Ask a Chef: John Cochran | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Ask a Chef: John Cochran

John Cochran

How can I brighten up winter meals with collard greens?

We asked John Cochran, chef and co-owner of The Wild Cow veg restaurant in Nashville, Tenn., where actors Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson and musician K.D. Lang have been known to dine. Here's what he said.

• Boil shredded raw collards for about 10 minutes; drain. Sizzle chopped garlic and jalapeño in olive or canola oil, and toss collards into the pan; sauté about 5 minutes. Layer collard greens over cooked brown rice; top with a layer of Liquid Smoke-flavored pinto beans that have been boiled with cilantro and garlicky fried onions. Garnish with a garlic aïoli made with Vegenaise and spiced with gingerroot and jalapeño.

• Boil finely shredded raw collard greens in coconut water for about 30 minutes. Drain, and garnish with thinly sliced caramelized onions and diced Roma tomatoes.

• Use raw collard greens as wrappers, the way you would grape leaves.

• Substitute collard greens for spinach in veggie lasagna.

Comments on this Article

Hi John, I love lentil soup! Before I was a vegetarian (I'm a newbie), I always added ham hocks and extra ham. I made a pot tonight and it's just not as rich. It tasted quite good--I added some smoked paprika and liquid smoke. I try to keep the salt on the light side but added some red pepper flakes & fresh ground pepper. Oh, I also added a good 'glug' of red wine. Any ideas on how to make my lentil soup richer without adding meat? Thanks in advance, Vicki in Fremont, Ca

I made a tuna casserole with tuna in water, organice peas, peppers, onion, carrot with no yolk noodles and almond milk. I added vegetarian celery soup. at a group meeting the vegetarians turned their noses up saying it wasn't vegetarian but no one would say why will you tell me? I am trying but no one will assist. what did I do wrong?