I’ve been feeling pretty weird about sharing this recipe because I used collard greens, which have traditionally been used in African-American cuisine and have recently been aggressively marketed by Whole Foods in hopes of making them trendy and driving up the price. (Writer/feminist/activist Mikki Kendall aptly calls this “food gentrification.”)
So, before I tell you the recipe, I want to clarify that I am very much opposed to driving up prices and making fruits and vegetables even more inaccessible for low-income people and people of color around the world. The good news: you can use any kind of sturdy green for this recipe. I used collard greens because that’s what was sent in our local-food package that week, but I think lettuce or chard would be even more delicious!
The key thing for me is to eat as much fresh food as I can (it tastes better than canned or frozen stuff) and learn how to cook with what I have. Instead of buying into food trends, I think we should consider what’s best for our planet and our communities––if that seems hard to figure out, just buy what’s cheapest!
To make these wraps, you’ll need
• greens with big leaves (like chard, collard greens, or lettuce)
• meaty filling (like tempeh, tofu, or meat)
• assorted vegetables for topping (like caramelized onions, baby greens, and carrots)
• readymade barbecue sauce (OR ketchup, vinegar, maple syrup, and chipotle powder)
1.If you’re using lettuce, skip this step! If you’re using a green like chard or collard greens, start by blanching them. That way they won’t be so tough to eat, and they’ll have time to cool before you’re ready to eat them. Blanching basically means dunking vegetables into boiling water for a few seconds, but this recipe has good instructions if you need a reference.
2. Devin makes fantastic caramelized onions, but they take a while to cook, so you’ll want to start these early in the process, too. Here’s a recipe for reference.
3. We usually make our own barbecue sauce because it’s so much cheaper, especially since we have an endless supply of maple syrup from Devin’s family farm, but store-bought is just as good. If you’ve never made it before, take note: barbecue sauce is ridiculously easy to make, but you do need a little time for it to cook down. (The more you make, the longer it takes.)
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup vinegar (I usually use apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons maple syrup (you could also use honey or another sweetener)
½ teaspoon chipotle powder, a.k.a. my secret ingredient (I use it in everything!)
…and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s nice and thick (around 15-20 minutes).
4. Cook your “meat” of choice. Devin and I cut tempeh into thin slices and cooked it in a skillet with a little bit of oil, flipping the pieces once to make sure they got crispy on both sides. It took less than 10 minutes.
5. Chop your other veggies pretty small so that you can fit them into the wrap easily. We had baby greens (they were microgreens, I think) and carrots, so all I did was wash the baby greens and shred the carrots using a vegetable peeler.
6. Put out all your ingredients on the table, and let everyone make their own wrap. Make sure not to fill it too much, and roll it like a burrito.
It’s all easy, and you could make everything ahead of time to take for a picnic.