Greens & Beans, Made with Love and Perfect Vision

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Hi all! After a little summer hiatus, I’m happy to be back to blogging!

Really, I was planning to start writing again last week, but unfortunately I had a bit of a run-in with a bush.

Yup, in an effort to tidy things up around the yard and do some trimming back of dead branches, I scratched my eyeball REAL BAD – in several places, with one big abrasion running right across my pupil.

If you’ve had this kind of accident before, you already know what came next. If you haven’t, meaning you’ve never been so silly to stick your face into a bush full of pokey limbs without wearing eye protection, you still probably know what came next.

I was in INCREDIBLE PAIN!! I couldn’t open my eye, light was intolerable, driving was out of the question, a visit to the walk-in clinic was a must. I was a mess. But, that’s not all… In my case, my husband was also scheduled to fly out on a business trip early the next morning, leaving me as sole provider of transportation for our son, Owen, who had just started both his freshman year of high school as well as a new swim season with his club team that practices six days a week at a pool an hour away from us.

SOooooooo…. we did what any other grown-ass parents would do: We called my mom!

Of course she came straight away to help out. WHAT A RELIEF! And then, to repay her for her kindness – once my eye healed and I could actually see again – I cooked for her with lots and lots of love and gratitude. No relying on old standbys like pasta or veggie burgers from the freezer for the woman who had just drove four hours on a moment’s notice (battling a migraine no less) to lend a hand.

One of our favorite dinners together was our last: hearty, protein- and nutrient-packed greens & beans (or “minestra” for all the Italians in the house… woot, woot). This recipe is SO simple and SO share-worthy and requires only one pot, but you’ll need a good amount of time to let it all simmer nicely together (90 minutes to be exact). The wait is worth it, though; this is a tasty, tasty dish… Just ask my mom!

Buon Appetito, you guys! (And, also, wear your safety glasses.)

GREENS & BEANS (aka: Minestra)


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 bunch green onion (green and white parts), sliced

3 large cans of cannellini beans, with liquid (DO NOT drain)

3 bunches greens (I used collards, rainbow chard, and dandelion), washed, trimmed of stems, and sliced as you would for a salad

1 large box or 4 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt


  • In a large pot on medium heat, sauté garlic and green onion until green parts are wilted and whites are starting to soften.
  • Add in beans with liquid from all three cans, then sauté for another few minutes.
  • Add in greens, broth, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Then lower heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for approx. 1 1/2 hours.
  • Serve hot (over a small pasta like ditalini, if desired) with crusty bread for dipping.

Serves 6

** By the way! I was really happy to find dandelion greens at my local supermarket. They remind me of my grandmother who was famous for soaking them in her tub before making her minestra. Thinking back on it… soaking food in the same tub you soak your body in is TOTALLY GROSS… but that didn’t really cross my mind when I was a kid. 

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  1. // Reply

    I am so happy that your eye healed with no bad effects. And, I was so delighted to be able to help you. The minestra was delicious both that night and left over a few nights later. I so enjoyed it!!

  2. // Reply

    Hi Jennifer, So sorry about your tangling with a bush. Sounds like the bush won the first round of this trimming battle, but I would venture to guess that there will be a round two in which you will come out the winner and the bush will be cut into shape. Im glad your Mom could help out during this rough time. Hope you heal well and quickly. Looking forward to your blogs and recepies.
    All the best,
    Aunt Marlene

  3. // Reply

    Glad everything is better now. Didn’t know this happened. That was very nice of your mother! Love and miss you guys.

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