With the conclusion of summer and the end of all the seasonal indulgences, it seems elimination diets are gaining in popularity among my circle of people. You know the ones – no sugar, flour, grains, legumes, and dairy for a temporary amount of time. Not a bad idea considering I am feeling particularly weighed down from tacos on the patio every Tuesday, pizza from our favorite shop in Ludington, and cone after cone of Blue Moon ice cream.
When interrogating my brave friends on their commitment to a particular diet, the question of ‘what’s been the hardest food to give up’ always seems to make it’s way into the conversation. And, no surprise, sugar and bread always seem to be the top missed categories. I would definitely have a hard time saying goodbye to my Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and you would probably have to stab my hand with a knife to keep me out of the bread basket at a restaurant but I think the hardest thing for me give would be beans. Black beans, chick peas, and white beans are a staple in my weekly diet and I would have a hard time filling the void that they fill in my meals.
When I was in college, beans were my ramen. My best friend and I would fix a can of beans for supper and serve it over cornbread. We were each living on our own making our way through college and beans were a perfect, cheap solution to feeding ourselves something substantial. After all, beans are high in fiber and packed with protein. On top of being good for our bodies, they also do the earth good as they make an incredibly sustainable crop, they require little water to grow, and producing them leaves a low carbon footprint.
There’s something modest and folksy about a skillet of beans and sausage. Simple, yet flavorful and gratifying. I used dry beans I soaked during the day, but canned beans would work well, too. Chicken sausage and collard greens help make this skillet a complete dish that would do well with or without a side of cornbread. This dish comes together quick making it perfect for weeknight dinners and it packs well the next day for lunch.
I would love to hear about your go-to comfort foods from when you were younger. Were you a mac and cheese person or was dessert more your thing? Tell me about favorites in the comments below!
Chicken Sausage and White Bean Skillet
- 1 Cup Dry or 2 15 Oz. Cans White Beans, drained
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 2 Chicken Sausages (I used Al Fresco Sweet Italian)
- 2 Cups Chopped Collard Greens
- 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
If using dried beans, soak the beans in water for 6-8 hours. Drain, cover with water, then simmer for 35-45 minutes until tender. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan followed by the onion. Slice the chicken sausage, add to the pan, and cook until browned. Add the beans, collard greens and creole seasoning. The amount of salt you need will depend on the type of sausage you are using, if you’re using canned or dried beans, and if there is salt in your creole seasoning. Taste the dish to see if you need any at all and add accordingly. Continue to cook until the collard greens have cooked down, about 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!