This summer has been one of the best ones I can remember. Yes I’m working a lot, but on our days off we are making the most of exploring what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. And let me just say, Washington is such a show off.
I know I keep saying this over and over, but really, I had no idea how beautiful the Pacific North is. In the last 2 months that we’ve been here, we went camping (that was a feat on its own), picked local berries, visited the farmers market every single week and sometimes twice a week and most recently we went island hopping to San Juan Island (top left picture). No whales were spotted which is what we went for..but check out that view!
Ok…I’ll stop boasting about how beautiful it is here. Let me just enjoy the summer, yes? I haven’t experienced a “real” winter yet and I’m slightly nervous to see what entails for the rainy months.
Anyhoo…food. I’ve been eyeing that gorgeous collard green at the farmers market and was dreaming ideas of what to do with it. Braise with smoked turkey leg (ohh, that does sound good…but maybe in the winter!) or keep it simple and let the organic produce shine? I chose the later and hopes of keeping my carb count down. And with my love affair with falafel, I thought it would be the perfect filling as well as happily vegan and deliciously filling.
The falafel recipe is the usual base I always make, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I added an extra handful of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of earthy turmeric. And I am not kidding when I say that these falafel collard wraps have all the fillings. If I’m going to stuff something in a green wrap, it better have texture, flavor and make me want more. Let’s just say I definitely got my greens intake with these.
Admittedly, I didn’t wrap them the prettiest, but they stayed together and are delicious! The filling options are endless and you could keep it even more simply and use store bought hummus, salsa and different pickles would be fabulous. Even leftover grilled or roasted veggies would rock and they hold up really well for next days lunch. I was feeling colorful and filled my collard wraps with beet hummus, grilled eggplant, tahini sauce and fresh cabbage…a perfect summers lunch.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1/4 onion roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 Tb flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Small bunch of fresh parsley about 1 cup
- Small bunch of fresh cilantro about 1 cup
- Grilled eggplant or any other vegetable
- Beet hummus recipe here!
- Sliced red cabbage
- Tahini Sauce recipe here!
- Collar greens large stems removed (2 greens per wrap)
To make the falafel, make sure you soak the dried chickpeas overnight. They will double in volume the next day.
The next day, drain the chickpeas and pulse in a food processor until crumbly and there are no whole chickpeas left. Transfer to a large bowl.
In the same food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Pulse until it almost looks like a paste. Add parsley mixture to beans.
Use a large spatula to mix the beans and herbs together. Add spices and flour. Mix well. Add baking powder and soda just before frying. Mix everything well.
Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil and bring oil up to about 370 degrees F. You can test to see if the oil is hot by dropping a small piece of batter. If it sizzles, it's ready.
Use a large tablespoon and form batter into balls. I scoop about 2 tablespoons worth and form a ball between your hands.
Carefully place the falafel in the hot oil. Fry on 1 side until you can see it browning on the sides, about 4-5 minutes. Then flip over and fry other side.
Once dowe, remove to a paper toweled lined baking sheet and sprikle with salt. Set aside.
To make the falafel wrap, remove the thick stem from the collard green and lay 2 large collard greens together so they overlap.
Then spread about a tablespoon of beet hummus, 2 falafel, grilled eggplant, a few slices of cabbage and drizzle with tahini sauce.
Carefully wrap the collard, burrito style and use toothpicks to keep it on place.