Makes 4 servings
It took me a while to warm up to collard greens. The recipe that turned me around was surprisingly simple: using raw or gently steamed collard leaves as an easy, nutritious wrap. In this version, collard leaves are stuffed with freekeh, lentils, currants and toasted pine nuts. The filling is spiked with za’atar, a vibrant Mediterranean spice blend of oregano, cumin, sumac and sesame. I like to serve them with a creamy pomegranate dressing. Note that the recipe calls for 10 collard leaves; you’ll only use eight of them, but it’s a good idea to prepare a couple of extra ones in case any split or fall apart during cooking or rolling.
Make the filling: Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, then stir in freekeh. Lower heat and cover. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.
If using dried lentils, put lentils in pot and add water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in freekeh and lentils, then stir in za’atar, cumin, coriander, salt, smoked paprika, pepper, lemon juice to taste and pine nuts. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring gently, until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
Cook and fill the collard leaves: Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add collard leaves and cook for about 2 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain leaves and pat dry with paper towels or clean kitchen towel. Lay a leaf on work surface and pile about 1/3 cup freekeh and lentil mixture along stem of leaf. Fold top and bottom of leaf over filling, then fold one side over filling. Roll leaf up from folded side toward unfolded side to make neat parcel. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and filling.
Make the dipping sauce: Blend or whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients until smooth.
Serve stuffed collard leaves with dipping sauce alongside.
This recipe is part of the Full of power collection.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.