Braised Greens & Beans :: In 2019, I took a plant based cooking course through Rouxbe. In that time I was introduced to Braised Greens. Ohhh my goodness. While I was interested in learning this technique which was new to me, I had no idea how much I was going fall in love with these. Braised greens literally melt in your mouth.
Here we are in 2021 where my focus is on eating and creating low calorie dense friendly meals to help me achieve my weight loss goals. I can talk about what braised greens typically look like in the vegan world which is using oil and seasonings but I will not go where the non-vegan recipes go because that is too much for my heart to think about.
How do we create a Maximum Weight Loss friendly Braised Greens & Beans recipe?
The two biggest changes are going to be:
- switching out oil sautéing for water sautéing and,
- switching out any animal product/vegan processed product that creates a smoky flavor and using liquid smoke
Which greens do I suggest?
I suggest a heartier green – not one that is lighter and typically used in salads like romaine or iceberg or one that wilts too much like spinach. A heartier green typically is going to be a thicker leaf and a much darker green color.
- Collard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Mustard Greens
Which bean compliments this recipe best?
Before I answer this, I want to mention that you do not need a bean for this recipe. If you prefer to make it bean free, go for it! As for what beans work best, I would suggest a white bean that is hearty but also doesn’t have too distinct of a flavor.
- Black Eyed Peas
- Great Northern Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Butter Beans / Baby Lima Beans
Braised Greens & BeansCourse: MainDifficulty: Moderate
Melt-in-your-mouth textures with a smoky heat and low calorie density makes these Braised Greens & Beans well worth the cook time!
1/2 onion, small diced (3/4-1 cup)
garlic cloves, 3 finely minced
red pepper flakes, 1/8-1/4tsp (use 1/4 for a nice kick of heat)
black pepper, 1/4tsp
liquid smoke, 1/4tsp
soy sauce or liquid aminos, 1tbsp
vegetable broth, 2 cups
1 bunch of hearty greens, (4-5 cups packed) rough chop. I’ve used collard greens but also love kale in this recipe*
black eyed peas or other hearty white bean, 1 can drained & rinsed**
apple cider vinegar, 1/2tbsp
- Over medium-low heat, water sauté your onion until soft/translucent (approx 8 minutes).
- Add minced garlic. Continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.
- Add all of your seasonings, except for apple cider vinegar. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes; stirring well.
- Slowly add vegetable broth. Mix well. Turn heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Taste your broth. Adjust seasonings if need be but be aware, your broth will condense a little so any saltiness & heat will be a little more than you taste here when you eat it.
- Add your beans then 1/2 of your chopped greens. Stir into the broth well.
- Next, add the other half. Stir well again until all is submerged the best it can be. Greens will wilt while you mix it in.
- Turn your temperature to low. Cover and set timer for 30 minutes.
- At the 15 minute mark, uncover and stir. Cover again.
- At 30 minutes, taste your greens. You CAN serve them now but if you really want that melt in your mouth feel then cover and cook for at least another 15-30 minutes or longer. The length of time can also depend on which green you choose. Kale will be ready in 30-45 minutes while Collards can take 60 minutes.
- When you get your desired taste, turn off the heat. Add apple cider vinegar. Mix well. Serve.
- CAL: 132 | F: 1G | C: 21.5G | P: 8.6
- Low Calorie Density: 171 Calories/lb.
- *Hearty Greens you could use or do a mix of: Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens
- **Hearty White Beans you could use: Black Eyed Peas, Great Northern, Cannellini, Butter Beans / Baby Lima Beans
How can you serve your Braised Greens & Beans?
- When eating for weight loss, I primarily eat them with steamed or mashed gold potatoes. You can choose any way to make your potato or which potato to eat–just remember to keep them low calorie dense, do not add any oil or butter when cooking and no high calorie toppings like vegan sour cream.
- When not eating for weight loss, pair your Braised Greens & Beans with a vegan or wfpb/oil-free corn bread or top a crusty bread like sour dough.
If you are looking for other cruciferous veggie recipes, check out my Colcannon recipe. It is a traditional Irish dish with potatoes & cabbage. I have created it to again be low calorie dense by removing all oil or butter and creating a Cauliflower Cream to add in the creaminess.