Every day, around 4pm, my husband and I start texting about dinner. If there aren’t any leftovers or a previously thought-through dinner plan, my most common proposition is ‘greens and beans?’ Those two are such staples and always leave us feeling really nourished. I have a million variations on the subject that I can throw together super quickly. Sometimes, for a quick and lazy lunch, I’ll just crisp up cooked chickpeas and kale in a pan with lots of salt and pepper and be totally satisfied. I always push off from there for our dinners, then add more vegetables, a sauce, a grain, crunchy toppings, etc. etc. I vary the kinds of greens and beans I use depending on season and mood, and what’s on hand. These one pot creamed beans and greens are my cozy, wintery version of our staple meal, and they definitely hit the spot every single time.
The beans of choice here are white beans, since they are extra creamy in texture and go so well with lemon and pepper – both key ingredients. The green of choice is chard. I kind of think chard doesn’t get enough love? I love it because it wilts quickly, usually costs less than kale, and the stems are totally edible. The secret with the stems is cooking them first until they soften. Usually they’ll end up melting into a dish and become almost indistinguishable, but will still contribute some substance and extra plant power. If you use rainbow chard, the stems will give some of their color to whatever you’re cooking, so that’s fun as well.
Chili oil is the component that takes this meal to that extra special place. I don’t recommend skipping it. We just quickly crisp up some red pepper flakes in olive oil and let it infuse while making the meal. A generous drizzle of that will really make everything sing.
Hope you’re enjoying this sometimes crazy pre-holiday time! Let’s all remember to be nice to ourselves and stay warm and nourished. Sending you lots of love.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- pinch of sea salt
- avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 1 medium-large bunch of chard - stems thinly sliced, leaves chopped
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cloves of garlic - minced
- a few 1" strips of lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 2 15 oz cans or 3½ cups cooked white beans
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1¼ cup oat milk or cashew milk
- juice from 1 lemon
- Combine the oil and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium heat, cook, swirling, for 3-4 minutes until the pepper flakes are crispy. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside to infuse while making the beans and greens.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the onion and chard stems, along with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the chard stems are very soft. Add the garlic and lemon zest, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, vegetable broth, bay leaves, if using, and another pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, establish a simmer and let simmer and reduce, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and lemon zest strips (this should be easy, since they should float up to the top).
- Add the chard leaves and cover the pot for a few minutes for the leaves to wilt. Remove the lid and stir in the wilted leaves. Add the milk and bring everything back up to a boil, then turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. Serve warm, drizzled with the chili oil (recipe above).
Filled with our favorite, vegan and gluten-free dessert recipes in the world.