Monday, February 21, 2011

Southern Fare With Care- Smoky Beans and Collards

Here's another delicious recipe in my continuing series of Southern Fare with Care.....

Every good Southerner knows what a collard is.  Its a delicious, nutrient-dense, leafy green vegetable.  Collard greens can be overwhelming if you have never tried cooking them before .

A few things about Collards:

Make sure you wash the your collards very well.  I take each individual leaf and wash it.  This can be a bit time-comsuming but trust me, you don't want to be spitting out grit and dirt with every bite.  You might be able to find washed, chopped collards at your market, depending on where you live. Here in NY, I have no choice but to buy them whole and wash and chop them up myself.

Collard stems are super tough and should be thrown out. Even the portion of the stem that runs into the leaf should be trimmed (kitchen shears make this task a snap!) Work with one stalk at a time and hold the stalk by the end of the stem with the leafy portion pointing down. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice down one side of the stem (the knife is being used like a machete) to strip the leafy green portion away from the stem. Repeat the process on the other side of the stem to strip away the remaining leafy portion. When done, discard the bare stems. The leaves will then be ready to be washed and chopped.

The dish is competely vegan (no animal products at all) and trust me, you won't need the meat or miss it at all! This is perfect to serve for your Meatless Monday Supper. Just add some freshly baked hot corn bread and you are good to go!

Smoky Beans and Collards

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked sweet paprika (pimento dulce)
• 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, finely chopped
• 2 cups collards, washed well and cut into bite-sized pieces
• Himalayan sea salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Pacific Natural Foods)
• Juice from 1 whole lemon
• 2 cans (15 ounces each) great northern beans (note: look for BPA-free cans such as Organic Eden brand)
If you want this extra smoky, add a few drops of liquid smoke. A good one to try is Wright's All Natural Mesquite Seasoning.

1. Put the oil in a large heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and paprika and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to coat the vegetables in the oil. Add the collards and cook, stirring constantly, until just wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Add the stock, lemon juice and beans to the pot and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and partially cover the pan with a lid. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes minutes, stirring often, until all vegetables are cooked and collards are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm. 

Healthy, Homemade, Southern Cooking!!
A Cynfully Good Thing......

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