Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cooking With Collards: Stewed Collards with Sausage & Quinoa

If you're at a loss with what to do with the collard greens coming your way this week, take heart because if you love kale, you'll love collards.  They're really interchangeable and I've used them to make delicious Collard Chips and Sweet Potato & Collard Soup.  But my all time favorite preparation is Sukuma Wiki, a Kenyan recipe for stewed collards.  You get all the goodness of traditional stewed collards, minus the pork fat of most US recipes.  Penny will thank you and so will your waistline.  So a few weeks ago I took home some collards in order to make another batch of Sukuma Wiki, but I also had some quinoa in my pantry that was looking so lonely and unloved.  Thus a go-to side dish of ours transformed itself into an entree with the addition of quinoa and turkey sausage.  The results were delicious, and while not traditionally Kenyan, it definitely had my tastebuds shouting, "Jambo!" (hello in Swahili).

Stewed Collards with Sausage & Quinoa


1 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1.25 lbs hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed and crumbled
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 bundle of collards, removed from stems and rough chopped
6 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
Salt to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in onion and garlic and sweat until translucent for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in crumbled sausage and cook until it begins to brown.  Stir in tomatoes and cook for an additional 4 minutes.  Now begin to add your collards, and you'll have to add them in stages to allow them to cook down and make more room for the rest.  Once all collards are in the pan and have started to wilt, begin adding chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and reduce heat.

Now at this point you could simmer everything for about 10 minutes, season to taste with salt and serve this as a soup (though if you've made the quinoa, now you have lonely quinoa or you could stir some in to function like a pasta or rice), which I'm sure would be delicious.  But to really get all the loveliness and to stew the collards into submission you want to simmer this for a good 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes, stir in your quinoa and allow to cook on low for an additional 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and serve.

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