Collard greens are one of the top inflammation fighting greens. We all need to eat more greens like kale, beet greens, mustard greens etc. for their high nutrient value, antioxidant capacity, high fiber content and detoxifying abilities. However, recent studies have shown that collard greens, specifically, rank very high in their ability to fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol, & prevent cancer.
When I was a little girl, I hated collards in fact, I hated all greens. Now that I am an adult, I love greens I can’t seem to get enough of them. And collard greens are one of my favorites. The study mentioned above found that eating them raw or steamed collards works well but steamed seems to be better at reducing cholesterol.
You may be thinking that you don’t really like collard greens which may be related to how they have been prepared for you. If you will give them a chance and try my recipe for Stuffed Collards – Mexican Style, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good they can be.
Stuffed Collards – Mexican Style
Remember to use as much Organic and Non-GMO ingredients as possible
12 Fresh collard leaves (washed and trimmed, cut the stem at the base of the leaf and shave off the fat part of the stem by carefully slicing the stem horizontally)
Chicken breast or tenders (you will be cutting these into strips so if you use tenders you can cut them in to length wise or if your leaves are large use a whole tender for each one. With the breasts cut them in to 12 strips)
1 Medium onion, diced
1 Chipotle pepper, diced (if it’s dried soak it in warm water to re hydrate, remove the seeds and chop finely)
1 ½ – 2 cups Sharp cheese, shredded (like cheddar, pepper jack, or queso fresco)
2 cups Salsa (I take a short cut here and use pre-made salsa, I keep my favorite organic one on hand which is what I use here)
¼ cup Adobo Sauce (I like Frontier brand because even though it’s not organic they do use organic ingredients and the flavors are authentic)
Avocado oil for sautéing
Seasoning – cumin, garlic powder, salt
Begin by steaming the collards until just tender but still bright green about 1-2 minutes. Remove from hot water and place in a colander to cool.
Filling: Heat a skillet on medium. When the skillet is hot, add enough avocado oil to cover the bottom about 1/8 of an inch, when oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until just soft then add the chicken strips and sear on both sides. Reduce heat to medium-low, season with cumin, salt and garlic powder, add the chipotle pepper with some of the sauce from the can or the liquid it was re hydrated in. Cover and allow the chicken to cook through but do not overcook, the onions will begin to caramelize. Set aside.
Assembly: Lay out a collard leaf, stem end closest to you, place a chicken strip near the stem end, top with some of the onion and chipotle mixture, top with cheese. (Keep in mind that you are making 12 of these). Begin rolling up the collard leaf like you would a wrap folding the sides in as you go, place the roll seam side down into a baking dish to which you have spread a thin layer of salsa. When all rolls are done and, in the dish, make the topping sauce by mixing the salsa with the adobo sauce, pour this over all the rolls. Bake in a warm oven on 375’ for 30 minutes. Serve with beans cooked with onions and garlic, mash them to make refried beans.