Baked Collard Rolls Recipe

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

This is a variation of a traditional “Cabbage Rolls” recipe - a family favorite in our house during the holiday season (Thanks Mom!). Instead of using cabbage leaves, I’ve used collard leaves as they are growing beautifully in my garden right now. Collards are a wonderful source of dietary fiber, vitamins/minerals (vitamin A & C, zinc, selenium) and the potent phytonutrient Indole-3-carbinol (I3C).

Ingredients: 8 – 10 medium collard Leaves 1 lb organic ground beef/buffalo/lamb 1 medium onion (finely diced) 1 egg ½ tsp sea salt {I used the “Pesto” seasoned salt from Sunshine Coast Salt Co} Fresh ground pepper (to taste) 24 oz strained organic tomato sauce 4 cloves garlic 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (add to meat mixture if using lean ground meat) ~ 2 cups of water Add Spices (as desired): parsley, basil, cumin, etc.

Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Prepare collard leaves: Rinse and cut off thick stem to bottom of leaf; using a sharp knife, carefully shave the remaining thick part of stem off until it’s approximately the same thickness as the leaf; bring ~ 2 cups of water to a boil – place collard leaves (one at a time) in boiling water for ~ 1 minute to blanche the leaf. Prepare ground meat stuffing: In a large mixing bowl, use hands to mix together ground meat, diced onion, 1 egg, salt + pepper + desired spices, and olive oil (if using lean ground meat) Prepare rolls: Place ~ 1 – 2 Tbsps of ground meat stuffing ~ ¾ the way up top of leaf. Pull remaining top of leaf over meat and begin to roll down to end of leaf. As you roll down, tuck the sides of the leaf into the roll to fully wrap the meat stuffing. Gently place each completed roll in an oven-safe casserole dish. Prepare Sauce: Place water remaining from steamed collard leaves in a sauce pan. Add garlic and tomato sauce and any spices (to taste) and bring to a light boil. Pour sauce over rolls in casserole dish – making sure to cover the rolls completely with sauce.

Cover dish and bake in oven for ~ 1 hour (note: cooking times may vary for certain ovens). Serve over brown rice, quinoa or potatoes. Enjoy!

By Dr. Baili Clarke, ND