Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hoppin' Juan Collard Rolls with Garlic Sauce

We had kind of an exciting weekend around here. It started with a potluck at the home of Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet, where we got to meet some new and friendly faces, including Natala from Vegan Hope. She's such an inspiration! If you don't know her story, you really should check out her blog and get to know her. I'm glad I did!

While all the food at the potluck was healthy and delicious, I'm proud to say that the dishes I brought went fast, and not a lick was left! First was the hot artichoke dip with spinach recipe from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, by Joanne Stepaniak, along with some homemade whole-wheat baguettes.

The other dish was a recipe I've adapted from the database at NutritionMD.org: Hoppin' Juan Collard Rolls with Garlic Sauce. I think it's fun to call it "Juan" instead of "John," because of my Tex-Mex twist to their standard Hoppin' John mix. Roll it all up in some steamed collard leaves and drizzle some creamy garlic sauce over the top, and it's a sure crowd-pleaser!

Another bad iPhone picture... sorry.

Hoppin' Juan Collard Rolls

Ingredients -
The largest leaves from 2-3 bunches of collards
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, or 1 15 oz. can, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (short grain is best for this recipe, since it's stickier and won't fall as easily out of the rolls)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic

First, steam the collard leaves in a large pot until they are tender and bright green. Be careful not to overcook them or the color will turn more grey-ish. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

To make the rolls, lay one of the collard leaves out flat and cut out the bottom 1/4 of the thick stem - this will make it easier to make a tight roll. Place about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of bean-rice mixture on the collard leaf and roll up, burrito-style, folding in both ends tightly. Serve with the garlic sauce (below).

Garlic Sauce

Ingredients -
1 box silken tofu
Juice of 2 lemons
4 teaspoons minced garlic (or more, if desired)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.

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