(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites, July 2010.) Sometimes I tend to forget about crockpot recipes when it's summer, but actually slow cookers are a wonderful way to cook when you don't want to heat up your house. This week I had lots of collard greens in my garden, so I used the crockpot to make this combination of turkey Italian sausage, beans, and collard greens. My neighbor Michelle loves this recipe, and she tells me you can also cook it on the stove if you're in a hurry or don't have a crockpot. I used pinto beans, but you could make this with any type of dried beans and kale or swiss chard could replace the collards if that's what you have. Crockpot dishes tend to be not too photogenic, but luckily I had some leftovers to try more than once on the photos, and trust me when I say this picture is a big improvement on the previous one!
Soak dried beans overnight, then drain, add fresh water, garlic powder, and onion powder, and simmer on low heat until beans are soft. (Cooking time will depend on how fresh the beans are, but probably 30-45 minutes for most beans.) You can use canned beans, but soaked and cooked dried beans are much better.
While beans are cooking, brown the sausage well in a non-stick frying pan. (You will need to add a little oil for turkey Italian sausage.) Get the sausage as brown as you can, then let cool and cut into slices.
Cut collard greens into thin ribbons (cut the ribbons in half crosswise if the collards are very big.) Wash collards after you cut them (I used a salad spinner.)
Put collard greens in the bottom of the crockpot. Deglaze the pan where you cooked the sausage with 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid and fresh garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Put drained cooked beans and sausages in the crockpot on top of the collard greens, then pour over the deglazing liquid from the pan.
Cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2-3 hours, or until collard greens are quite soft. (If your crockpot is larger than I used, you may need to add a bit more water.) Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Beans, and Greens
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.
(I used a 3.5 quart crockpot for this recipe.)
1 cup uncooked dried beans of any type, soaked overnight (You could substitute 1 can of beans)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
4-5 links hot turkey or pork Italian Sausage (use turkey sausage for South Beach diet)
1-2 tsp. oil, for browning sausage
1 bunch collard greens, cut into ribbons and washed
1/2 cup bean cooking liquid (or water plus liquid from canned beans if using canned)
1 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
(possibly more water if your crock pot is large)
Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired
Put beans in small saucepan with garlic powder, onion powder, and enough water to cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until beans are nearly done but still have a little bite. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. (Fresh cooked beans are by far better, but if you forget to soak some, use a can of kidney beans, white beans, or pinto beans and save 1/2 cup of water when you rinse them.)
While beans cook, brown sausage well in frying pan, adding a little olive oil for turkey sausage. The crock pot kind of removes the color from browned foods, so let them get very, very brown. When sausages are nicely browned, remove from pan, cool enough to handle, and cut into slices.
Cut stems off collard green, cut into ribbons crosswise, then cut the long ribbons into 2-3 pieces and rinse. Place collard greens in bottom of crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid into pan where you cooked the sausage, add fresh garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes to deglaze pan. Put beans in crock pot, top with sausage, and pour deglazing liquid from pan over.
Cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2-3 hours, or until collard greens are quite soft and flavors are well-combined. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this dish is a wonderfully healthful and low-glycemic food, making this perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
More Ideas with Collard Greens:
Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Soup with Collard Greens, Carrots, and Brown Rice from Kalyn's Kitchen
Hopping John Soup with Ham, Black-Eyed Peas, and Collard Greens from Kalyn's Kitchen
Collard Greens with Spaghetti from Modern Beet
Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens from Erin Cooks
Michael Richard's Collard Greens and Lentils from The Wednesday Chef
Collard Greens, Mushrooms, and Proscuitto from WrightFood
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)