"The simpler, the better" is my general attitude toward most things. Life is captivating and perfectly satisfying when it arrives in its purest form. A genuine smile. Picking mulberries straight off the tree. Silence. An honest thought expressed with loving kindness. A quiet night with a loved one. A simple walk in the woods. A few words that completely shift your perspective...and sometimes change your entire world in the blink of an eye. A song that speaks right to your heart. A moment of clarity. The kind of peace found only in solitude. Feeling safe. Being understood by another. Walking away. Tears of complete surrender. Mountains just being mountains. Breath. A tree standing tall and strong, deeply rooted to the earth and graciously reaching for the sky. Truth. However scary or overwhelming or insignificant it may appear. Truth is exhilarating. And it unequivocally sets us free.
With each year, each month, each experience, I become clearer and clearer on what is really important. For me, freedom is essential to happiness. The times I make choices based on fear or expectations or someone else's idea of acceptable, I feel trapped and ultimately discontent, as if there is something else I should be doing, somewhere else I am supposed to be. However, when I am moving to my own rhythm and singing my own song, I am free, and therefore happy. The kind of happy that happens when I am doing that thing I've always wanted to do, going to that place I've always wanted to go, finding delight in the simplest of the simplest, living life without apology or explanation and following my own way on the path of my choosing. These are the simple things that generate joy and bring a sense of satisfaction to my soul.
Lately, I have been simplifying just about everything, including my meals. So when I was planning blog material for this week's post, I knew whatever I decided on would be easy to make with only a few ingredients. And that's exactly what I have for you today, something you can whip up in just a few minutes that will fill your belly with gorgeous, colorful, vitamin-packed vegetables. I've already made these Collard Wraps with Spicy Asian Sauce twice this week and will be making them once more over the weekend for a road trip. They travel well when kept cold in a sealed container and make a refreshing feast!
Collard Wraps with Spicy Asian Sauce
4-8 collard leaves (depending on size)
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
2 cups red cabbage sliced into strips
1 avocado, sliced into strips
1 lemon, juiced
large bowl of slightly warm water
1. Rinse the collard leaves well, removing any dirt.
2. Place juice of lemon into a large bowl of warm water that can easily fit collard leaves.
3. Place the rinsed collard leaves into the bowl of water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. I let mine sit while I was cutting the vegetables, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove leaves from water and dry with paper towel or dry kitchen towel.
5. One at a time, lay the leaves flat so that the darker side faces down.
6. With a sharp knife, cut off the part of the stem that is longer than the leaf. Then, shave the top part of the stem that is raised higher than the leaf (this part is near the edge that you just trimmed). Now the entire stem should be the same thickness.
7. Place your veggies in the center of the wrap, top with a spoonful of the sauce (recipe below), fold over the end of the leaf (the leafiest end without the thick stem) and then roll up the outer edges like a burrito. You will roll toward the stem.
8. Dip the collard wraps into the sauce or spoon more onto it as you eat it. Yum!!!!
Spicy Asian Sauce
3 medjool dates, stoned
4 tbs. raw almond butter*
2 oranges, juiced (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
1 lemon or lime, juiced
1/2 cup cilantro
1 inch piece of ginger root
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
dust of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in blender until smooth. The collard wraps will last up to a week in fridge in stored container. The sauce will last about 3 days.
*For a nut-free version of this sauce, replace the almond butter with unsweetened sunflower seed butter.