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This smoky Vegan Beans and Greens Power Bowl is quick, delicious, easy, healthy AND inexpensive! If that wasn't enough it's also gluten-free, oil-free, and sugar-free!
Hey Internet, have you ever heard the phrase beans and greens before? I hadn’t until I’d entered the world of plant-based food, which is funny since it’s a common side dish in omnivorous cuisine as well as vegan.
When I finally did start experimenting with it, I fell in love, but I did notice that a lot of recipes out there use animal stocks (like chicken) to cook the greens, and most use oil.
Since I don’t consume oil at home (and I try not to when eating out, but I’m not perfect), I decided to try making it myself. The first time I made them they did stick to the pan. What I could scrape off was delicious but I definitely wanted to solve the sticking problem.
The next time I made them I started by sauteing some onion in a tiny bit of water, and letting those cook down. Then I added the greens. They did not stick that time but I did notice they could use a bit more depth of flavor.
Finally I tried adding mushrooms and my goodness, that was the golden ticket (I may have run around my 3 x 6 kitchen, singing that tune). Mushrooms release a lot of water when they cook, helping food not to stick, and the water that they do release is very earthy and flavorful.
Playing up on those flavors, I experimented with various additions like garlic, tamari (which is gluten-free soy sauce), and different herbs.
This dish is super easy to make and simple to multiply, so you could make a big batch to last you the whole week. Eat it up in wraps, in a grain bowl like I show here, with some crusty bread, or even on its own because it's THAT good.
So let's talk about what you'll need to make it!
What Do I Need to Make a Vegan Beans and Greens Power Bowl?
I mentioned earlier that I used the trifecta of awesome (at least, to me) for this dish: onions, garlic, and mushrooms. These just make for a delicious, savory, earthy, and comforting dish.
But, this dish is VERY customizable, so if you're not a mushroom fan, leave them out and sub another veggie like broccoli or asparagus! You might need to add a tiny bit more liquid since mushrooms release their own.
For great nutrition and deliciousness, I love to incorporate some hearty greens in this dish. I've made this meal a lot since it's quick and easy, so I've experimented with greens including kale, chard, collards, bok choy, and spinach!
It works well with any of them, so use what you like. If you use spinach, just throw it in at the end since it wilts faster than those other greens.
This dish is even great for reducing food waste, as you can cook the stems too! I separate my stems from my greens (you don't need to do this with spinach since the stems are thin), and chop the stems and add them to the pot at the beginning so they get soft.
You can use any type of beans in this dish. I opted for kidney beans.
You can use canned beans or beans you could cook them from dried (this saves money but does take time and a little planning). I frequently do this and use my Instant Pot to save time.
I love using diced tomatoes in this--and you can use canned or fresh here. If you can't eat tomatoes or don't have them, this dish will still taste good.
To season things, I used a bit of tamari (which is gluten-free soy sauce). If you can't eat soy, I recommend Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos (which have a slightly sweeter taste and are really low in sodium but not flavor).
How to Make a Vegan Beans and Greens Power Bowl
Making this dish is very easy: start with a large nonstick skillet or pot (I love my All-Clad for this) and get it hot over medium high heat. Once you can throw a droplet of water on it and have it roll slightly, it's hot enough.
Add in diced onion and cook it slowly. Let it just start to stick and then add a tablespoon or two of water and stir it around with a silicone or wood cooking spoon or spatula (never use metal utensils on nonstick surfaces, you'll hurt the coating).
Continue this process for around 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. You can continue this process further to really caramelize your onion, but I like mine to still have some texture in this recipe.
At this point you can add garlic, let that saute for a minute more, and then add the stems of your greens if including them.
Saute for just a few minutes more and add the rest of the ingredients except for the leafy part of your greens, cover your pot, and turn your heat down to a high simmer (around 4 o'clock on the dial).
When the food is almost done, stir in your greens and cover again to let them wilt. I love to serve this up with quinoa (pictured), rice or in a baked potato, but you could definitely just use it as a side, a topping for toast, in a wrap–really anything you like!
To make this dish a power bowl, you can do what I did and serve it with a grain and a little avocado.
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do.
Let me know in the comments below if you make these onions, tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!