Hye Thyme Cafe: Greens and Beans (Great vegan option)

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Greens and Beans (Great vegan option)

Greens and Beans: Hye Thyme Cafe

I was thinking about greens the other day and decided to make a batch, but I wanted to try something different from my usual version(s) of Utica Greens. I wanted a low-carb version this time and to try a different mix of greens. Although I hadn't specifically set out to accomplish this, what I ended up with was a great option for a vegan dish without feeling like you're missing out on the meat. The combination of the more fibrous texture of the stalks from the greens, the heat from the peppers, that buttery, almost fatty feel of the Great Northern beans, and the flavor of the fennel seeds made this feel/taste as though you were eating a dish with spicy Italian sausages.

This was my dinner last night, but it would make for a great side dish, or throw a fried egg over the top and serve up a plate for breakfast.

The turmeric did not seem to add much by way of flavor here, so feel free to omit it if you like - I included it more for it's medicinal properties (acts as an anti-inflammatory, etc.). If you do decide to use it for this or other dishes, just be aware that turmeric is what gives curry powder and mustard their golden-yellow color and is quick to stain. 

Also feel free to use whatever greens you prefer. I'm not a fan of collard or dandelion greens, but mustard greens have a nice peppery bite to them. I happened to spot a bag of pre-washed baby spinach and kale, so I started with that and added the beet greens and chard. Not sure yet whether I'll make chips or a salad out of the actual beets. I used white balsamic vinegar for a bit of acid, but you can replace that with something else - maybe rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, or even lemon juice.

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
2 t fennel seeds
1 t crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
11 oz bag baby kale/spinach
1 bunch beet greens, chopped
1 bunch red Swiss chard, chopped
2 t turmeric
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

  1. Chop your greens, rinse well and drain;
  2. Chop your garlic and jalapenos (the amount of seeds and pith you leave on the peppers will determine how hot they are) and saute in a bit of oil (I used olive oil), along with the fennel seeds, until fragrant and the garlic begins to take on a bit of color;
  3. Add the crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper (can taste and adjust later)
  4. Add in a few handfuls of your chopped greens and stir well to incorporate;
  5. If using turmeric, go ahead and add that now;
  6. Continue stirring in greens, a handful or two at a time, until it begins to wilt down;
  7. There should be enough liquid clinging to the greens from having been washed, but if your greens were pre-washed, or your pan begins to feel too dry, add a splash of water or broth;
  8. When all of the greens are cooked down, add the vinegar and beans and continue to cook until the beans are heated through and the liquid has mostly been absorbed.

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