The First Mess // healthy vegan recipes for every season »

Masthead header

super powered tomato + basil collard wraps

super-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesscollards // @thefirstmesstomatoes // @thefirstmessbasil in the garden // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
I will say this with comfort and clarity because I know I’m not alone: it’s surprisingly easy to get overwhelmed by life on a regular basis–the wonderful parts, but also (womp womp) the more stress-inducing bits. We’re away for a bit on the east coast of Canada this week with my man’s family and all I could think about leading up to our departure was A) How much stuff I have to take care of before I get in the car with my duffel bag, snacks and camera, B) How much stuff I could be accomplishing if we weren’t going, and C)How realistic/possible it would be to get some work done while we’re ON vacation. I swear I can’t be the only person who thinks this way. In the same moment, there is a pull of necessity from the natural world calling for release, but also the thoughts of deadlines, career, and the “How will we ever get ahead of it all?” questions that shore up in the weaker moments.

Some of my plans got all messed up last week, my schedule was thrown off, there was a very scary thunderstorm, I didn’t see Mark for a few days because of the “passing ships in the night” quality of our conflicting work schedules sometimes, my dining table was a mess of recipes to be shot, food props, fibreglass door brochures, and just stuff, I think I ate too much sugar and drank mostly coffee, there’s still messes around every corner of our yard as we try to get it ALL together this summer, it’s August already?!, then THIS etc. In the middle of one of my now-daily marathon list-making sessions, I texted this to Mark: “I feel like I’m paddling really fucking hard and not getting anywhere.”

My tendency, when there’s probably too much going on and I’m asking the big life questions, is to go inward a bit and figure out why it’s all happening. I get stuck in my own head is another way to put it. It takes a while for inspiration, in the form of human interaction, something I’ve read/seen, or a moment of intentional quietude, to pull me up back into life and living. A worrier and an over-thinker to the end–just how I operate. But I had a very chill contractor/landscaping/handyperson-type dude here the one morning, just as the sky was darkening something fierce for another round of rain. He was giving me an estimate on a new deck + shelter structure kinda deal and we were talking about what a mess the yard had been before we lived here. The drops were puttering around and he calmly said something about being able to see past the the frustrating/messy/uncontrollable aspects of less desirable situations because he had the work/life experience to know that it all works out in the end. Pretty much exactly what I needed to hear, even if he was just talking about some outdoor livin’.

As we continue to get our bearings on this life and some of the seemingly fresh things it’s been throwing at/graciously handing to us, I think we get a bit more confident leaning into the “Everything’s going to be alright” mentality. And not in a a way that leaves it all to the fates. We’re learning and grasping and nodding our heads YES because we have a clearer sightline on human capability. I still make decisions on a whim and overcommit myself 98 percent of the time, but I feel stronger in putting my head down and getting to the work in a more intelligent way than ever before. If this is maturity/getting old/full-tilt-boogie-level adulthood, sign me up.

In addition to seeing ahead + realizing some human potential, I’ve been coming up with cooler recipe ideas and just making better things in general. It’s cool when inspiration from certain sometimes stress-y life moments stream colour and inpspiration into your everyday needs. Of course I didn’t invent collard wraps, but dang if I didn’t just try them for the first time recently and absolutely love them. My first exposure to the collard-as-wrap was in Sara’s book actually, and I was immediately pulled in by her emphasis on avoiding the “hippie mush” problem when fixing them up. Actually, just the expression “hippie mush” was enough to catch my interest (#HIPPIEMUSH). Anyway, this version has some highly varied textures and lots of summer tasties from the tomatoes and basil. Marinated and charred tempeh, chickpea mash, a little sundried tomato flecked quinoa, extra tomato, maybe a balsamic drizzle. Lots of plant-powered protein in a little leafy package. A good travellin’ snack if I do say so myself.

So I’m off to re-charge the batteries on that eastern shore. Catch ya next week or perhaps on Instagram in the meantime? :) Big love, all.

tempeh marination // @thefirstmessgrilled // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmesssuper-vegan protein power tomato basil collard wraps // @thefirstmess
super powered tomato + basil collard wraps
serves: 4
notes: Like any decent burrito or wrap-type thing, overstuffing these will lead to failure/messes everywhere. If you’re transporting them, I would recommend securing with toothpicks before you go anywhere, just so there aren’t any surprises at your destination.

1 block of tempeh, cut into half inch strips
1 chili, sliced
4-5 sprigs of basil, divided
splash of red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
olive oil
salt + pepper
1/2 cup quinoa
handful of sundried tomatoes (not the oil-packed ones), small dice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 tbsp tomato sauce
8 large collard leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes halved)
balsamic glaze/reduction (optional!)

In a shallow dish, place the tempeh pieces, sliced chili, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped basil, the red wine vinegar, sliced shallot and a good glug of olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and toss to coat the tempeh. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and a fat pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Once cool, to the quinoa add a glug of olive oil, 2-3 tbsp chopped basil, the diced sundried tomatoes, and some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

In a shallow dish, mash the chickpeas with the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. You want a mixture that kind of holds together but also a few whole chickpeas too. Set aside.

Heat a grill to high and place the marinated tempeh slices on the grates. Grill both sides until char marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.

To make the collard wraps, start by laying one collard leaf down on a cutting board so that it’s on a horizontal orientation. Lay another collard leaf on top, overlapping the stem ends considerably. You should have an almost solid rectangular-ish sheet of collard green now. It almost looks like a very chunky figure 8. Spoon some of the chickpea mash into the middle, pressing it down. Lay two tempeh slices on top of the chickpea mash. Then place some sliced tomato on top of the tempeh. Place a few slices of tomato and whole leaves of basil on top. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze if you like. Pull up the long side of the collard wrap and fold it over the filling. Bring in the short sides as if you were making a burrito. Then roll the whole thing until you’ve sealed the wrap.

Repeat this process with remaining ingredients. Secure wraps with toothpicks if necessary. Slice wraps in half to serve.

You might also like…

raw + vegan taco vibes

There’s a gal at work who will jokingly proclaim “My body is a temple!” before predictably reachingView full post »

raw chard salad rolls, spicy mango sauce + regrouping

I find that getting back from New York is always a bit heavy. I have a hard time psyching myself up to leave and getView full post »

sweet corn + caramelized tomato farrotto

Guys, summer isn’t over and I’m going to prove it to you. How? Over a healthy bowl of farro risotto withView full post »


pin it subscribe tweet this post share on facebook email to a friend
Carly06/08/2014 - 4:18 am

I totally feel you on this “everything will be alright” mentality. I’m going through my own can of worms at the moment and just like you I overthink everything and tend to spend too much time dwelling on what my heart/brain have to say (a lot) instead of just throwing all that crap out the window and going with my gut. These super powered wraps seem like the perfect place to start!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment06/08/2014 - 5:43 am

Yes, trusting that things will work out in the end is key, isn’t it?! I love how we can find inspiration in unusual ways, that’s a sign we are in fact able to get out of our heads every once in while. ;-) Love these collard wraps especially because of the tempeh, quinoa, and sun-dried tomatoes! Lovely summer dish.

Julia06/08/2014 - 5:58 am

EVERYTHING about this post resonates (like a gong) with me. thanks for the candid sharing, and thanks for a killer wrap recipe. i too was introduced to collard wraps via sara. enjoy the east coast:)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar06/08/2014 - 8:09 am

This is such a bright and gorgeous wrap. Lovely!

Mariela06/08/2014 - 8:51 am

Boy do I admirer those who don’t over think, over analyse, over stress. One day I will too let go and trust the process.

Lovely post, lovely recipe!

Tieghan06/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I am a huge overthinker, worrier and everything in between. I can relate to this post in so many ways, thank you for sharing!

Now these wraps. Just gorgeous!! Love all the colors, textures and flavors!

Grace06/08/2014 - 9:57 am

I guess it’s instinct to always want to improve, build something better, think to the future. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what’s next’ but it takes some serious skills to reflect, be present and just breath. Enjoy your vacation! These wraps are all that is good for the body and soul. Beautiful!

Lynsey06/08/2014 - 10:13 am

Laura, as always your words and sentiments on life are so beautifully written – even when they are talking about times of stress and feelings of being completely and utterly overwhelmed. If these (OMG) beautiful wraps are what comes out of your mind when under the gun, I can’t wait to see the creativity that flourishes after a little rest and recharge by the sea! Enjoy your vacay! xo

Abby06/08/2014 - 10:14 am

your photographs are perfection, as usual, Laura! such a lovely post :)

Ashley06/08/2014 - 10:16 am

Did you just climb in my head and write the exact thoughts in my brain? I’m pretty sure you did. I think I could have finished your sentences in this post. My goodness. Really can’t wait to see you in September! We’re also leaving for vacation soon and I am s.t.r.e.s.s.i.n.g. :) Hope you have a very relaxing time without the computer! <3 <3

[…] How did I never think of this? Why wrap sandwiches in lettuce when I could be using one of my favorite leafy greens in the world? […]

elle06/08/2014 - 12:12 pm

looks so beautiful and yummy, but might fall apart. think i might shred the greens too and wrap everything in a rice paper wrapper. Adds 20 calories and 4 carbs if anyone is wondering.

Ileana06/08/2014 - 12:14 pm

Spectacular – as usual! Such beautiful food. Enjoy your vacation!

Eileen06/08/2014 - 12:45 pm

These wraps sound like the perfect thing to make for a summer potluck! I would be so happy to see a big tray of these in the middle of the tableful of typical chips and crudites and hot dog buns. Yay!

erin {yummysupper}06/08/2014 - 12:59 pm

Laura, every time I look at that wallpaper of collards I swoon. What a brilliant photo!!! And your wraps looks awesome.
I hope your trip gives you some of the rest and recuperation you’re craving. Travel can work wonders on the racing brain… I know that feeling well.
xoxox from Berkeley,
E

Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish06/08/2014 - 1:30 pm

Absolutely stunning! I am sooooo making these for lunch tomorrow :)

sara forte06/08/2014 - 2:45 pm

you are too good. These are gorgeous and long live the #hippiemush :)
If it’s of any help, I’m convinced that a home in flux is crazy making. We moved into a home that needs a lot of TLC as well, and I’m realizing all these projects will take a lot of time and money…two things that are inconsistent around here. A home is a place where you should go to rest but it is instead a place that I am “managing” and constantly thinking about what project takes precedence. It’s a job, really, not a refuge. For now anyway.
I’m glad you’re getting out of town. I hope you can stop thinking about it and enjoy your time. Your garden looks beautiful, btw.

Jo @The Nectar Cafe06/08/2014 - 4:49 pm

I am with you on those feelings of wondering how we will ever get on top of it all. I feel like that alot until I take the time to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that ‘me’ time is just as important as work/home-making/family commitments.
I’m loving the look of these wraps and anything wrapped up in a big leaf is awesome in my opinion, so I’ll defiantly be trying these out! Beautiful pics as always Laura x

Renee (will frolic for food)06/08/2014 - 5:36 pm

Being overwhelmed, oh yes I know the feeling well. Sometimes stepping out from underneath of the clouding thoughts gives you some freedom and perspective. meditating helps me! and yoga and exercising. and taking walks. it all helps. life can be so full of stress and projects and people who want things from you. // and this post is fiercely gorgeous. i want to be eating this right now. your savory recipes ROCK. wondering if i can convince my friend who i’m staying with to make this tonight, haha! i’ll be making this in the future, either way! <3

jocenel06/08/2014 - 6:47 pm

The food looks so delicious, I made my own for lunch today. I change one thing though; the tomatoes in your picture are hybrids. I used plum tomatoes.

I wanted to make this king of green wraps for far too long. Great recipe, so easy :) And pictures are fabulous.

Laura Wright06/08/2014 - 7:16 pm

Hi Jocenel, glad you enjoyed it. Those hybrid tomatoes in the picture were also grown by my father and were incredibly delicious, which is certainly enough for me.
-L

kristie / birchandwild.com07/08/2014 - 12:28 am

These are the first collard wraps I have seen that I have wanted to make immediately after seeing the photos. They look creative, fresh and really tasty.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen07/08/2014 - 6:40 am

This post is a gem. I can relate to all those feelings of being overwhelmed by life. Sometimes it’s just SO MUCH that it’s hard to think and see clearly. Sometimes we just feel we are SO BUSY that we don’t even have a spare week to spend relaxing. Oh yes, life.
On another note, these wraps!! They speak to my heart. If one could adopt wraps, I would definitely adopt these ones. Oh and how gorgeous is that collard picture? You’re awesome, Laura.

Valerie07/08/2014 - 11:01 am

I’m unbearably neurotic; if there’s nothing to overthink/worry about, my mind goes into a tailspin and starts obsessing about small things like streaky glasses and the paper towel roll that should have been placed in recycling. Usually my cat’s blasé countenance helps put things *slightly* into perspective.

Gorgeous hippie wraps! Love the happy colours.

la domestique07/08/2014 - 11:12 am

I love greens and these wraps look so colorful and nourishing. Enjoy your holiday!

Lindsey08/08/2014 - 9:40 am

i can’t tell you how much this past week mirrored yours – unexpected car crap, my husband leaving for a work trip unexpectedly, recipes gone terribly wrong! but when measured on a spectrum of relative importance these things aren’t so weighty i suppose. not easy sometimes to get out of our own way, but yes, a break from it all to escape and breathe is totally necessary! xo

Jenalle08/08/2014 - 11:02 am

These look amazing.
Also styled perfectly, as usual.
Props. :)

Teffy Perk08/08/2014 - 3:20 pm

Oh wow. That looks so so sooooo good!
Exactly my kind of wrap – full of goodies and flavours that just sing!

{Teffy’s Perks} X

sunday food mood board vol1.09/08/2014 - 7:13 pm

[…] […]

[…] I’ve been obsessed with collard wraps […]

[…] Super powered tomato + basil collard wraps (The First Mess) […]

Leah11/08/2014 - 1:29 pm

I totally feel you on all fronts – I was just out of town for 2 weeks and I feel so behind. It was really hard to actually enjoy my vacation because I kept thinking – should I be taking more pictures, can I try to get a blog post done, etc. etc. and I realize that isn’t fair to my husband and our family. I’m learning too – I guess sometimes you have to just let go and try to trust that it will all work out and get done at some point. Gorgeous recipe and photos as always !!

Samantha11/08/2014 - 3:40 pm

Oh wow, what an absolutely genius idea! I’m going to start doing this for lunch! Thank you for the great post :)

shanna mallon12/08/2014 - 9:48 pm

fringe benefit of being one of the in-your-head types: you see things so well and say them so good. reading this post, I just kept thinking what a pleasure it was to get to read it. also. these photos. I can’t. the only word is perfection. kind of an overblown concept and an elusive one but as far as food pics, yours are my fav.

Diana13/08/2014 - 11:49 pm

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.

jessise1314/08/2014 - 4:04 am

I made these wraps, with some slight variations. But I kept the tempeh marinade exactly as is, and am enjoying the grilled tempeh very very very much. Thanks for this recipe, and others, I really enjoy your cooking ideas.ブランド靴

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)14/08/2014 - 2:25 pm

Oh my gosh–your photographs always blow me away. So inspiring and creative! These collard wraps sound amazing Laura!

hannah14/08/2014 - 5:37 pm

This is so important isn’t it, it’s not really optimism more a sense of calm and peace, a sort of trust that we can hand over our struggles and stress to “life” and allow it to take its own path without endlessly worrying and striving for control. You write so beautifully and this post has really got me thinking. And fantasising about these wraps. What sort of tomato sauce do you mean? In the UK “tomato sauce” means Heinz ketchup but I’m not sure that’s what you used here!

Audrina15/08/2014 - 9:03 am

I know EXACTLY what you mean by thinking those before going on vacation! But nonetheless, everyone needs a break once in a while :) The wrap looks delicious!

http://www.mindfullyaudrina.blogspot.com

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño17/08/2014 - 11:11 am

These look so good and such a unique and delicious combination of flavors. I hope you enjoy a little respite and don’t worry too much about all the stuff you are not getting done. Deep breaths my friend.

[…] mouths literally started watering looking at this yummy recipe! A perfect end of summer meal! Super Powered Tomato + Basil Collard Wraps via The First […]

Maria Rieger19/08/2014 - 3:37 pm

I can understand all those feelings and internal conflicts. I have just moved back to Europe after five wonderful years in Mexico. This is our life. We arrive somewhere, fall in love with a place, find real friends and even people I would call family and then it is time to leave again. You keep in touch but you know it will never be the same. It is a fascinating but difficult life. Now I am about to make a new home, things will arrive soon and there is so much to do. I feel many times there aren’t enough hours in a day. Tomorrow they will start breaking the kitchen and by friday there should be a new one in place. I miss cooking and writing but sometimes I just realize I need to stop, not worry so much, take time to myself and to my daughter and husband. In the end all will fall into place once again. I will definitely try the Collard wraps when I have a kitchen again. Thank you.

[…] you’re into clean eating or not, Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps by The First Mess put a little ingenuity behind rolling a good wrap. Collard greens are so sturdy […]

Tessa24/08/2014 - 7:49 am

Oh my, the colours happening in that wrap are divine! Definitely need to try them out soon :)

agoodstuff.blogspot.in26/08/2014 - 1:39 pm

You make wonderful dishes, specially salads. The best part of your salads is that they have amazing nature’s colors and are so bright n tempting that no one can resist.

[…] cashew parfait because I’m currently flirting with pseudo-veganism and oh my god. these super-powered tomato basil collard wraps which I’ve already made and fallen madly in love with. these pillowy pistachio pop tarts. […]

Sam @ PancakeWarriors31/08/2014 - 1:01 pm

This post is everything I love about blogging. I love the honesty and the photography is amazing. Thank you for your honesty in this post – the craziness of life and how things often get overwhelming but then you stop and reflect on it all and realize that in your chaos you have become better… and for that you can be greatful. Love hippymush! You have a new follower!

meg31/08/2014 - 2:57 pm

So pretty! Love it

cynthia01/09/2014 - 5:17 pm

I love these words so, so, so very much. I hear ya, lady — here’s to recharging and these incredible, incredible wraps!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*