We received a bunch of collards in a surplus organic food box from Abundant Acres a couple of weeks ago. I usually finely slice collards and add them to a variety of different dishes, but I was looking for an option that would bring the collards front and centre. This recipe resulted from a chat I had with a chef whose work I admire on Instagram. I admire their work, creativity and general approach to cooking and life, and it was pretty awesome to be able to connect and chat about food. They had suggested a combo of bacon, ham navy beans, and collards, and I adjusted that suggestion to make the dish veg-friendly. I have included liquid smoke, smoked paprika and smoked sea salt to bring some extra flavour to the dish.
Collards have a host of different health benefits, including high levels of antioxidants, assistance with lowering blood cholesterol levels & detoxification, and cancer-preventing glucosinolates present in this cruciferous vegetable. They are a delicious addition to any soup or stew but are especially good in this preparation, where this lovely veggie takes centre stage and is able to shine.
Collards with Tempeh Bacon & Navy Beans
½ cup water
½ cup tamari
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp liquid smoke
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp granulated garlic
Pinch smoked sea salt (optional, but delicious!)
Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 package tempeh, sliced
2 heads collard greens, leaves and stems thinly sliced
1 can navy beans (or 1½ cups cooked beans from dried)
Saute onions and garlic in avocado oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add sauce and sliced tempeh, stirring to combine. Cook for 10 minutes further, to allow flavours to absorb into the tempeh, onions, and garlic. Add collard greens and navy beans, sauteing for 10 minutes further, until the collards are bright green and wilted. This dish makes a lovely side dish, but also works on its own as a one-pot meal.