Instead of the usual spinach or kale try these easy to make, rich and savory Southern Style Vegan Collard Greens with Mushrooms. They have the remarkable ability to reduce inflammation, soothe your digestive system, support your heart and detoxify your body.
Do you get tired of eating the same greens? I do. I was excited to see a beautiful bunch of collards in my CSA last week. Since I’m not really a fan of salt pork, I decided to make them vegan.
Collard greens are a traditional dish in the Southern states. Usually, they are simmered slowly with a piece of salt pork or ham hock for at least 30 minutes to soften their tough texture and smooth out their lightly bitter flavor.
In this vegan version, I simmer the collards in a simple mushroom broth, with “meaty” flavored mushrooms and smoked paprika to re-create the deep, rich and savory taste of traditional collards.
Connoisseurs of collard greens always enjoy the pot likker too. It’s the highly concentrated, vitamin-filled “liquor” (broth) remaining after the long simmering of the greens. Southern grandmothers say “Pot likker will cure what ails you and if nothing ailing you, it will give you a good cleaning out.”
Don’t discard the delicious broth, sip or slurp it after you’ve finished the greens.
To balance the flavor I add a little chopped tomato or a splash of apple cider vinegar. A little bit of acidity brightens the taste.
At the end, I top it off with a drizzle of olive oil to give the collards a rich, silky flavor and texture.
If you’re not vegan you can use chicken broth. It can also be made with water but the flavor isn’t as rich.
Historians say collard greens are the dinosaurs of vegetables because their origin is rooted in prehistoric times. Linda Stradley of What’s Cooking America, says ancient Greeks grew collard greens.
Even though collards are famous in the South, they show up on plates around the world. Ethiopians have a traditional vegetarian collard dish called Gomen Wat made with collard greens, exotic herbs, olive oil and other ingredients. Portuguese people use them to make a green soup.
Health Benefits of Collards
Collards are a sulfur rich cruciferous vegetable containing compounds called glucosinolates, which support detoxification They’re rich in soluble fiber and have strong antioxidant properties.
Collards also contain glutathione. It’s the most important antioxidant your body produces. It helps your liver stay healthy and detoxifies fat, boosts immunity and protects your body from environmental toxins. You need it to stay healthy. Read my blog post about glutathione for more information.
Collards also have another amazing quality, they actually lower your cholesterol better than any of the other greens including kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The key is their ability to bind to bile acids in the digestive system making it easier for them to leave your body.
Adding collard greens to your diet helps reduce inflammation, soothes your digestive system, supports your heart and detoxifies your body.
Collards are easy to make but need 30 minutes to cook. Prepare them first. While they’re cooking make the rest of your dinner. I like to serve them with roast chicken and Roasted Sweet PotatoesPrint
- ¼ cup dried mushrooms, porcini, oyster, morels or mixed
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bunch collard greens, (about 3/4 pound) thick stems trimmed and leaves cut into ribbons
- Celtic sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Roma or plum tomato, chopped or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add dried mushrooms. Turn off heat, let sit 20 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Strain the liquid and reserve. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add sliced mushrooms and reserved rehydrated mushrooms (from stock) and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until softened, about 3 minutes; lower heat if necessary to prevent burning.
- Add the smoked paprika and stir. Add the stock.
- Bring to a simmer and add collard greens. Stir the greens to wilt and submerge in stock.
- Simmer gently, uncovered, until greens are very tender, about 30 minutes. If the liquid begins to dry out, cover the pan.
- Add chopped tomatoes once the collards are done. If you don’t have a tomato, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Season with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Serve in bowls with broth or on a plate with broth on the side.
* If you’re not vegan you can skip this step and use 2 cups chicken broth. It can also be made with water but the flavor isn’t as rich.
- Category: Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo
- Cuisine: Southern
Would you like to have more of these delicious healthy recipes sent to you? CLICK TO SIGN UP for my weekly email newsletter of recipes and information for you to eat well and enjoy your wonderful life.