The weather has finally come around and I’ve pulled my flip flops and tank tops out from the back of my closet.
All of this extra sunshine makes me yearn for warm weather meals, but the truth is that early spring can really be a tease. There’s a bit of a lag time between spring’s arrival and the colorful produce that we’ve all been dreaming about for two months. We may have officially escaped winter, but apart from the asparagus, we’ll still have to wait a bit for the farmers markets to really fill out.
But while we patiently wait, lets keep taking advantage of the less finicky veggies that can be just as colorful and equally delicious. And that’s exactly what I had in mind when I thought up these Purple Sweet Potato Collard Wraps with Cashew Honey Mustard.
Neutral colored foods can absolutely be delicious, but there is definitely something about eating the rainbow that makes you feel like you’re doing something great for yourself. As a part of a childhood nutritional program I put together at work, each little person received a chart with the colors of the rainbow. It was meant to be hung on the fridge, and checked off with every color that they ate.
A good exercise for the tiny ones, yes. But also surprisingly persuasive to fully grown adults with an affinity for checking off lists.
Not even embarrassed about it. Did you eat your rainbow today?
You’ll be well on your way with these collard wraps—- just throwing that out there. And the inclusion of sprouts will bring us back to the season at hand, and remind us that there are strawberry plants sprouting up somewhere. Keep holding on!
When you make these, really do try to find some purple sweet potatoes because how beautiful are they?? But rest assured that a sweet potato in any hue will be equally delicious, whether it lets you check off your purple box or not.
These beauties require minimal effort to come together- just a bit of layering, really. Then you’re just a tuck, roll, and toothpick spear away from your new favorite wrapped food. The sweet potato sort of acts like the glue to hold everything else together, and the collard leaf is the perfect vessel, due to its hearty nature.
Since collard wraps happen to be super portable as well as handheld, they make the perfect addition to your spring picnic. Or even if you’re just packing them into your work lunch bag, you can be confident that they will be intact and ready to devour by the time noon rolls around.
If they make it that long.
I’ve been known to eat half of my lunch while tackling emails as a bridge between breakfast and lunch. Does sneaking into your lunch bag while at your desk count as brunch?
All I know is that I’d usually regret that second breakfast by the time lunchtime actually arrived. Only cheating myself, really.
Speaking of cheating yourself, you absolutely cannot leave off the cashew honey mustard when you make these collard wraps. I used to l-o-v-e honey mustard. That was before I reevaluated its place in my life. Store bought honey mustard is usually filled with scary and non-necessary ingredients, and sometimes doesn’t even include honey!
Blending some cashews with just a couple other healthy (and pronounceable) ingredients is all it takes to get this creamy homemade sauce. Plus, its got some protein and healthy fat going on, which most store bought dressings can’t compete with.
And who doesn’t appreciate a good sauce to dunk into?
Serve these with some orange carrot sticks and a few frozen blueberries for dessert and you’ll have finished your list checking in one go.
Talk about a rewarding lunch.
- 3-4 purple sweet potatoes
- 6 large collard leaves
- 3/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- olive oil
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- sliced red onion
- roasted red pepper, sliced
- 1-2 ripe avocados, sliced
- chopped cashews
- 1 cup cashews (preferably soaked for several hours prior)
- 1 tbs light olive oil
- 1.5 tbs yellow mustard
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- salt to taste
- water to thin
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While waiting, peel and cube sweet potatoes. Add to water, reduce heat slightly and boil for 12-15 minutes, until soft.
- While potatoes boil, add cashews, honey, mustard, light olive oil, vinegar, and ground ginger to a food processor. Pulse, adding water until you have a smooth sauce. Salt to taste.
- Drain sweet potatoes and add salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and olive oil. Mash and add more oil as needed.
- Wash collard leaves under very hot water (this will help them be a little bit malleable) Using a small paring knife, trim the thick vein that runs down the center of the leaf to make it lay flush with the rest of the leaf (careful not to pierce the leaf) Then cut the stem where the leaf starts.
- Working one wrap at a time, lay collard leaf with the inside of the leaf facing up and the stem facing towards you. Spread a base of sweet potato mash, followed by a sprinkling of chopped cashews. Next, add your shredded carrots, roasted red pepper strips, and avocado slices. Top with sprouts.
- Fold the right and left sides of the leaf inwards, then begin to roll your collard leaf, keeping it tight and tucking in the edges as you go. Secure with two toothpicks and slice down the center.
- Repeat for the remaining wraps and serve with cashew honey mustard.
You can make the wraps more pliable by quickly dipping them into a pot of hot water and then running the leaves under cold water. I like to add crushed red pepper to my wrap, as the extra kick compliments the sweetness of the honey mustard. Leave that out if you don't care for the extra kick. This recipe makes enough for each person to have 1.5 wraps.
And if yours doesn’t make it to lunchtime, I won’t judge you one bit.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.