Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spicy Chipotle Chickpeas and Mustard Greens {Vegan}

Day 307.

When I received a large bunch of mustard greens in my recent CSA box, I'll be honest, I was kicking myself for not swapping it out (we're allowed three exchanges). I have never cooked with or, as far as I can remember, even eaten, mustard greens. What the heck was I going to do with them? I trolled the internet a bit and found they have a peppery taste that is often the highlight of mixed Southern greens. Unfortunately for me, especially since I live in the South, I don't much care for cooked greens. I like kale and cabbage, but not so much collard and turnip greens.

Then I stumbled across Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Susan, the author, is a self-professed greens disliker as well. Her mother talked her into trying the peppery mustard greens since their flavor is so unique among greens. Her post and her recipe gave me the courage to give it a shot. I went with a different flavor profile, but the overall dish is similar to Susan's.

Spicy Chipotle Chickpeas and Mustard Greens
Inspired by Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens.
Mustard greens:
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 3/4 cup Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large bunch (about 16 ounces) mustard greens 
  • salt to taste 
Optional toppings:
  • drizzled olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
De-stem and tear your mustard greens into bite-sized pieces. (Note: Be sure to place the stems, along with your onion ends, in your vegetable scraps bag for homemade Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth.)

Saute onion and garlic with about 1/4 cup of your vegetable broth until onion is translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Set half of onion-garlic mixture aside for use with your chickpeas. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add remaining (1/2 cup) vegetable broth, tablespoon of vinegar and mustard greens. Cook over medium for about 3 minutes until greens are wilted and bright green. Salt to taste, if desired. Set greens aside.

Place the onion-garlic mix you set aside, 1/4 cup vegetable broth, chipotle seasoning, 3/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in the pan. Mix together and add chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Serve spicy chickpeas over greens and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and top with red pepper flakes, if desired.

The Results
This is sort of a mixed decision. On the one hand, I ate the mustard greens and liked them pretty well. They weren't great, but they weren't gross, either. I think it was a good first experience with the greens, I'm willing to try them again. On the other hand, it wasn't something I would seek out. I haven't become an overnight mustard greens fanatic or anything.

As for my version of the chickpeas, they turned out almost too oniony and on the verge of being too spicy. (I had to drink a glass of milk to eat them comfortably.) I'll keep experimenting with greens, so it wasn't a complete failure, but this wasn't a success either. It also seemed to be lacking fat (which makes sense because the original comes from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen). I drizzled a bit of olive oil on top to make up for that. But I think, in the future, I'd saute the onions and chickpeas in olive oil for a fat-full version instead.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

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