When the days start getting shorter and the heat starts to subside I like to use my oven for one dish meals, it warms up the kitchen, send 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 slightly 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 stalked, washed and diced
Add 2 cloves of garlic minced
Saute for 2 more minutes
Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa
(see what do i do with 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( image 1), folding once from the bottom (image 2), once from the sides (image 3) and once from the top (image 4), like an envelope. Put the collard leaf, folded side down in a baking dish. Continue until the baking dish is full. If you have leftover quinoa mix 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 tomato sauce and mix
Add 1/2 cup of chopped, pitted calamata 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).
Serve with sauce on top!
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