Let’s just say up front you can absolutely skip the meat and Worcestershire here and transform this into a terrific vegan option simply by using olive oil to cook the onions and garlic. To make it a satisfying main, just add peanuts or tofu in place of the pork and serve it over a bowl of brown rice. Omnivores will enjoy this smoky, hearty side for what it is: a surprisingly healthful bacon delivery system.
Makes 4 servings
6 oz bacon
1/2 large red onion
4 large garlic cloves
1 lb frozen collards or kale
2 cup canned or frozen black-eyed peas
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Chop up the bacon and put it in an airtight container; chop the onions and mince the garlic and put them together in another container. Make sure you’ve packed everything else.
- Put the bacon in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5-10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving behind the fat; return the skillet to the heat.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 7-10 minutes. Add the greens, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup water; raise the heat a bit and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until soft, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the lid for good, add the beans, and return the bacon to the pan. Cook, stirring, until everything is hot and the pan is almost dry. Turn off the heat, and stir in the vinegar and Worcestershire if you’re using it. Taste and adjust the seasonings, and serve.
If you use the bacon, then this is better heated up than served cold. Eggs is the natural companion: use it to fill omelets, as a bed for a couple poached beauties, or simply scrambled in a skillet and spooned into warm flour or corn tortillas.
A day or two before packing, get a pot of your own beans bubbling at home on the stove, maybe even with a ham bone thrown in. Then prep fresh greens (like collards, mustard, chard, or even green cabbage). Believe it or not, you can even use fresh okra here, which is awesome if that’s your thing. Whatever you choose, drain the beans; pack everything up, then cook just as described in the recipe.