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Collards Stuffed with Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup small red beans, cooked
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon Tabasco, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 12 leaves collard greens

Recipe

 

Cook the rice and red beans  before you do anything else, make sure you have those prepared.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring regularly. Add the green pepper and celery and cook, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Remove 3/4 of a cup of the vegetables from the skillet and mix them in a bowl with the fire-roasted tomatoes and a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To the skillet, add the rice, red beans, seasonings, and 1/4 cup of bean-cooking liquid or vegetable broth. Reduce heat to very low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly and adding additional liquid if it starts to dry out. Remove from heat.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and Preheat oven to 350F.

Wash the collard leaves and cut off the stems level with the bottom of the leaves. Turn them with the coarse stem-side of the leaf up, and holding a very sharp knife parallel to the leaf, trim off part of the thickened central rib. Be careful not to cut through the leaves. If leaves are very large, you can just cut out the thickest part of the central rib.

In two batches of 6, place the collard leaves into the boiling water, pressing them down gently to make sure all leaves are submerged. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse in cool water. Repeat with remaining leaves.

To assemble, spoon half of the tomato mixture into the bottom of a long, oiled casserole dish. Place a collard leaf in front of you, trimmed side up and stem closest to you. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the rice mixture  about a quarter of the way from the bottom.

Fold the side edges over the middle. Fold the bottom (stem end) over the filling, tucking it in behind the filling. Roll up tightly, and place each roll into the casserole dish. Spoon the remaining tomato mixture over the rolls, and cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve hot.

Adapted from Susan Voisin, Fat Free Vegan

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