White Beans, Greens and Eggs in a Skillet
A delicious mix of white beans, Swiss chard from the kitchen garden (greens) and eggs in a skillet
Greens and beans are an unbeatable combination when you want to eat healthy. Protein, iron, calcium and fibre, from the mix of greens and beans give you maximum nutrition bang. Simple, inexpensive and quick (if you use a pressure cooker or canned beans), this recipe switches between breakfast, lunch and dinner, quite effortlessly.
For breakfast, have it on top of toast. For lunch and dinner, a side of rice to eat it with would be excellent.
Like I had promised in my March edition of Saffron Trail Digest, I'm bringing to you a garden-to-plate recipe using Swiss Chard that I'm currently having a bumper crop of. I do understand that Swiss Chard is quite difficuly to source in India, so use spinach or any local greens like Amaranth (chauli) or Goosefoot (bathua). Any greenss you can lay your hands on is fine, as long as they are locally grown and fresh.
I love cooking with white beans (also called Navy beans). They are quite delicate as compared to the other beans, and feel much lighter in a meal. We get this in our local grocery delivery service, Towness. But these can easily be replaced by black eyed peas (lobia) or chickpeas (kabuli chana) for an equally nutritious meal.
If you don't eat eggs, leave them out or use a tofu crumble instead of the eggs.
Feel free to play around with the ingredients. Whichever way, this is a super fun recipe that delivers the goods when it comes to nutrients.
- Wash and soak the white beans in a pot of water overnight or for 4-5 hours. Drain this water, cover with fresh water and pressure cook for one whistle. Keep on sim for 7-8 minutes. Switch off the flame, allow to cool, then open, drain and keep aside. If using canned beans, then rinse off once with water, drain and keep aside.
- Finely chop the garlic. Deseed and chop the red bell pepper into small squares (1 cm). Peel, halve and slice the onion.
- In a skillet, heat the oil. Saute the garlic for a few seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper. Saute on medium flame for 4-5 minutes until the onions are softened.
- Add the finely chopped chard (greens). Stir until wilted. Swiss chard will take slightly more time than spinach as the leaves are thicker.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt, dried herbs, pepper, chilli flakes. Stir well to combine.
- Add tomato paste + 1/2 cup water to this and allow to come to a simmer, mashing some of the beans to a puree while the mix is simmering. (If you can't find tomato paste, substitute with 3 tablespoons of tomato puree.)
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Lightly whisk. Season with pinch of salt and pepper.
- Make a well in the veggie-bean mix and pour the eggs into the well. Scramble the eggs by moving them around in the well in the skillet, until they are well set. Remove from heat as soon as the eggs start to set or else they will turn rubbery.
- Garnish the eggs with crushed dried herbs and ground pepper. Garnish the skillet with fresh herbs such as sweet basil.
- Serve warm with a loaf of bread or with rotis or steamed rice.
Verdict: The white beans absorb all the flavours from the herbs and seasonings. The red bell pepper adds sweetness and a vibrant colour to the dish. The greens, while adding amazing nutrition, also make this dish heartier and colourful. A perfect dish suited for any meal of the day!