Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ginger-miso yam wraps

In the airport on my way to a wedding last weekend, I was browsing through magazines to kill some time and the Vegetarian Times caught my eyes. This was the first recipe I flipped to, and it looked intriguing enough that I bought the magazine. It provided good reading and lots of inspiration on the flight. I even bought a subscription when I got home, so I'm sure you'll see many more VT recipes on this blog.
This recipe turned out really well, and I would not thought to have put it together. In the magazine, it doesn't call for blanching the collard leaves, but it makes them more supple, so they don't crack when you roll them up, and I like the taste better. I will say, however, that the raw ones are a little less messy to eat, so if you wanted to eat this in the car or somewhere you didn't have access to a napkin or utensils, you might want to go with raw. You can probably use other greens in place of the collards if you want, but collards are generally the cheapest green at the store, and they work perfectly well. The recipe called for smooth peanut butter, but I didn't have any, so I substituted tahini. I know people often make the substitution the other way in hummus. Both of them are rich and nutty and work well.

Two blanched leaf wraps on the left, one raw leaf wrap on the right

Ginger-miso yam wraps (from Vegetarian Times)
1 lb sweet potatoes (2-3 small or 1 large)
2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter or tahini
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot or onion
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 ox firm silken tofu, crumbled (1 cup)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional
8 collard green leaves

Bake the sweet potatoes. I poke them a few times, wrap them in foil, and bake at 400-425 for an hour or so. When they have cooled enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and mash it. You can do this up to three days or so in advance and just keep it in the fridge. Mash the miso and peanut butter or tahini into the sweet potatoes.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium and add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute them for about 3 minutes. Add the edamame, 1/4 cup water, and cayenne. Cook 3 minutes more. The water should be mostly evaporated, and the edamame should be a good texture. Remove from heat and stir in tofu, cilantro if using, and sweet potato mixture.

Now prep the collard leaves. Wash them thoroughly and cut off the bottom part of the stem that extends past the leaf. Don't cut out the thick part of the stem in the leaf, but do thin it by cutting it in half through the part that sticks out behind the leaf. (I hope that made sense.) You can either use them raw or blanch them. If you want to blanch them, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place the leaves in the water and remove them almost immediately with tongs. I do this one at a time so none of them will get mushy. They should turn bright green and become very pliable.

To assemble the wraps, spoon 1/4-1/3 cup sweet potato mixture onto a collard leaf. Roll it up the best you can, trying not to let the mixture spill everywhere. I'm imperfect at this right now, but it still tastes good. You can also make smaller, two-bite wraps by cutting the leaves into halves or thirds before filling them. I would say 3 wraps is a good serving. Vegetarian Times says 2 wraps is a serving, but that's only 179 calories, and that's not many for a lunch. In case you're curious, they include the nutritional info for two wraps: 179 calories, 10 g protein, 5 g fat, 25 g carbs, 302 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, and 8 g sugars.

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