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Collard Wrap with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Posted Nov 07 2010 6:00am
Getting back into the groove after Italy has proved much more difficult than I was imagining. I don't remember jet lag sucking so much. Of course, last time I had jet lag was about six years ago when my BFF and I came home from living in London. Perhaps it didn't suck as much because we were a mere 25 years of age and basically invincible. Or at least we thought.

In my ripe old age of 31 I am now officially a person who sucks at recovering from jet lag.

The day after we got home, Thursday, (which really doesn't count as a full 'day after' because we got home so late on Wednesday night) Noodle Nose woke up at around 1:30 or 2:00 IN THE MORNING. Ok, I wasn't far behind. I was up about 2:30. It has only marginally improved since then. I woke up at 3:30 am, then 2:30 again and now today was a fantastical 3:30... which, with the whole 'fall back' thing is sort of like 4:30 am. At least to my body.

Shopping for our 'foodless' home on Thursday (I won't even say what I 'made' for breakfast) proved to be an interesting feat. Not only was Noodle the most energetic, chatty, awake child known to mankind, I was the complete and utter opposite.

I remember at one point standing in front of the bagged salads (for like 10 minutes) just looking at them. Arugula, baby spinach, field greens, thinking 'huh... there are a lot of choices here... how have I never noticed all the choices here?'

And then I realized that I actually didn't need bagged salad. And then it took me another two minutes to move on. Keep in mind, the entire time I was frolicking in bagged salad heaven, Noodle is in the cart performing the most awesome rendition of Toy Story 3, starring a bunch of bananas, vine ripened tomatoes, a shallot and a cute lil' clove of garlic (that was for you Honey).

It did occur to me, at one point that I might appear to be crazy a little 'odd' to everyone around me and then almost immediately after that it also occured to me that I was shopping at the Lakeway Fred Meyer and all the crazies shop there anyway so really, 'salad heaven' and the produce version of Toy Story 3 fit in just fine.

In the end I did make it out of the store with most everything I needed. And then some (Toy Story 3); it is Lakeway Fred Meyer, after all.

My inspiration for this meal is jet lag. I thought a nice raw-ish meal would 'superfood' my brain and recharge my body. That and fellow blogging friend Amber 's adventures at the 105 Degrees Academy  have inspired me to explore my already established curiosity with the world of raw cooking. Stay tuned for more raw cooking attempts, for sure!

Here is a version of a collard wrap that I found on another fantastic blog... The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Remember, I don't follow a recipe very well so I did make a few small changes. I would also like to say that I have (and love)   The Whole Life Nutrition book which is equally as fabulous but I just found the blog and it is becoming one of my favorites to troll through.

Cheers to superfood and jet lag!

For the supergreen salad mix: (also great, nay, fantastical on its own)

1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
1 bunch red chard, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots (I buy the organic bagged kind)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
1 teaspoon plus a little more, sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 bunch large collard greens (your wrappers)

For the pate:
2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 2-3 hours then drained
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Wrap fillings:
Super green salad mix
Sprouts (brocolli or otherwise)
Avocados, sliced thin
Cucumber, julienned

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cut the stems and a bit of the top off your collard greens. When the water is ready, blanch each collard leaf in the water by submerging under the boiling water for about 1 minute each. I did one or two leaves at a time because they were so large.

To prepare your superfood salad mix, combine kale, red chard and carrots in a bowl.

In a shakeable jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Seal the jar and shake it until everything is incredibly combined. Once so, pour mixture over greens mix, toss well and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. The lemon juice will soften everything.

Note: you can re-toss every 10 minutes or so, to ensure the dressing continues to be evenly distributed.

To prepare your pate (can be done while water is trying to boil) combine sunflower seeds, celery, shallot, lemon juice, herbes de provence, pepper and salt in a cuisinart. Pulse until ground into a fairly smooth pate texture.

To assemble your wraps, lay your first blanched collard on the cutting board. Start with the pate, arranging a good portion of it slightly to one side of your collard wrap. Note: the top of your wrap should be where the stem is, the leafy part being the bottom. When you put your pate down, leave at least a couple inches on the bottom so you can fold the collard in, keeping your filling in tact.

On top of that, add brocolli sprouts, then the avocado. Finish the wrap with a good scoop of the supergreen salad mix slightly to one side of your filling rather than on top.

Fold the side of the collard that has the supergreen salad mix over your toppings fairly tight then fold the bottom of your colllard on top of that. From there, roll your wrap onto the other side of the collard, creating a lovely, tightly wrapped package of delish.

Cut in half, at an angle, arrange on a plate with a little of the supergreen salad mix to go along with it (love that stuff). You can top your salad mix with pumpkin seeds and a thin slice of avocado for good measure.

There is nothing bad about this meal, it's so filling, gorgeous to look at and super ultra tasty.

Enjoy and cheers to shaking off jet lag!

Collard Greens

Sunflower Seed

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