Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Collard Greens

This summer I wrote an article on stuffed collards greens for the Lexington Farmers' Market for the town newspaper, the Lexington Minuteman, and I wanted to share it with you:

Nutritionist suggests way to stuff collard greens
By Annabelle Ho
Published July 11, 2013

Stuffed collard greens are a beautiful and delicious way to eat these veggies! Collard greens are light and nutrient-rich, providing fiber, vitamins K, A, and C, calcium, and more.  Quinoa also packs a nutritional punch. It offers all nine essential amino acids, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorous, and other nutrients. Technically a seed, and not a grain, quinoa is also gluten-free. Here is a simple recipe for quinoa stuffed collard greens.

Stuffed collard greens is a healthy recipe for summer dining

Stuffed collard greens

Makes 4 servings
Time: 1 hour


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced radishes
1 cup diced summer squash
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
8 large collard leaves

  1. Rinse the quinoa well in a strainer and drain, to remove the bitter residue. Add the quinoa, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer, then simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, warm the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Next, add the garlic, carrots, radishes, summer squash, oregano, mint, and black pepper. Cover the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in the lemon juice and cooked quinoa, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Remove the large part of the main stem from each collard leaf. Boil or steam the leaves until they are soft, about 1 minute. Lay the leaves flat on a plate to cool. When the leaves are cool enough to handle, lay a leaf flat, vein side up, with the leaf tip away from you. If the leaf has a space in the middle where the stem was cut away, overlap the two sides of the leaf slightly. Put about ½ cup of the quinoa filling in the bottom center of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, and then roll it up carefully and tightly to form a package. Place in a lightly oiled 8-inch square baking pan, seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the collard greens.
  4. Cover and bake the stuffed greens in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until hot.
Substitute the quinoa, vegetables, or herbs in this recipe for other ingredients that are local and in season.

The recipe was adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health."

Many of these ingredients can be purchased from vendors at the Lexington Farmers' Market. Cook and enjoy.

Annabelle Ho is a Lexington resident with a Bachelor of Science in nutritional science from Boston University. She maintains a blog at herbalmedicinebox.com, and is a work-share volunteer at Waltham Fields Community Farm.