Greens and Beans [RECIPE]


Be Fit Basics: Greens and Beans

Adapted from Cooking Light

2 slices bacon
1 cup chopped carrots
½ small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2½ cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 (15oz) cans of garbanzo beans, drained from their liquid
4 cups chopped fresh kale (center rib removed and discarded)


Cook bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until crisp; remove the bacon and set aside.  In the pan with the bacon drippings, add the carrots and onion and cook until they start to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute and then add in the salt and spices.  (Turn the heat down if the garlic starts to brown too quickly.)

Add in the broth, plus 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the beans and kale; cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the kale is tender.  Crumble bacon and garnish each portion by dividing the bacon evenly among all the servings.


– You can substitute any greens (collards, escarole, etc.) if kale is not your thing.
– To make this vegetarian friendly, nix the bacon and use 1-2 tbsp of canola or olive oil to sauté the vegetables. (And use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.)

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information Per Serving

CALORIES: 315 calories
SODIUM: 645 mg
FIBER: 11 g
FAT: 11 g
SAT FAT: 2.5 g

Make it a meal

Entrée: 1 serving greens and beans
Starch: 1 whole wheat roll (90 calories)
Fruit: 1 whole orange (65 calories)
Vegetable: tomato cucumber salad (half a tomato cut into wedges plus 6 cucumber slices tossed in vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper) (20 calories)

Grocery List

Onion, Garlic
Kale, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Oranges
Canned garbanzo beans
Low sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
Whole wheat rolls
Condiments: paprika; cumin; kosher salt; crushed red pepper flakes

Use of Leftovers

– The remaining soup can be frozen in individual containers and reheated as needed.

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Emily Gelsomin is a Clinical Nutrition Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a registered dietitian, she counsels medical nutrition therapy on an outpatient basis and works extensively with the hospital's employee wellness program, Be Fit. She is also a freelance food writer and is currently pursuing her master's degree in Gastronomy, a multi-disciplinary food studies program that examines the holistic role of food in historical and contemporary societies, at Boston University.

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