Quinoa & Bean Stuffed Collard Greens

Black eyed peas, bacon, New Year's Day, and dollar bills come to mind when I think of these dark leafy greens, maybe because I am from the South, who knows?  However, there is so much more to collard greens, they are extremely versatile, have a very mild, almost smokey flavor, are large in size, and are a thicker leaf that holds up well in heat. They can be chopped & sautéed with olive oil, onion and spices for a side dish, used as a wrap for hummus, avocado and tomatoes, or stuffed & baked like we did above! 

Did I mention that they are also nutrient dense, foods that give you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories. Collards contain a huge source of soluble fiber, Vitamin C, K, A, and are a great source of folate, manganese, calcium and tryptophan. 

Oh and they are a perfect crown for a vegetable queen hehe

When dealing with collard greens, I find it easier to blanch them for a minute or two, this makes the leaves softer and easier to fold. Remember not to blanch for too long you don't want the leaves tearing while dealing with them. In the photo below, see how the spine of the leaf sticks out further then the collard? You will want to take a small knife and trim the spine of the collard down the middle of the leaf, so the spine is flat with the rest of the collard.

I chose to stuff the collars with a quinoa, black bean, tomato, cilantro, onion mixture and used chill powder, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional) salt and pepper.

After stuffing and when rolling, you are going to want to take the bottom of the leaf and fold it over the stuffing, tuck the sides in and roll like a burrito.

I can't get over the vibrant green color of this beautiful leaf, I couldn't stop snapping photos! 

Arrange each roll next to one another in the baking dish and submerge them into the tomato sauce.

After baking, the leaves will become tender and a fork should pierce right through.

I made a tzatziki sauce to dip each forkful in, this sauce adds a fresh taste to this delicious baked dish. You can find the recipe for my tzatziki sauce here!

This savory dish not only hits the spot but you're also consuming your greens, complex carbs and protein! I hope you enjoy these guys as much as I do, feel free to switch it up and bit and remember I would love to see photos after you have created your own!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

About 10 collard leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can organic black beans (15.0 oz)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cans of organic crushed tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lay the collard leaves flat and cut the spine of the collard so it is equal to the leaf. Bring a sauce pan filled with water to a boil, once boiling lower to a simmer and blanch collard leaves for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and pat dry, heat oil in a skillet at medium-low  temperature and add the onion & garlic, cook until they onion is translucent. Add quinoa, cilantro, beans, 1 can of crush tomatoes, seasonings and cook until heated. Remove mixture and place into a bowl, begin to arrange mixture on each collard leaf, after doing one you will get a sense of how much filling fits comfortable inside each leaf. Fold the bottom of the collard over the quinoa mixture, tuck the sides of the leaf in and roll like a burrito. After all collard leaves have been stuffed, pour other can of crushed tomatoes in a baking dish and then arrange each stuff collard green over the sauce. Once they are all placed inside the dish you can spoon the tomato sauce over the rolls if wanted. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through the collard leaf. Let cool for a little bit and pair with a fresh tzatziki sauce! I usually enjoy one to two rolls for lunch or dinner! Enjoy! 

Living a life that we get strength & energy from - something that gives us a reason to be active and move.

Much love,