Wednesday, December 15, 2021

5 Star Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice

Vegan Recipe Collard Greens and Dirty Rice

Want to learn how to make delicious, healthy, hearty 5 Star ★★★★★Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice? 

It's a recipe that blends simple ingredients with savory and spicy seasonings for a lively meal too scrumptious to pass up.

I relish reading my fellow bloggers' food posts and frequently search for online inspiration. If  a recipe idea attracts me, I test it and adapt the dish to satisfy my hunger, make good nutritional sense, and feed my soul. 

A few years ago, I saw a Cajun/Southern style Dirty Rice Recipe that featured animal protein. The "dirty rice" part of this dish got its name from chunks of fatty meat and seasoning that makes the rice and collards look dirty, the food too greasy, and high in cholesterol. 

So I converted this conventional recipe into a plant-based, gluten free, cholesterol free main dish delight. 

My adaptation is rich in flavor, vegan, and provides a good amount of calcium, protein, and antioxidants. See details about the health benefits of collards here. See the health benefits of beans too.

Please note: this post is intended for entertainment and information only, and not provided as medical/nutritional advice. 

I hope my enthusiasm and information has piqued your interest, and you'll read the recipe below.

5 Star ★★★★★Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice

This dish is perfect for times you crave spicy, wholesome, and filling. Please let me know how you like it.



3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 cup long grain brown rice (I used organic brown Basmati for the aroma, health benefits, and good taste)

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (drained) or same amount of pinto or other beans

1 bunch collard greens (about ten leaves) middle stalk (stem) removed from each piece

1 chopped red or yellow onion, or a bunch of scallions to equal 1 cup

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper up to 1/4 teaspoon depending on how hot you like it

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

1 Tablespoon low sodium non-GMO gluten free soy sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast. "Nooch" as it is affectionally called, adds a savory layer of flavor, and pleasing golden yellow color to this dish. Nutritional yeast is available in the bulk section of most markets or comes in a shaker container located near the spices.

Optional ingredients: mushrooms, red pepper, celery, carrot, or other veggie you enjoy. If you're using additional veggies, clean and chop them before proceeding to step one.


 What to do:

1. In a sauce pan bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, turmeric, paprika, and freshly ground pepper. Cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 to 35 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove bay leaf and let the rice sit for a few minutes. Then, fluff rice with a fork.

2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the collard greens, (one cup contains 10% of the RDA of protein and 27% for calcium). 

Wash the collards in cool water. Place one leaf on your cutting board at a time. Remove the tough stalk that runs down the center of the leaf by slicing down each side of the stalk. 

Stack the collard leaves one on top of the other, with the leaf tips all at the same end. Roll the stack tightly in a long tube. Starting at the thick end, slice the collards as thinly as possible to make spaghetti like strands. Then cut the strands across into ½ in. pieces. Put stalks in your compost pile. 

3. Place raw pumpkin seeds in a roasting pan in the oven. Set temperature to 450° F. When the oven reaches that temp, remove the seeds from oven and let sit. For health facts see Pumpkin Seed Health Benefits from Medical News Today.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion or scallions. Sauté until tender for approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and other spices and sauté another two minutes. Add any extra vegetables you want to include now. 

5. Pour in the last cup of vegetable broth and add beans into the mixture. 

One cup of beans provide 6g-9g of protein, 6 g of fiber, and 10% of the RDA for Iron. Beans add depth and creaminess to this recipe without adding fat. 

Nutrition Info and Recipes for Beans

Stir in the collard strands and cover the skillet. Cook over medium-heat for 5-10 minutes more, or until the collards are tender and beans are hot. If there is a lot of liquid left in the pan, refrigerate it to use in soups, gravies, or stews.


6. Combine collards, beans, roasted pumpkin seeds, low sodium gluten free soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. 

Either serve on a bed of dirty rice as shown in the picture at the top of this post or mix all ingredients together as illustrated below. 

Collard Greens, Garbanzo Beans, and Dirty Rice

Grind in a generous amount of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Serve piping hot or at room temperature. This recipe goes well with a salad and cornbread. It will serve 4-6 hungry people. 💚

Before you go, don't forget to comment below. 

I read and appreciate every comment, but will not publish those that contain links. Thanks for understanding. 

Did you learn something new about dirty rice, beans, or collard greens? Will you try to include this dark green leafy vegetable powerhouse in meal planning? Sure hope you'll give it a try.

See my Website as well. Click on the link to Services to discover ways my health and lifestyle writing, editing, and online content development creation can help you and your organization thrive.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Frugal Eco-Friendly Ways to Spruce Up for the Holidays

Sustainability and Decorating Tips for Holidays

Want to make this holiday season one where you catch the holiday spirit without straining your budget, energy, or our planet's health?

Post Updated 11/26/2023

Look below for tips and ideas to help you think and act more sustainably as you spruce up your home for the holidays.  

Frugal Eco-friendly Ways to Spruce Up for the Holidays

Budget for the holidays

Stick within your budget to prevent exceeding your income, draining your savings, or incurring debt. Want to make sure your holiday festivities brings good cheer? 

Save a portion of your paycheck throughout the year. Consider setting aside money and time to do a mini-home refresh and spruce-up, DIY holiday décor and gift-wrap options, and planning potlucks for holiday entertaining. 

Sort and Declutter

Evaluate clutter in one room or one section of a room at a time. Release those things that are useless and just taking up space. Weed out items by holding a garage sale, donating, gifting, or recycle unwanted items to prevent creating more waste for landfills. 

Letting go of things you haven't used in years, makes space for whatever is functional, beautiful, and brings you joy. 

Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life, a blog devoted to simple intentional living, offers How to Declutter Before the Holidays: 11 Awesome Ways to Simplify.” 

See "Declutter for the Holidays: 20 Ways to Make Room for Joy," a post from Courtney Carver, the blogger at Be More with Less. Her blog offers ideas about ways to simplify life and really live. 

Enhance with Colors

Freshen up the entrance to your house or apartment with a good sweep, clean, and a coat of paint for the front door. If you are inspired, paint your door a whole new color. 

Find winter warmth snuggling up in a throw that's a deep-hue like burnt orange and drink a cup of rich hot chocolate or hot coffee. 

Tips, Ideas for Color Brown

Spread out the deep coffee brown area rug you've been storing in the attic to provide a sense of stability and grounding, either under the dining room table or in front of the couch.

Paint an accent wall maroon or coffee table indigo. If you lack space for kitchen or dining room storage and serving, thrift shop for a mahogany sidepiece. 

Set the holiday table with a festive red tablecloth .

Eco-friendly tips and ideas

There are many colors in the rainbow. Select those that make you feel happy and relaxed this holiday season.

Read Eco-friendly Holiday Decorating that Won’t Trash the Planet from Michela, the blogger at the Mindful Momma Blog. Her post shows ways holiday choices can be good for your health, pocketbook, and the environment.

Instead of buying new holiday trinkets, create a clean look by rearranging natural elements you already have on hand or find ones on a nature walk. 

Plants, pine cones, or other objects from nature look so appealing, when incorporated into your winter décor. 

Decorating and Decluttering Tips

Set up a holiday display shelf in a bookcase or on your mantel. Select a limit of two or three seasonal items you have collected over the years to highlight. Try out 2 or 3 different arrangements and choose the one you like best.

Illuminate the Season

Plan to use mood lighting at home, especially if overhead lighting feels harsh. Why not rearrange table lamps and floor lamps to be more welcoming? 

Shaded lamps usually diffuse the softest, coziest light. Consider using a pink LED light bulb or pink shade in the living room and guest bedroom for comforting, flattering illumination.

Learn about the Festival of Lights' colors and customs in this post, Hanukkah a Mini Guide to the Jewish Holiday

Hanukkah Food, Gift ideas, and Customs

No matter how little or how much you do to spruce up for the holidays, one thing is for sure.

I wish you the very best of health, love, and happiness during the holiday season and throughout the year as well!

What things do you like to use to decorate your home for the holidays? Please comment below,

What customs or traditions do you enjoy at this time of year? Which ones could you do without?

Please comment in the section below. Refrain from putting links in comments, as I will not be able to publish them that way. Thanks for understanding.

Happy Holidays to Everyone. Sending Prayers for Peace, Plenty, and Planetary and Personal Wellness for All.
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