FearLESS Friday #9: Collard Greens & Water Sautéing

Southern cooking has a bad reputation in health circles. That’s why I always stayed away from collard greens. I assumed that in order to eat them traditionally, they must be cooked to death in bacon grease. The Don’t Panic Mom attitude is all about challenging these unhealthy traditional ruts, or as I like to call them Crap Traps.

I am researching plant sources of calcium and came across collard greens as a good source. In two cups of raw collard greens, you get over 20% of your daily recommended calcium. But chewing two cups of raw collards would cause serious harm to my jaw joint. I quickly found a fat-free cooking technic from Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Furhman to save my jaw.  His water sautéing didn’t mention anything about bacon or lard. I was ready to give collard greens a try.

I excitedly went to work finding collard greens in my town. I found Glory Foods brand, pre-cut and pre-washed, collard greens at my local Wal-mart. I munched a few raw pieces (definitely a chore) and decided to make a scrumptious salad with some great northern beans and a balsamic vinaigrette. This salad was so good I didn’t share with any of my kids. I got every last bite.

Epilogue: I made this salad again before this post was published. This time Big P asked for some and I shared. He asked for seconds.

What southern recipes have you health-i-fied? Share in a comment below or on the Don’t Panic Mom Facebook Page.

Mediterranean Salad with Collard Greens

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 entree sized salads

Mediterranean Salad with Collard Greens

A bright and satisfying salad that packs a nutritional punch.


  • 1 bunch collard greens, rinsed and roughly chopped (or 16-ounce bag)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained (cannellini or great northern)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 green onion, green and white parts thinly sliced
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • For the Dressing:
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • pinch salt


  • Put collards and water into a pan and cook over medium high heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Check at ten minutes to see if you like the level of tenderness.
  • Drain any excess water.
  • Pour balsamic vinaigrette over greens and toss to coat evenly.
  • Divide greens into two bowls and add beans, tomato, onion, and mushrooms.
  • Enjoy with your favorite person.


Don't have green onions? Easily replace with red onions. Don't have any while beans? Kidney beans will work just fine. Don't like balsamic vinegar? Try a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Nutrient information from Calorie Count.