Southern Style Braised Collards-No Bacon Required

Good morning folks! Let’s start the week with a little Meatless Monday inspiration shall we?

Actually, I usually call this kind of post “veggie man days”. Not that men aren’t often vegetarian as well, it’s just that my man doesn’t like to think about the fact that his meal might be meatless (or maybe he just feels his manhood is threatened by the name) and so I coined the term “Veggie Man Days” for him.

The truth is, I think a lot of people have some idea that vegetarian meals will be

1)   Bland

2)   Boring

3)   Unsatisfying/unsubstantial

4)   “different” not like “real food” that they’re used to

It isn’t true. Or it doesn’t have to be. One of the most important missions of A Life Delectable is to show you that plants can be dressed up into gourmet packages. They don’t have to involve the wheat germ sprinkle over a pile of rice and beans a la 1970s veganism.

And I must have convinced the husband, because, well, I admit it, this recipe was his idea. I was making collards all the time last summer, and he was missing the bits of bacon he imagined should be involved. We had some sun-dried tomatoes in the house and he asked me to chop them in, and, VOILA! An awesome Veggie Man Days recipe was born. From then this side dish appeared frequently on our plates. We like the oil-cured ones we find locally, but regular old dry ones will plump up in the pan too.

I recently served this dish to some friends, and they immediately asked how to make it. So here it is Cheri and Ron, so easy you almost don’t need a recipe, but I’ll give you one to follow anyway.

And, to make it a whole nutrient dense meal, try adding pine nuts or white beans (cannellini, navy, whatever you have on hand) plus some marinated Portobello mushrooms. In fact, I did that with recently (and forgot to get pictures) and it was an amazingly satisfying totally plant based meal.

Happy Monday! Now, go get cooking!

Southern Style Braised Collards—No Bacon Required


3-4 Cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1 Large Bunch Collard Greens (Kale is great too!), cut from the stems and cut into thin strips
½ Cup Sundried Tomatoes, sliced or chopped
1 Tblsp. Olive Oil (or avocado, grapeseed or coconut)
¼ Cup Pine Nuts (optional)
Water as necessary for braising


Heat oil over medium high heat

Add garlic and stir till slightly soft

Add collards and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to coat with oil and garlic

Add a splash of water, turn the heat to medium and cover

Let braise to desired consistency, checking frequently for moisture and adding more water as needed to prevent sticking and burning. I like my greens pretty fresh and bright, keeping more nutrients in tact. Often, I add more water while covered, then remove the cover and let it evaporate at the end. Play with it! It’s as simple as can be!

Stir in the pine nuts and serve.

As I said, I serve this very often as a side dish, but for a whole nutrient dense meal I recently added ¾ cup of white beans and then served it with strips of marinated/grilled Portobello mushroom. I think for a party presentation it would be nice to stuff the whole thing into a Portobello cap. Presto! Martha Stewart-esque Veggie Man Day Meal. Get the idea?

Get some collards and let me know how they turn out. Or hey, go plant your own for later in the summer!

Collards and Tomatoes