Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.
Today: When you crave both the crunch of raw vegetables and the comfort of cooked grains, pack yourself a collard wrap.
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I love collard wraps because they’re crispy and cool -- a perfect way to enjoy something portable while also getting your green on. They’re ideal summer foods, too, because no heating is required. I usually pair mine with cashew cheese.
Sometimes, though, I crave something that’s fresh and grounding at the same time. This is when I love to stuff my collard wraps with leftover rice, quinoa, or lentils. It’s the best of both worlds: the crunch and freshness of raw vegetables, with the satisfying taste and texture of a cooked grain. A lot of my late summer lunches take this same approach.
Here, I filled raw collards with cooked quinoa, roasted red peppers, a few basil leaves, and a little tahini dressing (tahini, water, lemon, sea salt, mustard, and a dash of maple syrup). Alongside went crispy arugula, more peppers, and local cucumbers, with more of the dressing. And a very green, very refreshing lunch was served.
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.