Healthy Collards (or spinach) and Beans

The Covered Dish

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Over the past 2 years, (OK, since Covid) I’ve learned to fly by the seat of my pants a great deal more often. I had plans for the weekend, and Ervin had his. This morning he asked me to join him, I dropped all of mine and said: ‘It’s an opportunity to spend time together on a somewhat beautiful day, let’s go!’ Life is short, I’m so glad I went with him on his road excursion. We stayed in the southern Ozarks but darted down near Exeter, Missouri to a corn maze. Ervin is driving a bus full of kiddos there on Tuesday and he wanted to find the ‘straightest’ route. The views can be spectacular on the more curvy southern roads, but it’s also more opportunities for sick children. Needst I say more?

The colors, of course, were not turning, but the countryside was just beautiful. I even found a shop where I purchased a piece of furniture. A fun day. Lunch was interesting, it was in a small tucked away town and I ordered ham and beans with cornbread. The cornbread was yummy, but the beans were the strangest I’ve ever tasted. Of course, it’s got me wanting to correct it on my palate right away. Since I can’t do that because of another road trip, to Kansas City tomorrow I’ll settle for sharing a very healthy collards and beans dish.

For those who ripple their noses over collards, you should reach for spinach instead. A few may have to, due to the unavailability of collards. Do remember when working with collards you do not want to use the center stem. Strip the leaf portion away from the tough stem, roll them up and slice into slivers. Lovely, simply lovely. You will have a very healthy meal that will carry in the lunchbox or entertain a crowd with no issues. Maybe I can get my friend Darin, the perpetual
soup connoisseur to try this one.

We are working on cleaning our garage this week one step at a time. Actually, I should say Ervin is cleaning it. That’s what I had planned to do today was to finish cleaning the garage! My décor is all up and I’m preparing for a couple of large autumn events.

Enjoy your week, and try something unique with the collards and beans. Due to the collards you’ll experience a much lower amount of ‘wind’ with these beans.
Toodles, Simply yours, The Covered Dish. wwwthecovereddish.com

Healthy Collards and Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small/medium onion
2-4 minced garlic cloves
1 pound pinto beans, soaked overnight & rinsed
8 ounces pulled ham or chopped ham
Ham hock, (1)
10.2 ounces collards or 6-7 large palms/leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 cups water
16 ounces butternut squash, cut into cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons salt free chicken bouillon
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes

The night before:
Sort through the beans watching for stones, dirt, etc. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water at least 1-2 inches over the beans. Cover with a plate and leave until you are ready to cook. Drain the beans and rinse.

Day of serving:
Chop onion into small pieces and sauté in the tablespoon of olive oil. After onion is translucent, add minced garlic and do not over-cook.
Remove from heat. Wash the collards and remove leaves from the main stem. Stack the greens and chop finely. Add all remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker. Place the cooker on level #2, place lid on lock. Over medium-medium high heat bring the cooker under pressure. Once it begins to sizzle, lower the temperature and continue cooking for 50 minutes. At this time turn off the heat and slowly release the steam valve until it is totally open. Once the lock (red stick) goes down it is safe to open the cooker.

Of course this recipe can be done on top of the stove without a pressure cooker it will just take longer to get the beans tender.

 

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