A few weeks back I posted about “beef-stuffed collards” for Food Network Friday. Luckily, I received collards in the next two CSA deliveries, so I had the chance to perfect my version. I think this is as close as I can get to the original, and it’s darned tasty! Not to mention, much healthier than the meat-filled original. And they’re really quite easy to make once the ingredients are cooked.
(This batch was made with a particularly stemmy bunch of collards; they’re not always this rampant with stems.)
Lentil & Tempeh-Stuffed Collards
1 bunch collard greens, at least 12 leaves
8 oz. tempeh
3/4 c lentils
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbs vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs ketchup
1 1/2 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer powder
2 Tbs warm water
1 c veggie or faux-chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Put three pots of water over high heat: a large pot with salted water, a medium pot with water, and a small pot with 1 1/2 c water. Bring each pot to a boil.
3. Add the lentils to the small pot, stir, turn down the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. If there is any water remaining, remove the cover and continue to cook until water is absorbed.
4. Cut the tempeh into 8 pieces, and add to the medium pot. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5. Add the collards to the large pot of salted water. Using a spoon to submerge them occasionally, boil 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
6. Transfer lentils to a medium mixing bowl, and use a fork to mash them. It is okay to leave some whole lentils. Crumble the tempeh into the bowl with your hands. Add the dry spices (cumin through nutmeg) to the bowl and mix well to combine. In a small bowl, combine the Ener-g powder and warm water, and whisk until frothy. Add this mixture, and Worcestershire sauce and the ketchup to the lentil-tempeh mixture, and stir very well.
7. Divide the mixture into four, and use your hands to form each fourth into an oblong patty. Wrap each patty in four collard leaves, using the natural curve of the leaves and alternating the direction of the stems. Place seam side down in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Pour the broth over the collards and cover baking dish with foil.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.