume it fresh on the day it's made, but I don't mind. I like garlic. You could always blanch the garlic, if you don't like it with a strong garlic flavor.
- Start by washing the collard leaves and trimming/shaving the thickest part of the stem in order to make it easier to fold.
- Then drop one leaf at a time into a pan with a couple of inches of simmering water. Put the cover on, and let the leaf steam/blanch for about 30 seconds. This should be enough time to make the leaf flexible enough to fold and envelop the filling. You can let it go longer if you want it softer, but not more than a couple of minutes.
- Then rinse the leaf under cold water and set aside to dry while you blanch the remaining leaves.
Once the leaves are ready, spread 1/4 of the sunny miso spread over the center of the leaf, then top with your favorite vegetables. I used grated carrots (highly recommended), avocado (almost a requirement), and watercress ( one of my favorites). Fold in the stem end first, then one side, then the top and then the other side, rolling as you do this to form a nice tight package. I like to cut mine in half, but that's a matter of preference.
You don't have to keep it raw here. You could add some cooked grain, or steamed vegetables if you like.
Sunny Miso Spread
1 c. raw sunflower seeds soaked and rinsed
1 T. white miso (I used chickpea miso)
1 tsp.. cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. tamari
1 garlic clove (small) minced or crushed
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 T. coarsely chopped parsley leaves, or cilantro if you prefer.
Put everything except the parsley into the food processor and run until the seeds are broken down, but not until completely smooth. It's nicer if it has a little texture. You will need to scrape down the sides several times. Add the parsley at the end and pulse a few times to chop it up.
This makes enough for about 4 collard wraps.
It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
Note: seeds are soaked 6-12 hours to remove phytic acid, which can interfere with mineral absorption.