Collard Green Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls:
10 oz extra-firm tofu*
1 bundle collard greens (11-12 large collards)
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced vertically
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 c packed basil
1 c finely sliced red (purple) cabbage
3 whole carrots, peeled and julienned
Sauce:
1/3 c creamy unsalted sunflower seed butter—or, use your favorite UNSWEETENED Nut Butter
1 1/2 -2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
1/2 lime, juiced (approx2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce, 1 thai red chili minced, or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
Hot water to thin

Instructions:
Prepare your protein: Wrap your tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and setting something heavy on top (such as a cast-iron skillet) to drain the excess liquid. If you are using chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp – cook that first, before staring on wraps.

Prep the collard greens by chopping the stems off and using a small, sharp knife to slightly shave/trim down the thickness of the stems at the base of the leaf to allow it to fold/roll more easily. Blanche the collard greens:

  • Prepare a large skillet with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil.
  • Prepare a very large bowl with ice and cold water. Set on counter.
  • Place one large collard green into the boiling water for 30 seconds up to a minute. It should turn a brighter shade of green and become slightly limp.
  • Immediately immerse into bowl of ice water, for just a few seconds. Remove.
  • Place on paper towel to dry.
  • Repeat with remaining leaves.
  • Dry each collard green leaf thoroughly before beginning rolling process.

Next, lay out your ingredients: julienned carrot, peppers, sprouts—whatever you are using—and your protein. Arrange on a tray or cutting board.

Prepare dipping sauce by adding sunflower seed butter, tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add enough warm water to thin into a thick but pourable sauce. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime juice for acidity, chili garlic sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, or tamari for saltiness.

Next, lay a collard green down on a flat surface, and in the center, near the stem, layer on basil, tofu, red pepper, cabbage, bean sprout, and carrot. Fold up the bottom of the collard  green once, twice, or three times, depending on how large your leaf is.  Fold over the left, once, and the right, left. Continue then, rolling up from the bottom to form a roll.  Lay seam-side down on a serving platter and continue until all fillings are used – about 11-12 rolls.

To serve, slice roll in half and arranged them in a serving bowl with the dipping sauce. But, you can also just leave them whole!

These keep extremely well in the refrigerator up to 3 days, and the sauce will keep for up to 5-7 days (stored covered, separately in the fridge).

  • Or protein of choice: chicken, pork, beef, shrimp. For more flavor to your tofu, after pressing and slicing, brush with tamari or soy sauce, then roll in sesame seeds.

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