After a great workout this evening I needed a good meal that packed some protein. So I made an adaptation of Sarma Melngailis‘ Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps. The adaptation was primarily due to what I had in the kitchen. The original recipe from Raw Food Real World is a bit more involved and definitely worth the effort!
The fresh organic collard greens in this dish are of course one of the most magnificent of the cruciferous vegetables, up there with kale and even surpassing all others in some areas. Collards are best at lowering cholesterol by binding bile acids (made from cholesterol) in the digestive track and thus allowing them to be easily removed from the body. However, according to the World Health Organization the bile binding action of collards in the body is actually better when they are steamed as opposed to eaten raw. This came as quite a surprise and was rather disappointing for me, as I would like to believe raw is always better (however, I learned the hard way that raw sweet potato is no fun!).
We also get uncomparable cancer protection benefits from collard greens. This protection comes from 4 specific glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems.
Another star on the cancer fighting front are the clover sprouts in this dish. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains genistein, an anticancer compound that prevents new blood vessels from forming with in a tumor. (Genistein can also be found in soy, black beans and peanuts.) Since tumors rely on new blood vessels to grow, genistein effectively starves the cancer. Turns out at least 33 cultures use clover sprouts to fight cancer!
On to the mango, a low calorie non fat food that provides 100% of your daily vitamin C and 35% of your vitamin A (in one serving) both important antioxidant nutrients. Vitamin C promotes healthy immune function and collagen formation (anti aging ladies!) Vitamin A is important for vision and bone growth.
There is a host of other wonderful foods in this recipe, I chose just a few to highlight but I encourage you to do a little research and find out more about the healthy benefits of this dish. It’s not only amazingly good for you but it is also a refreshing, delicious change to the standard salad. It also presents very nicely!
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoon dried red chile with seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
1 cup raw almond butter
6 very large collard-green leaves
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small ripe mango, cut lengthwise into batons
1/4 jicima, julienned
2 cups clover sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
Purée the maple syrup, lemon juice, ginger, red chile, and soy sauce in a blender. Add the almond butter, and blend at low speed to combine. Add water to thin if necessary.
Cut out the center rib of each collard-green leaf, dividing the leaf in half. Place 1 half-leaf on a cutting board with underside face up. Spread some almond butter mixture evenly across the bottom third of the leaf, leaving about 1 inch clear at the bottom. Lay a few sticks of carrot, jicima, a baton of mango, and some clover sprouts on top. Add a few leaves each of cilantro, basil, and mint. Fold the bottom of the leaf up and over the filling, keeping it tight, and tuck the leaf under the ingredients and roll forward. Place the roll seam-side down on a serving dish. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and ingredients.
The original recipe calls for a tamarind dipping sauce to accompany this dish.