While this dish may not scream Thanksgiving, it has the richness of creamed spinach, with a sweet-savory-tangy flavor profile that gives the dish a nice complexity and is perfect for a festive meal. I made the dish with tofu, as the recipe that inspired me used it, but I could see this working equally well with cannellini beans.
Speaking of my inspiration, the recipe is Hearty Greens and Tofu in Tahini Sauce from Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook – a truly fantastic cookbook (the use of eggs and dairy is minimal and most vegetarian recipes can be easily veganized). This recipe had caught my eye a while ago, but it contains ume plum vinegar (aka umeboshi vinegar) which, while delicious, is also one of the saltiest ingredients ever. So I tweaked and adjusted and changed the flavor profile and added more tahini it became a whole new dish. One that would fit right in at Thanksgiving too.
Collard Greens with Tahini (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free Option) – Makes 6 hearty servings
If you use a dense tofu (such as Twin Oaks) you can skip the tofu pressing. If using canned beans instead of tofu, be sure to rinse thoroughly. Coconut nectar is a liquid sweetener with pepper and caramel undertones. You can substitute any other liquid sweetener, but may need to add a bit of pepper.
- 1 15oz or 16oz block tofu (try to use tofu made with organic/non-GMO soybeans) or 1 3/4 to 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or other small white beans (1 15oz can, drained)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion chopped, about 11/2 cups
- 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeño (optional)
- 2 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
- 1 large bunch collards, stemmed and deribbed, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup water
- 1 /2 cup tahini
- 2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened freeze dried cranberries or sweetened cranberries (for garnish)
Press tofu (either using a tofu press or two flat surfaces, paper towels and a heavy object) for at least an hour, though overnight is fine. Cut into bite-size cubes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in large cast-iron pan or large skillet. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño (if using) and vinegar and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are starting to caramelize. Add the collards and water, stir, and partially cover. Cook collards for about 3 minutes. Push collards to one side of the pan. Add the tahini and coconut nectar and mix into the liquid in the pan until you get a rich sauce. Gently stir the collards into the sauce. Add the tofu or white beans and combine gently. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until tofu or beans are heated through. Stir in lemon juice and turn of the heat. Taste for seasoning; you may want to add some additional sweetener or vinegar or lemon or, potentially salt. Garnish with cranberries and serve.
I am submitting this dish to two Thanksgiving events;
I am loving the second annual series sponsored by Amy of Simply Sugar- and Gluten-Free entitled A Gluten-Free Holiday. This upcoming week the challenge is Thanksgiving Favorites at Cook It Allergy Free – (updated: here is the link to the actual link-up party over at Cook it Allergy Free)
I am also submitting this dish to the following weekly events:
- Diets, Desserts and Dogs’ Wellness Weekend
- Flip Cookbook’s Sugar Free Sunday
- Simply Sugar- and Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
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