Not My Momma’s Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

by deborah on January 27, 2015 · 20 comments

in Nourish, Plant-based diet, Plant-based Recipes, Vegan

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

When I was growing up collard greens were practically a staple in our home.

My dad grew collards in our backyard garden and my job was to pick, wash, cut, blanch

and freeze them for the winter.

That was not a chore that I always enjoyed as a kid, so one day I remember experimenting

by putting the greens in our washing machine to see if I could use the agitation to clean off

the dirt and insects–the same way we cleaned our clothes.

You can just imagine how pissed my mother was when she discovered what I did.

Those were my pre-vegan days when I ate whatever my mother cooked–or else.

Mom made her collard greens the old-fashioned, soul food way–seasoned with ham hocks,

fat back or neck bones and bacon drippings.

And they tasted great to me back then.

But that was then and this is now…

Nowadays, I make my greens, vegan style.

Instead of pork, I season my greens with fresh garlic, onion, dried herbs, sea salt, crushed red pepper,

scallions, coconut oil or olive oil to steam or saute my own soul-satisfying pot of greens.

Good Tasting and Good for You!

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

More than just a tasty dish, collard greens are a nutritional powerhouse.

They are a rich source for:

*Soluble and insoluble dietary fiber that helps control LDL cholesterol levels and offer

protection against hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.

*Phyto-nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as di-indolyl-methane (DIM)

and sulforaphane that have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon,

ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition and cytotoxic effects

on cancer cells.

*B-complex minerals such as niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine

(vitamin B-6) and riboflavin.

*Minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

*Vitamin-C, a powerful natural anti-oxidant that offers protection against free radical injury

and flu-like viral infections.

*Vitamin-A, (222% of RDA per 100 g) and carotenoid anti-oxidants such as lutein, carotenes,

zea-xanthin, crypto-xanthin, etc. which helps maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin health

and is also essential for healthy vision.

*Vitamin-K, 426% of recommended daily levels per 100 leaves) supports bone health and

benefits Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

*Folates which are important in DNA synthesis.

Fresh collard greens are generally available year around in food stores, but they are at their

best from November through April.

As my dad would say–“collard greens taste better after the frost hits them”.

I must admit that many of my family members still prefer to eat their greens the old-fashioned way,

but when I make my greens for holiday meals, I notice that they disappear, so someone is eating

them in addition to me.

Mean Greens, Vegan Style

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style


1 large bunch organic collard greens – washed and sliced into thin strips

1 onion – chopped

4 cloves garlic – sliced

5 organic scallions – chopped

1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon Spike or other salt-free veggie seasonion

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Celtic or Himalyan Sea Salt, to taste

1-2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

Wash, roll and slice the collard greens.

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

Peel and chop the onions, garlic and scallions.

Saute chopped onions, scallions and garlic in coconut or olive oil

on medium heat for a few minutes.

Once they are soft, add the collard greens to the pot.

Drizzle a little toasted sesame oil over the greens.

Sprinkle seasonings onto the greens.

Turn up the heat and toss the greens rapidly to wilt the leaves.

Turn the heat down to simmer and allow the greens to cook in their

own juices.

Add a small amount of water, if necessary.

After a few minutes, check the greens and stir them again.

Cover and allow to simmer until they are done.

Try not to overcook them.

Not My Momma's Collard Greens: Mean Greens, Vegan Style

Taste test and adjust seasoning as needed.

I like to sprinkle more fresh chopped scallions into the pot of greens

once they are done and toss them with the cooked greens.

I also like to sprinkle a little more dried red pepper flakes on the

greens once they are done.

Serve up and enjoy with the rest of your meal.

I usually eat my greens with brown rice or quinoa, beans, steamed carrots,

winter squash or sweet potatoes.

Sometimes I cube some baked tofu or seasoned tempeh and add it to my

collard greens.

Now that is a delicious treat!


How do you prepare and season your collard greens?

Share your suggestions, thoughts and comments with us.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyra January 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm

These collard greens look great! I have never really found collard greens here in Australia but we eat silverbeet in the same way, but usually I just steam them. I love how you use sauteed onion, garlic, scallions, and all the other flavourings too – going to be trying this next time I cook up some silverbeet! Also, your story about using the washing machine to wash the leaves – that’s hilarious hahaha 🙂


deborah January 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Hi Kyra,
I am so delighted that you enjoyed this recipe for collard greens. I have found that most green leafy vegetables can be prepared in similar ways so I bet silverbeet greens will be delicious. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate it.


Roxanne January 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Thanks for the recipe and for sharing at Pin-Worthy Wednesday!


deborah January 31, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Hi Roxanne,
I enjoyed participating in Pin-Worthy Wednesday! There are so many amazing posts to enjoy and pin! All the best, Deborah


Marla February 1, 2015 at 10:03 am

Hi Deborah,
I not much for collard greens – my husband doesn’t like them so I bother making them. We also don’t seem to have them available where I live very often. I do like the ingredients in this recipe and I might have to reconsider trying to eat and get my husband somehow to eat them after reading all the health values you have listed. Thanks for sharing your great info with Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.


deborah February 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Hi Marla,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. There are a lot of other greens that can be prepared in a similar way. I grew up eating turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale that my dad grew in our garden and now I just cook them in a healthier manner.


kimmythevegan February 1, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Those collards look amazing! So green & vibrant, what a delicious sounding dish Deborah =)
I can’t believe you put them in the washing machine… oh your mom must have been angry. Yikes!
My favourite way to enjoy collard greens is as a raw wrap, but I would love to try this cooked version.


swathi February 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Looks delicious l Love green as lot, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.


Nancy Andres February 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Dear Deborah, I have to admit I’ve never cooked collards, but do know of they are a powerhouse of nutrition. Your recipe doesn’t say approximately how many minutes to cook it. What’s your best estimate please? Also, I notice you don’t remove the middle stalk. When I make kale or chard I remove the tough stalk and those things cook up much faster. Do you ever do that with collards? Please let me know. Warm regards, Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author of “Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, and Bliss,” Blogger at and


deborah February 2, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Hi Nancy,
I usually just eyeball my greens and taste test them to see when they are tender and tasty yet not overcooked. When steaming winter collards, they are usually ready to eat in about 8- 10 minutes. But check on them to make sure they don’t overcook. I sometimes remove the stalk from greens but I usually like to retain the stalk, chop it into small pieces and include it with the leaves. I love the chewy texture and taste of chopped stalks in my greens. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate it.


De Tout Coeur Limousin February 3, 2015 at 8:59 am

Love greens! So good for you too and this looks like a tasty recipe. I do like to add a bit of chilli and garlic when im cooking mine too. Bon appetit and bonjour from me at via #createwithjoy


deborah February 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

How delightful it is that you also love to add a bit of chili and garlic to your greens. I am so pleased that you stopped by. Let’s stay in touch.


Angie February 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm

This wonderful post was featured on my blog today as part of Tuesdays with a Twist blog hop:
Thanks so much!


deborah February 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Hi Angie,
I am so delighted that No My Momma’s Collard Greens was featured on Tuesdays with a Twist! I am going to place the button on the post! I will be by to link up as well. Thank you for the support and recognition. I appreciate it.


vegetarianmamma (Cindy) February 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share next time!


Mary Ellen @ VNutrition November 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

These look so good Deborah! What a great way to cook them!

Thanks for sharing at Healthy Vegan Fridays!


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