Happy Memorial Day!
This is one of my favorite holiday weekends because it is the “kick off” of the summer season. Since it’s also my birthday in a couple of days, this weekend ends up being a birthday party/3day weekend extravaganza!!
It’s Monday and that still means its Food Matters Project challenge day. This week our host is Jacqui from Good Things Grow. She chose “Beans ‘n Greens Burritos” which, if you haven’t seen the recipe, is essentially a flour tortilla burrito filled with seasoned beans and chopped greens. While the recipe sounds really tasty, I had to use this opportunity to try something new.
Something new like collard green burritos. You may have seen Evolution Fresh juice products in Starbucks or Whole Foods stores recently and since we live in Starbucks Country (aka Seattle, WA), we are lucky enough to live near the Evolution Fresh flagship store.
They have these awesome Collard Green wraps on the menu that really caught my eye. I have been looking for an excuse to make something like it since I was there so thank you Jacqui!
After researching different methods of using collard green leaves as wraps, I decided to keep them raw and do a quick soak in water and lemon juice. This slightly acidic soak allows the leaves to begin breaking down (which makes them easier to digest), soften (so they are easier to wrap) and makes sure they are clean!
I am soooo glad I tried it because they are awesome! I really think you’ll love these!!
The collard leaves are just soft enough that they are easy to chew but still have a crunch and don’t get soggy. The only trick is learning how to wrap them properly. It took a couple of tries but I *think* I finally got it down and did a little photograph tutorial for you below in the recipe instructions. Thanks to Mr. Everyday Maven for taking the overhead shots for me while he really just wanted to eat one of these yummy burritos. 😉
To see what the other Food Matters Project members cooked up this Memorial Day, click here.
- For Paleo and Whole30, omit the beans.
- I made Everyday Guacamole in advance but didn’t have time to make my Spicy Pico de Gallo so I picked up a mild version from Trader Joe’s. Be sure to drain the Pico just like the shrimp and bean mixture so you don’t have excess juice in the Burrito.
- Make your own Taco Seasoning! It’s easy and so much more cost effective, especially if you buy the spices you need in the bulk section. Alternately, you can go for a natural Taco Seasoning that is free of additives like Simply Organic (Frontier). Just a word of caution though – I based this recipe on my homemade Taco Seasoning mix so if you are using a pre-made mix, please add it slowly and adjust as needed. Store bought spice blends tend to be much heavier in salt.
- 8 large collard green leaves, trimmed and soaked
- 1 lemon (for soaking)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound medium-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and sliced in half lengthwise
- 1.5 cups black beans (or 1 15-ounce can drained and rinsed)
- 1.5 tablespoons taco seasoning (see NOTE)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup guacamole, divided
- 8 teaspoons pico de gallo, divided
- cilantro leaves
- Wash collard greens and trim stalks.
- Use a paring knife to carefully remove the edge of the center spine that protrudes above the leaves.
- Now, gently (and barely) score the exposed spine to make folding the leaf a bit easier.
- Squeeze a lemon into water and submerge the leaves. Let soak for at least 10 minutes or until ready to use.
- Peel, devein and remove tails from Shrimp. Slice lengthwise so Shrimp are cut in half.
- Mince garlic, pull cilantro leaves from stems, slice lime and juice. If using canned beans, drain and rinse. Measure taco seasoning.
- Heat large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and garlic. Cook garlic, stirring, for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add shrimp, beans, taco seasoning and lime juice to pan. Stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and just pink. If there is liquid pooled at the bottom of bean and shrimp mixture, I suggest draining so your burritos aren't as messy.
- Drain collard leaves from soaking bath. Pat dry with paper towels and place two leaves on your work surface facing opposite directions with the spines over-lapping.
- Spread ¼ cup guacamole, taking care to leave a couple inches at each end for folding.
- Next spoon approximately ½ cup of shrimp and bean mixture of guacamole.
- Top with 2 teaspoons of pico de gallo and a handful of cilantro leaves.
- Fold the lower leaves onto the filling.
- Now fold in the sides.
- Press the filling down trying to make the burrito as tight as possible and continue to roll until closed. Use toothpicks to secure or a dab of guac as glue.
- Serve and Enjoy!
And most importantly this Memorial Day, a moment to remember and honor all the fallen heroes who selflessly serve our country and protect our freedom.