One of the most challenging aspect of “going vegan” for black people is the dietary modifications for the benefit of one’s health, which often requires giving up familiar tastes and foods like collard greens cooked in a smoked meat broth.
Collard greens, however, are not one of those things you’ll have to leave behind on your vegan journey, we just have to teach you how to prepare them in a new healthful way.
Rich in fiber, potassium, collards are a great source of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, particularly those that benefit vision like lutein, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Collard greens are also very high in Vitamin C, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 cup of cooked collard greens contains 357 mg of calcium versus 306 mg of calcium in dairy milk. Though to some people this may seem like a lot of greens to eat at once, at every family dinner I’ve ever attended, collard greens are eaten in servings of 1.5-2.0 cups as a matter of course.
When choosing your collard greens, select bunches with crisp, smooth, firm leaves. Avoid purchasing greens with wilted or yellowing leaves, or that have thick, dry stems as they will have a very strong and bitter taste.
Chopping and sauteing collard greens with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic will greatly enhance their mild flavor, so that’s the approach we take in this recipe which delivers great taste with no saturated fat. The greens are not boiled to death either, so they retain the majority of their nutritional goodness.
Pictured is this recipe along with some Barbecue Seitan Ribz, for as good an imitation “soul food” meal as I could think of. Post your comments below after you try it!
- 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (non-stick pan and less oil preferred)
- 5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup mild onion, minced
- 1 bunch collard greens, thick bottom stems removed
- ¼ cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tsps Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the onion and sautee for a minute or so until translucent. Add garlic and saute another 30-60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Roll leaves of collards tightly and cut into ¼" strips. Add them to the skillet and stir well to make sure they are coated with the oil and garlic mixture. Cover pan and let collards gently steam in their own juices for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and seasonings, and stir well. Return top to pan and cook another 5 minutes.
Category: Veganism and African Americans