Turkey Collard Green Roll-ups [Recipe]

I’m enjoying the challenge every week of trying to come up with new recipes that use my CSA items. I’ve been getting some repeat vegetables, which gives me even more opportunities to keep experimenting. This week the delivery had:

  • Collard Greens
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Corn
  • Red Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini Missing!
  • NY White Garlic
  • Herb of the Week: Leek Flowers
  • Peaches

Somehow, the zucchini didn’t show up, but I was dead set on making ratatouille. I’ve always wanted to make it (admittedly, since seeing the movie) and with this supply of veggies, I had to try. So I bought a zucchini and threw it together with the eggplant, tomato, garlic, and leftover onions from last week. It came out pretty darn good, but to be honest, it did not photograph well. Maybe in the winter I’ll try it the fancy “mandolin-sliced-and-beautifully-arranged” way and write about it…

For the second day, I took the leftover ratatouille and mixed it with some cooked ground turkey and rice to create a “filling” for some collard green roll ups. I was inspired by my grandma’s cabbage rolls which I’ve attempted in the past, so I figured collard greens can be rolled and stuffed with some deliciousness as well. Turkey & Collard Green Roll Ups

It was easy enough to quickly boil the leaves for a minute to start cooking them and make them easier to roll. Then I just added the cooked ground turkey, rice, and vegetables (optional) and rolled it up like a burrito. Of course, I added in some mozzarella cheese because I am a cheese addict and felt it could only improve the dish. Finally, I topped with some tomato sauce and baked for about a half hour.Turkey & Collard Green Roll Ups

It was a perfect weeknight meal that combined vegetables and some protein. And there were plenty of leftovers to pack for lunch.

Coming up, I have a delicious dessert recipe, also as a results of this summery farm delivery. Stay tuned…

Turkey & Collard Green Roll-Ups
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  1. 1 bunch collard greens or chard (about 12 leaves)
  2. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 small onion, diced
  4. 2 stalks of celery, diced small (or other vegetable if desired)
  5. 1 lb. ground turkey
  6. salt
  7. pepper
  8. 1 cup cooked rice
  9. 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  10. 24 oz. marinara sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash collard greens and trim off the thick stems.
  3. Boil a large pot of water with salt. Place collard greens in the pot and cook for about one minute, until greens begin to cook and become softer. Remove from water and place on a paper towel.
  4. Meanwhile, cook onion and celery in olive oil until fragrant. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until just browned. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in rice and cheese.
  6. Pour half the marinara sauce into the bottom of a baking pan.
  7. When cool enough to handle, scoop a large spoonful of the turkey mixture onto collard leaves. Roll each leaf up while tucking in sides (like a burrito). Repeat with all leaves and arrange in baking pan.
  8. Top the roll ups with remaining sauce.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve.
Jai La Vie http://jailavie.com/

[Recipe] Vegetarian Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini

Another week, another vegetable delivery from the country to the city. Last week we got:

  • Chard
  • Parsnips
  • 8-Ball Zucchini
  • Sweet Peppers & wax peppers
  • Cucumbers & Lemon Cucumbers
  • BiColor Sweet Corn
  • Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
  • NY White Garlic
  • Blackberries
  • Sweet Basil

And my prized item of this bunch was this monster:

8 Ball Zucchini

This massive zucchini is called an “8-Ball” zucchini, although mine was much bigger than even those magic toys. It also did not tell me my fortune, other than “You’re going to have a very delicious dinner tonight.” 


No, I’ve never seen one either until now. Unless you count wandering in a pumpkin patch at some point in my life and just grouping everything that wasn’t a pumpkin as “that other squash”. But apparently this big round pumpkin-like vegetable is a plump zucchini, ready for cooking.

IMG_2843Rather slice it like a plain old boring zucchini, I cut it just like a pumpkin, like it’s masquerading to be.  I saved the pulp to add it back in later. (It’s ok to save the seeds too, they are completely edible like regular zucchini, although when a bunch of them separated from the pulp, I discarded them.)

From there, I sauteed whatever vegetables I had on hand – for me it was the garlic, chard, and parsnips from my CSA, along with an onion and the remaining zucchini pulp. I also added one of my tomatoes in at the end along with some vegetable broth.IMG_2845

Then I mixed it with some rice, bread crumbs, and mozzarella, and stuffed it back into the zucchini. (And topped with more cheese OF COURSE.) Finally, it was baked into bliss at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (or until the outer zucchini cooked through).


And this is what came oozing out.


Another new recipe complete!

Vegetarian Stuffed 8 Ball Zucchini
Yields 2
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  1. 1 large or 2 small 8 ball zucchini
  2. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic minced
  4. 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup chopped chard or spinach
  6. 1 tomato, chopped
  7. salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 1/4 c. vegetable broth
  9. 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  10. 1/2 c. cheese, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice off the top of the zucchini and hollow out out the inside of the zucchini. Save the pulp and set aside.
  3. Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add spinach/chard zucchini pulp and sautee until soft.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add chopped tomato and sautee for 1 minute more.
  6. Add vegetable broth and sautee for 1 minute.
  7. Add bread crumbs and half of the cheese. Stir until all ingredient are combined.
  8. Scoop the vegetable mixture into the hollowed out zucchini. Top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through.
Jai La Vie http://jailavie.com/

Veggie Files: Baked Italian Zoodles [Recipe]

It’s veggie time again! And if you follow me on Instagram you probably get my weekly veggie pun – I can never resist a good food joke. This week’s caption: “I’m kinda a big Dill”. Get it!?

In the delivery this week:

Tomatoes and Cucumbers which made for a nice Greek salad for lunch, along with some basil.

Corn on the Cob also came in the delivery, which I couldn’t resist eating right away.  I learned from my CSA newsletter that you should NOT add salt to the water when cooking sweet corn because the salt will toughen the corn, but you can add a little sugar to the water to boost the flavor. Sweet corn will lose its sweetness much faster if stored at room temperature compared to storing in the refrigerator. Who says this blog isn’t educational?! 

With the corn, I had some Red Russian Kale which were baked into Kale Chips and served with some veggie burgers. [A note about Kale: One cup of kale provides more than the daily requirement of vitamins A and C.]

On Day 2, I used my Sweet Bell Peppers and leftover corn to make Stuffed Peppers with ground turkey [recipe from SkinnyTaste]  and served that with a side of Mixed Potatoes (Red, White & Blue) and White Icicle Radishes which I oven roasted in olive oil, cracked pepper, and sea salt, and then topped with chives, my herb of the week. 

For Day 3, I finally got to use my summer squash to make Italian zoodles! I’ve been wanting to make zoodles – or zucchini noodles – with my vegetable julienne peeler. Even though vegetable spiralizers are all the rage, I just can’t fit another gadget in my kitchen. So I invested in one of these bad boys – they peel the vegetables a little thinner than a spiralizer but it works perfectly for my needs – and takes up hardly any space!

Julienne Peeler

Julienne Peeler by OXO – the spiralizer alternative!

So I took my julienne peeler – which I now call my “zoodler” – and shaved down my zucchini.

Zucchini Noodles

Then sauteed it with some garlic until soft…Zucchini Noodles

…and once baked with some marinara, parmesan, and mozzarella I ended up with Italian Zoodles! 
Italian Zoodles

If you’re looking for a summer alternative to pasta, check out the recipe below!

Baked Italian Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)
A healthy take on an Italian classic, this "zoodle" recipe replaces carb-heavy pasta with zucchini "noodles" and then is baked to perfection with marinara and parmesan.
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  1. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 zucchini, spiralized or julienned
  4. salt, to taste
  5. pepper, to taste
  6. 1/2 c. marinara sauce
  7. 1/4 c. parmesan
  8. 1/2 c. mozzarella
  9. 1 Tbsp. basil, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and julienned zucchini; cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat, or until zucchini is tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add marinara and half of the parmesan; stir well.
  5. Top with bread crumbs, mozzarella, and remaining parmesan.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until top begins to brown and cheese is melted.
  7. Finish with chopped basil and extra parmesan if desired.
Jai La Vie http://jailavie.com/