Green “Sushi” Rolls

Looking for a great appetizer to make for your next holiday get-together?  These are a crowd pleaser!  Light and refreshing, they will disappear before you know it.  The secret…LOTS of lemon!  These Collard “Sushi” rolls have no raw fish, only raw veggies (and a little hummus!).  They are sure to be a hit!   They are fun to make too!  Make it something fun to do with other family members or friends.  I cannot take credit for this recipe though.  This is based very closely on a demonstration by Ann Esselstyn (wife of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn), at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo that I attended last month.

Collard greens are so cool!  For someone who didn’t grow up with them, they have been such a welcome discovery.  When they are blanched (boiled a few min., then plunged into icy water), they take on a beautiful bright green color.  Blanching also makes them more pliable for rolling into rolls or wraps.  In fact, you can find a great recipe for green wraps at http://yournutritionista.blogspot.com.

TIP: The filling ingredients are pretty flexible.  Look in your fridge and see what you have.  Try to avoid mushy veggies like tomatoes (yes, I know it’s a fruit).   You also want to try to cut them into long thin strips so that they create the “bones” that keep the rolls together.  If you decide to include a grain, I’d stick with short grain brown rice, because it is pretty sticky.  Other grains may cause your rolls to fall apart a little more readily.

Ingredients

1 bunch collard green leaves, washed, tough stems and spines removed

1 large container (1-2 cups) Hummus (homemade hummus recipe at http://yournuritionista.blogspot.com)

Assorted vegetables, cut into long, thin strips when possible:  green onions, cilantro or parsley, basil, steamed asparagus, carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, bok choy

1-2 lemons, zested and juiced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, fill a large bowl or the sink with very cold water (you may want to add a few ice cubes).
  2. Add the collard leaves to the boiling water.  Boil for 2 minutes, then plunge into the cold water to cool them down and stop the cooking process.
  3. Pat leaves dry.  Lay flat, smooth side up.
  4. Spread a thin layer of hummus over the leaf
  5. Lay the veggies across the middle of leaf, lengthwise.  Be careful not to overfill, or else you may have a blowout!
  6. Sprinkle with lemon zest and  a good squeeze of lemon
  7. Carefully, roll the leaf up in the same direction as the veggies.  Roll snugly enough so that it stays together, but not so tight that it will rip the leaf.  You’ll get a feel for it.  🙂
  8. Cut the rolls cross-wise into 2 inch pieces.  Stand them up on a plate, cut-side up.

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