Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day Beans & Greens

Today for dinner, I decided to make the traditional Southern New Year's dish of black-eyed peas and greens.  This dish is supposed to bring you luck and money in the coming year.  

Back home, the usual M.O. for cooking greens is to add in a hamhock or some bacon to give flavor.  Obviously, as a vegan, I have to find an alternative, but in this case, it's not too difficult.  The main components of the bacon flavor are smoke and salt, so I simmered my greens (I used turnip) in vegetable broth with a little bit of liquid smoke added.  

Simmered Turnip Greens

1 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 large bunch turnip greens, stems removed, chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Red pepper flakes, optional
Salt, to taste (depending on how salty your broth is)

Heat oil over low heat and add garlic.  Saute for up to a minute, just to release flavor, but don't burn.  Add in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until greens are soft.

Once your greens are done, layer brown rice, black-eyed peas (I just used a can with some pepper and garlic powder added), greens, more peas, and hot sauce, if desired.  I like Cholula because it is hot, but not deathly hot.  This made enough to feed 2 well, and with a whole grain, bean, and green combination, it's a hearty and healthy dinner.

Fun fact:  Leafy greens are a great source of calcium, and unlike dairy products, they are not so high in protein that they will leach as much calcium out of your body as they provide.  So eat your greens every day!


  1. Sounds great! I'd be the only one in the house that would eat it though :) I have used the morningstar 'facon' in dishes when I want that kind of flavor. It worked very well with a potatoes and green beans dish I made a few weeks ago. Once upon a time I would make the same thing with ham.

  2. I have used Smart Bacon or vegan bacon bits as well, but sometimes those things get a little pricey, and also are quite processed. Not terrible for a change, but I feel like I get as good a result from liquid smoke & salt.