Reader, summer's right around the corner, which means it's time to switch up your lunch routine. That's right, time to stick those rich winter soups and tater tot hot dish casseroles in the drawer for the season. Well, not literally, that's disgusting.
But for those of us who enjoy bringing our own lunches to work—the glee of complete control over your eating options; the economy of it; the deliciousness!—that means some creative thinking now that fresh is in and…re-appropriation of left-overs is out. Which is why we're here to save the day, reader, with the simple, nutritious, and, yes, tasty, chickpea collard wrap. Hero? Some might call us that, but we prefer to reserve that term for leaders of revolutions, visionary artists, and all those people from that one Bon Jovi video they constantly play at the gym. What you need:
Chickpea Collard Wraps
• 1 can of Chickpeas (we like the larger 19 oz. Cento cans with the yellow label, but you can use a 16 oz. one for a lower chickpea to other stuff ratio—you could also use an equal amount soaked and cooked dried chickpeas, which will really pump up the recipe)
• .5 Onion, peeled and diced finely
• 2 medium Carrots, diced finely
• 2 stalks Celery, diced finely
• 1-2 cloves Garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely diced
• 2 large Collard Green leaves per wrap, whole with stem and ribbing removed
First, the filling—place the chickpeas in a large bowl and begin mashing them with a fork you're left with no whole chickpeas and instead have a fairly cohesive,mashed-up mixture. Now add all of your diced vegetables and mix everything together thoroughly. Set aside.
After washing the collard green leaves, cut the stems and any stiff part of the ribbing in the middle of the leaf out. Now we need take some of the stiffness out of the collard green leaves. The easiest way to do this is to quickly steam them in the microwave or, if you don't have one, stovetop. In the MW, simply put a little water in a dish that'll roughly fit the leaves and put another plate over that dish, heating it for 15 seconds or so. Check the leaves and see if they've given up enough resistance to easily roll the leaves but not so much that they tear when handled.
On to assembly! Place two collard green leaves on a clean surface with half of each leaf overlapping, so you've essentially got a longer by a half wrap. Ideally, you'll have the parts of the leaves where you cut the stem and ribbing out overlapping so you're minimizing the gaps in the wrap. Place a decent amount of the filling on one far end of the leaves keeping room to the bottom, right, and left so you can contain everything when you roll it up. Now fold the left and the right sides over the filling and them gently roll it forward, making sure not to tear the leaves but firmly keeping the filling in place. Aaaaaaand, done! Onto the next wrap. We usually make two wraps with some left-over filling, but you could probably employ some more leaves and stretch this to three or four wraps, total.
Now bring it on, summer! Just so long as you're not as unseasonably warm as our weird winter was.