Simple peasant fare has more appeal to me, particularly as I grow older, than fussing about with complicated steps involving a myriad of ingredients. I'm really into the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) mentality. When planning meals around 50 - 75% raw food, one quickly becomes enamored with the simplicity of washing, peeling, chopping, plating and eating.
I don't like all the gimmicky raw foods. Synthesizing cooked foods with seeds, nuts, dates, etc. has no appeal to me. Though I marvel at the fabulous combinations creative raw foodists come up with. If I were committed to eating 100% raw, I might be singing a different song. But, for now at least, eating organic, whole foods, mostly plants, mainly raw is my lifestyle. And it's great.
Omnivore's could easily add some interesting sausage to the greens and beans and have a quick take on a casoulet. Or use the greens and beans as a side dish with pork or chicken. As a vegetarian dish it works well as the main course, but could just as easily be a starter or a side dish.
This broth is made for dunking. Hunks of hearty whole wheat bread or dark, chewy pumpernickel are perfect for sopping up the 'bottom of the bowl'. Served with a crisp, green salad and a glass of mellow red, it's simple, yet truly satisfying, while being especially kind to the pocketbook.
Try it with canned beans and pre-washed, chopped greens, some simple good broth or bouillon, like Rapunzel, and it becomes a 30 minute deal.
If you choose to pre-soak and then cook the beans ahead of time, it's tastier and more economical. Using a good homemade chicken or vegetable broth boosts the flavor. The following makes approximately six cups of greens and beans.
Beans 'N Greens
Note: The choice of greens is certainly variable. Choose collards, kale, spinach or turnip greens. And use a bean that you have on hand or one you prefer.
4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil; 3 cloves garlic,minced; 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper; one pound dark greens, washed, sliced in strips; 1 cup* of vegetable broth or chicken broth; 2 cups great northern or other white beans. If using canned beans, a 15 ounce can is fine.Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add the wet, washed greens by hand fulls and allow them to wilt a bit before adding more. Toss them a bit in the oil and garlic. When all the greens have been added, add the broth, cover and cook until greens are just tender. Be careful not to overcook the greens. Add the beans and simmer gently until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste drizzling with balsamic or sherry vinegar when serving.
*for soup increase broth to a total of 4 cups.