No dirty hippies were injured in the making of these wraps.
So, I have some sad news today. I occasionally mention my cooking partner in crime, Victor, who has inspired me in the kitchen in a number of ways. I can always tell when a recipe is a home run or just-okay by his reaction. Okay, the news isn’t that sad. He hasn’t died or anything. He’s moved to Sydney, Australia! Victor’s new life adventure is bittersweet, because while I’m soooo happy for him I will definitely miss our local adventures together, particularly the ones in my kitchen. So here is yet another recipe inspired by Victor (though it certainly won’t be the last, despite the distance).
Victor came up with dirty rice wraps ages ago. It’s basically a box of Zataran’s with added ground anything, then put it in a tortilla and topped with lettuce/cheese/etc fixin’s. It’s super easy, but something about it is crazy delicious. We’ve tried making it not using Zataran’s, but it’s never the same and never as good. There’s really not much I can do to snazz up Victor’s tried and true, so I decided to make it my own and hippy that shit up with quinoa instead of rice, and a collard wrap instead of a tortilla, and feta instead of cheddar shreds. And hummus, because there is really almost nothing more granola kid than hummus in a wrap.
Now, if you’re down with tortillas, awesome. Use your favorite kind. But if you’re paleo, low carb, or just like something different and lighter once in a while, go with the collards even though they seem like slightly a pain in the ass. If you’re cooking for mixed company with different dietary preferences, do both and it will save you some time with the collards.
I blanche the collards for two reasons. First, it softens them just enough and takes out a little of that bitter bite you get with raw collards. Second, when a collard is wet it kind of sticks to itself, which is perfect for wrapping. When you wrap them, make sure the slit in the middle where you took out the stem has been overlayed or else the insides will fall out. :) Just kind of bring the two sides of the leaf together, and glue it with the hummus.
Dirty Hippy Wraps
- 1lb ground venison
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Small red onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1.5 cups quinoa (rinsed)
- 3 cups water or broth
- 1/3-1/2 cup sundried tomato pesto (or chopped sundried tomatoes + 1 more T olive oil)
- fresh chopped basil
- 1 packet tortillas (or 2 collard leaves per roll or both!)
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (chopped)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- lemon wedges (for garnish)
- salt and pepper to taste
|Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the red onion and a little salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ground venison and brown the venison and break it up. Add the quinoa and give it a stir in the pan until it's coated with the meat and veg juices. Add 3 cups water or broth, a little more salt and the sundried tomatoes (if using plain instead of pesto), bring to a boil, then simmer until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy (15 minutes for all white quinoa, about 20-25 for red or black quinoa or a combination).|
|If using collard wraps, bring a large pot of water to a boil with a splash of vinegar. Cut the vein out of each collard leaf, leaving the end of the leaf intact if possible. Once the water is boiling, quickly blanch (about 30 seconds) then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready to fill.|
|Once the quinoa has cooked, take off the heat and let cool slightly. Add the pesto (or the extra glug of olive oil if you aren't using pesto). Start with 1/3 cup of pesto, taste and add more if you need to. Also add salt and pepper if needed. Once the quinoa has cooled slightly, stir in the fresh chopped basil.|
|If using the collards, pat them dry a little bit and take two leaves and overlay them, making a kind of loose figure 8. Make sure to overlap the slits from where you cut out the vein. Since they are slightly wet, they should stick to themselves pretty well. Now to assemble, place the collard wrap horizontally and smear about 1 T of hummus on your collard (or tortilla) wrap, then layer with quinoa filling, tomatoes and feta. Fold in the sides of the collards and roll tightly like a burrito. Secure with a toothpick if needed. Slice in half, and serve with lemon wedges.|
Non game substitution: This dish would go really nicely with some shredded chicken actually, perfect if you have a leftover rotisserie sitch going on in your fridge. Otherwise, just anything ground. Lamb would be nice.
Vegetarian substitution: Between the hummus, quinoa and feta, this sucker would make a perfect veg-friendly and protein rich dish by just omitting the meat. Maybe throw some avocado in there for a little extra umami, if you feel so inclined.