Greens and chickpeas

This was one of those nights were I craved a warm, healthy homemade meal (yes, the day was thunderstormy and chilly not like the day most of you were suffering through) but I didn't want to spend a long time in the kitchen, especially cleaning-up (my least favorite part). So, I surveyed the ingredients we had on hand and, decided on sautéed mixed greens and chickpeas with grits. It may sound odd, but it's super tasty and quite filling!


20110726-020150.jpg Before I left my job in Georgia, my friends at work gave me a very generous going away bag filled with all sorts of travel goodies and new home stuff. One of the items in my package was a bag of the fabulous Georgia grits that I love from Logan Turnpike Mill...a little gift of the south to take to Seattle with me :) Tonight, the grits became our grain side and they were extra scrumptious. Maybe being away from the south made them that much better?! Real stone ground grits, as opposed to the instant bleached white variety that are found in most grocery stores, require a good rinsing to remove big grains and extra slow heat cooking time. I made a cup of grits with 4 cups of water and cooked them uncovered on simmer for about 45 minutes. I cheesed up Jack and David's grits and kept mine simple with a small pat of smart balance "butter". "Mmmmm" was the chorus heard around our dinner table as we tried them!

For the greens, I sautéed a good amount of olive oil with 4 cloves of minced garlic. When the garlic was fragrant, I added kale first and when that cooked down a bit, I added a large amount of collard greens, turnips greens, and mustard greens. You can choose any greens combination you like or have on hand, they are so versatile and easily mix and match. Because the greens cook down so much, I like to cook a lot, but this requires adding the greens in batches so that they will all fit in the pan. I sautéed them for about 20 minutes making sure to get the veins tender. Near the end of the cooking time, I added a can (yes, I bought a can!) of drained and rinsed chick peas to the greens in the pot and stirred well to mix.

Serve alongside each other for a tasty southern inspired supper. Hint: Mixing the greens with the grits on a few forkfuls created deliciously tasty bites.