When the days get shorter and the heat starts to subside, I like to use my oven for a one-dish meal. It warms up the kitchen, sends an enticing aroma through the house and saves me time cooking a few different dishes over the stove.
This meal has everything:
What more can you ask for?
Here is how it’s done, and it’s not as complicated as you may think!
Blanch one package of collard greens by washing them first and dropping them whole in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water for one minute. The salt will prevent the nutrients from leaching out of the greens and the blanching will make them pliable so they don’t break.
Pile the drained leaved on a large plate and put aside.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pan, add 2 diced onions and sauté until golden.
Add 2 carrots, peeled and diced
Add 3 celery stalks, washed and diced
Add 2 cloves of garlic minced
Saute for 2 more minutes
Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa
Add one can of drained black beans
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add 1 teaspoon of paprika
Add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Add one or two teaspoons of water if it gets too dry; cook for another 5 minutes
Turn off the heat and let it cool for a bit
Assemble the stuffed collards by putting a heaping tablespoon of the quinoa mixture at the center of each leaf, folding once from the bottom, once from the sides and once from the top, like an envelope. Put the collard leaf, folded side down in a baking dish lined with parchment. Continue until the baking dish is full. If you have leftover quinoa mixture and collard greens, save them for another meal.
Prepare a tomato sauce by sautéing 2-3 garlic cloves sautéed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Once they start turning golden add a jar of diced tomatoes and mix
Add 1/2 cup of chopped, pitted kalamata olives
Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and mix well to thicken the sauce
Pour the hot sauce on top of the stuffed greens and bake, uncovered for about 30-40 minutes on 350º F / 180º C.
Optional: sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 5 more minutes until the cheese melts. (crumbles goat cheese will work well too).
Rachel Kieffer is a certified nutrition and health coach* living in New York with her family. She has worked with thousands of clients to transform their health and lives through her private consultation programs, workshops, women’s groups and writing. “I believe that every woman has a birth right to be deeply in love with herself and create a magnificent life that she loves. And that includes a joyous relationship with food, radiant health, and being completely pleased with how she looks.” Please visit HealthNutGirl.com to learn more about Rachel’s services.
*Certified by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP)
This recipe appeared in the October/November 2017 issue of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine on page 50; recipe and photograph by Rachel Kieffer.
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