Living in New York City, I took up the habit of cooking greens for breakfast on my days off – those rare days when I wasn’t running to catch a train and could spend a bit of time in my tiny kitchen. I loved how energized those breakfasts made me feel. So energized, in fact, that I’ve kept up the habit here in Denver.
Today I chose collard greens. Typically used in Southern cooking and paired with a salty meat, I added smoked paprika chickpeas for a similar flavor and a bit of crunch. This chickpea recipe makes extra chickpeas. Store them in a glass, airtight container with a bit of rice to keep them from getting soggy. Then, put them on everything you make this week. You will want to, I promise.
In the same family as kale, collard greens provide an abundance of phytonutrients, fiber and Vitamin E. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are anti-inflammatory agents. Not to mention that chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, provide an excellent source of fiber and protein. Hello, powerhouse breakfast.
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained. I defrosted a previously cooked jar from my freezer
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 bunch collard greens
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste
1 dash freshly ground black peppercorns
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne, garlic salt and onion powder. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and bake, turning every 10 minutes for 30-40 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy and no longer soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Remove the stems from each collard leaf with a paring knife and discard. Wash greens and spin dry. Stack them on top of each other, roll into a tube and then cut the collard greens into thin ribbons.
3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add olive oil to pan, then add collard greens, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and stir the collard greens constantly. Add more salt to taste and cook until just tender and bright green . Just before removing collards from the skillet, add lemon juice and stir to mix well.
4. Pile collard greens high on your plate and top with crispy chickpeas. You can serve this with a side of toast, a muffin or cornbread, for a gluten free option.
5. Dig in and enjoy your greens for breakfast.
Soundtrack: Innocent Bones by Iron and Wine