Category Archives: Rice

Vibrant Collard Green Rice and Bean Rolls

I really like collard greens. I grew up in the South, well if you can count Florida as “the south”, as eclectically diverse as it is. My grandmother cooked them down until very soft, but only in water so they weren’t unhealthy. She had a jar of spicy jalapeno vinegar to splash on them and they were so filling and satisfying. You don’t need to cook them down so much to enjoy them as so many people are catching on to the delights of gently steamed or shredded raw collard greens. For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked Brown or Bhutanese Red rice (preferably organic when cooking with rice)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken stock or water)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (Chick peas), drained
  • ½ cup minced celery
  • ½ cup  prepared cole slaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted black olives (can substitute green if you prefer, I like Cerignola olives particularly)
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup vegan soy mayonnaise (can substitute thick strained plain Greek style yogurt)
  • 1-2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning blend (Jane’s Crazy salt is always a winner)
  • 8 collard green leaves, washed and dried

To make the collard wraps:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with the broth and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then you want to reduce the heat  to a gentle simmer on low, covered, for approximately 40-50 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and soft.
  2. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, except the collard leaves. Mix well and set aside to cool.
  3. To prepare the collard leaves, you will need to trim off the stems. You can do this by laying each leaf out on a cutting board and running a small paring knife down the thick central stem in a V-shape towards the middle of the leaf. You do not want to cut the entire leaf in half, just remove the thick vein and stem.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and add 2 or 3 collard leaves. Boil for a minute or two, until dark green and tender. Remove with tongs and transfer to a colander to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  5. Take a cooled collard leaf and lay it stem side facing up. Place 1 cup of rice-bean mixture in the center and roll the collard leaf around the filling to make a wrap. Do this for the rest of the collard greens.

This serves 4 people with 2 wraps each. I recommend a bright and tangy Tahini dipping sauce with this.

Tahini Saice

  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste easily found in a grocery store)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

Combine the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and whiz together into a nice dressing consistency. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, and thickness by adding a little water if you want to thin it out.


Wild Rice Pilaf

This is a little time consuming simply for the fact that wild rice can take a little while to cook. Otherwise, if you cook it, cool it and save it ahead of time, then you can throw the whole thing together in a few minutes.

A 1-cup serving of wild rice has 165 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, .55 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 21 percent of the daily value for folate, 17 percent of the daily value for manganese, 15 percent of the daily value for zinc, 13 percent of the daily value for magnesium, 11 percent of the daily values for phosphorus, magnesium and niacin, and 7 percent of the daily value for iron. It is also a complete protein by itself. Although called Wild rice it is actually a seed from a type of marsh grass that grows in the Great Lakes region including northern Minnesota. There are hybrids on the market these days and are more affordable than the true wild rice you could source up North in the region.

The ingredients you should get are:
2 cups wild rice
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup finely chopped/sliced celery
1 cup finely chopped/sliced carrot
1 cup finely minced white onion. You can grate it if that’s easier.
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated on a micro plane or smashed with the broad side of a knife.
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
three sprigs thyme
1 inch length of the white part of a leek, sliced open, with the herb sprigs tied inside. Maybe tie in a few peppercorns. Tie with twine or butcher twine if you have it. Definitely Not blue string, a la Bridget Jones Diary.
The leek sachet is done like that so you can remove it easily when you are done cooking the wild rice. This is an extra step that can be omitted by just sweating the leek, chopped up, with the onion, and vegetables if you choose.
For the Pilaf ingredients you will need:
1 cup toasted nuts: walnut pieces, pine nuts, sliced almonds or pecan pieces will do fine.
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup small diced, fresh apple or pear. If the pear is very ripe and soft just do thin slices.
3 tablespoons of rough chopped parsley and chervil if you have it. Or just parsley.
Sage is optional, but only use a teaspoon about, minced finely.
3 tablespoons extra virgin oil. Your very best on hand. If it’s flavored, excellent. Lemon, or Orange, or garlic, or herb pressed oils are coming out these days in such great quality. Plain is good too, but it’s got to be your very best. Wait until the rice has cooled at least until room temperature. You can also chill it. First add the olive oil and season with salt and some pepper. Freshly ground. When that tastes alright toss in the other ingredients and there it is. Feel free to add dollops of good goat cheese, Capri if you can get it, or Chevre is fine too. Hard sheep’s milk cheese grated over a serving is very nice as well.
Follow package directions for cooking the rice. You can also use a pressure cooker to reduce the time, as it can take 40-50 minutes to cook wild rice fully.