A classic combination of Southern American side dishes stuffed with fiber, full of flavor and distinctly moderate in calories... but whose counting? At the same time these recipes fight shy of too much saturated fat and sodium thanks to just two lean strips of nitrite-free bacon as a foundation for that good old southern flavor. The taste will differ, be we can also eliminate the puny portion of pork for a completely vegetarian option if you prefer!
|Prep Time||15 Minutes|
|Cook Time||1.5 Hours|
|Passive Time||8 Hours|
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 2 lean strips nitrite-free bacon
- 1 medium onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 qt low sodium chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- .5 tsp dry chile flake
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary (half teaspoon dry)
- 1 tsp fresh chopped sage (half teaspoon dry)
- .5 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Soak dried navy beans in water overnight (minimum 8 to 10 hours)
- Remove and discard excess fat from bacon strips and dice the lean into small bits. Dice the onion. Smash and mince the garlic.
- In an ample casserole pot over medium heat,sauté the bacon bits in the olive oil until nearly brown. Add the onion and garlic, stirring and sautéing until onion is slightly caramelized.
- Drain the pre-soaked beans and add to the cook pot. Add the chicken stock and as much extra water as needed to cover the beans during cooking. Add all the aromatics, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a low simmer. Partially cover the pot and let cook for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
- Add water as needed during the cooking process, but as the beans near doneness remove lid and let excess water evaporate. Finished beans should be thick and sluggish, not thin and watery.
I like to garnish the beans with a drizzle of dark, rich balsamic vinegar which pairs well with the cider vinegar taste of the greens. I believe that vinegars are underused in cooking and add tremendous flavor, especially when we have to reduce salt, sugar and fats!
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