Greens and Beans

Got beans? Then make a simple Greens and Beans recipe in minutes. Here we use Swiss Chard, but you can vary the greens. Flavor matching makes it easy.

When I opened my refrigerator tonight and poked my head inside, what was staring back at me?

A jar of black beans hubby Jeff had whipped up two days ago and some Swiss chard, washed and ready to use. The light bulb went off as I pictured the Vegan Sauteed Swiss Chard and Black Beans dish I would make. And it was with glee I removed these items from the fridge knowing dinner would be ready in mere minutes.

It just doesn't get much more nutritious than beans and greens. The idea is extremely simple -- just choose a dark leafy green and mix with your favorite bean (like black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans).

Now, to the uninitiated, beans and greens may sound positively boring. However, it can be a most delectable meal -- it's all in the flavorings you toss into the mix.

So let's take a little trip down memory lane to discover how I threw this meal together in record time.

(Note: Although using canned beans is convenient, whenever possible whip up a batch of beans from scratch. Not only will you taste the difference, but it's much more economical! If you've never made beans before, it's most likely far easier than you might think. Visit Vegan Coach's Bean Cooking Guide.)

Now, back to dinner...

First, decide on a cooking technique. I chose to make sautéed Swiss chard because the chard nearly melts in your mouth, and I really wanted the flavor that sautéing in a tiny bit of veggie broth imparts.

Now, remember when I said the secret is in the flavorings you toss into the mix? We make it easy for you by providing Vegan Flavor Matches.

Flavor matches give you the training wheels you need to understand flavor building and which seasonings match perfectly not only with the food you're making, but your taste buds as well.

Let's take a look at some of Swiss Chard's Flavor Matches, lifted directly from our website:

  • Chilies
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Peppers, especially hot
  • Saffron
  • Tamari, organic
  • Tarragon
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar

So how do these flavor matches work? The flavors listed are those that match perfectly with Swiss chard. Any ONE of these ingredients will taste great. But why stop at one? You can add as many of your favorite flavors as you'd like.

Here's how I made my Beans & Greens...

  1. I began by heating a large pan and pouring in 1/4 cup veggie broth or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

  2. When that was simmering, I added a little chopped garlic and sautéed just a couple minutes to bring out the flavor of the garlic.

  3. Next, I added coarsely chopped Swiss chard and a little water and covered the pan. Some people remove the entire stem, but I only trim the bottom of the stem. I find it adds a very nice delicate crunch to my dish. You can remove the stems if you'd like. (By the by, red chard stems are tougher than the lighter colored stems you'll find out there.)

  4. When the chard was JUST wilted, I added some black beans.

  5. Now came the fun part. With the flavor matches to guide me, I added some Tamari, chipotle chile flakes, nutritional yeast, grape tomatoes, a little lemon juice and just a dash of balsamic vinegar. A little salt and pepper at the end and it was flavored to perfection.

The ingredients you'll add are as simple as what you have on hand! And depending on the greens you have, you can switch up the flavors each time. For instance, check out the collard greens matches and the kale matches.

Deliciously moist, super healthy, and soul satisfying. YUM.

Happy cooking!
Sassy's Signature
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