On my "always on the lookout list" is a healthy recipe that travels well. Sure, airport food has gotten way better (see SFO Virgin Americna Terminal, Jet Blue T5 at JFK, and Terminals 2E and 2F at CDG), but good food on the go is still not the norm. So, I'm always, always in search of something healthy that travels well and still tastes good after a few hours in the air. This Peanut Chicken Collard Greens Wrap totally fits the bill—with whole grains, lots of protein, veggies, and peanut sauce, it's filling enough to keep you away from the pretzels but not so much that you'll food coma in the air.
(such as quinoa, brown rice, or farro)
(from about 8 ounces chicken)
peeled then halved and sliced thinly on a mandoline
ends trimmed and sliced thinly on a mandoline
ends trimmed and rest cut into matchsticks
sliced paper thin
Fill a pot with an inch of water, insert a steam basket and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, wash the collard leaves and remove the majority (the toughest part) of the center stem from each leaf. When the water is simmering, add the leaves and lower the heat to medium. Steam until the leaves are brighter green and soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and rinse under cold water. Pat each leaf dry before using.
Leaves can be steamed up to 1 day ahead—store refrigerated wrapped in paper towels until ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce by combining the peanut butter, soy sauce, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, honey (if using), and 1/3 cup hot water and whisk until smooth (you could also combine it all in a mini food processor and pulse until it's well combined). Taste and adjust the flavors as desired.
Peanut sauce can be made with any other nut butter you please. Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead—store refrigerated until ready to use.
To assemble, place a collard leaf on a work surface and overlap the center seam where you cut out the stem. Spread a spoonful of peanut butter sauce on the middle of the collard leaf then sprinkle a spoonful of grains on top. Layer in chicken, carrots, radishes, bell pepper, mint leaves, scallions, and peanuts. Roll up into a cylinder then slice crosswise into 2 to 3 pieces. Serve with additional peanut sauce.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp