I’m on a roll with collard greens. With the weather getting warmer now, I am seeing more and more collard greens in the grocery store. I can’t resist picking up good looking greens. So here I am, with two fresh bunches of collard greens. Collard greens are a wonderful source of nutrients and you should eat more of them. They benefit bone health, liver function, and are an excellent detox food. Collard greens are also good for promoting hair and skin health, and digestion. The choline in helps you sleep better and elevates your mood.

Today’s recipe works many ways. It makes a great side dish but is equally suited to stand on its own as an entree dish. I can also vouch for this dish making a great lunch box meal.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will notice that there are two good sources of protein here. The quinoa contains about 8 g of protein per cup and black beans contain about 38 g of protein per cup.

This dish comes together very fast, especially if you have cooked quinoa and canned black beans on hand. The best results are from quinoa that was cooked ahead and refrigerated. Cooled quinoa is way better to handle, and will not get gummy in a dish like this.

I cook quinoa similar to how I cook rice. Combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook on medium heat until the water starts to boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and let simmer away until the quinoa is tender and cooked, about 15 mins or so. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 more minutes before fluffing with a fork.

If you don’t have canned black beans, this dish requires some extra time. You will need to soak the beans for at least 6 hrs before pressure cooking them with double the amount of water for about 15 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook them with plenty of water on a stove top, but be prepared for longer cooking time to get them tender.

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
4 cups chopped collard greens
1 cup cooked and drained black beans, rinse well if using canned beans
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
salt and pepper for seasoning

Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan. Add onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt, and cook until onion and garlic are softened and lightly caramelizing. Add the red chili flakes and collard greens to the pan. When the greens are starting to change color, add the black beans to the pan. Toss everything and pour in the vegetable stock. Be careful not to over season the dish because vegetable stock usually contains added salt. Cover the lid and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, appx. 10 - 15 minutes. Fluff in the quinoa into the pan, Toss everything around to combine and test for seasoning. Add pepper and serve hot or at room temperature.