Southern Comfort


Here, my collards grow next to other members of the cabbage family, kale and broccoli.

Last year, I was out gardening in my front yard when a woman rode by on her bike and stopped to admire my collard greens.  “How do you cook them?” she asked.

“Oh, I just sauté them in some oil,” I replied.

“You don’t use bacon?” she said.

“No – no bacon,” I said, then found myself at a loss for words.

“No bacon!” she said, before riding away.  As usual, it was much later when I thought of all the things I could have said about how delicious vegan cooking actually is.

I’ve actually never had collard greens with bacon – they were a food I only discovered after become vegan.  Part of the reason they’re so handy for vegans is they’re full of absorbable calcium.  I love to serve collard greens along side black-eyed peas and rice, for a delicious meal that’s also packed with protein and nutrition.

For an even more comforting meal, mix up some of my gluten-free cornbread and let it bake in the over while you’re cooking the legumes and collards.  You’ll be amazed by how quickly this multi-course meal comes together, and how satisfying (while still being healthy) it is.

Black-Eyed Peas with Tempeh Bacon

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 – 7 ounces of tempeh bacon, diced (tempeh bacon usually comes in 7 ounce packs, but I like to save a few pieces for a BLT)
  • 1 15.5 ounce can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces of barbeque sauce
  • 1 cup of brown rice

Combine the rice with two cups of water, and cook until tender.

While the rice is cooking, chop the vegetables and tempeh bacon.  Sauté the vegetables in the oil a large pan over medium heat for a few minutes.  Then, add the tempeh bacon and continue cooking a few minutes longer, until the bacon is slightly browned.  Add the black eyed peas and barbeque sauce.  Continue cooking for a few more minutes, until warm.  You’ll serve this mixture over the rice.

Easy Collard Greens

  • 1 large bunch of collard greens
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced OR 1/2 of a medium onion and a clove of garlic, minced, OR 1 shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (this will add a smoky flavor, as bacon would)
  • A few tablespoons of vegetable broth, if needed

You can cook these collard greens after you’ve prepared the black-eyed peas.  Reduce the black-eyed peas burner to low, just to keep them warm.  Then, cook the garlic, onion, or shallot (anything’s fine – choose what you have on hand or the flavor you prefer) in a large pan in the olive oil over medium heat, until softened (this will only take a minute if you’re using garlic alone).  Add the collards and the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, stirring to combine.  If the pan is very dry, add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth.  Cover the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the collards have reduced in size and are tender.  I don’t like cooking them too long – I still want them to be fairly bright green.

This cooking method works well with other greens – I particularly enjoy it for chard.

This meal will serve 3.  For a crowd, double the recipes.  As always, enjoy!

This easy meal comes together in 45 minutes - the time it takes to cook the brown rice.

This easy meal comes together in 45 minutes – the time it takes to cook the brown rice.

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