Eat & DrinkFeaturesWhat a Dish


By Debbie AndersonDecember 28, 2020January 28th, 2021No Comments

Braised Beans, Grains & Greens

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

Fort Worth chef Jen Williams

of JayCee Hospitality offers clients a cleaner way of eating with menus rich in vegetables — using Texas produce as often as possible — along with legumes and grains. And she often spotlights unusual ingredients that might otherwise be afterthoughts. For a New Year’s dish, she combines the traditional black-eyed peas and kale with nutrient-packed sorghum grain and quinoa — plus hominy, tomatoes and plenty of herbs and spices for a flavorful stew. Omnivores can always add bacon or smoked ham to deepen flavors.

Braised Beans, Grains & Greens

Serves 4 to 6

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with twine
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes or more, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 bunches kale (save the stems)
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed,
    OR 2 15.8‑ounce cans black-eyed peas
  • ½ cup sorghum grain, rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth, divided use
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 bunches green onions or chives

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat and add celery and onion, cooking till vegetables are opaque, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add bay leaves, thyme, cumin, chile flakes, salt and pepper, stirring well and cooking until herbs and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes longer.

Roughly chop kale stems (reserving leaves) and add to pot, followed by dried black-eyed peas (if using canned peas, add later per instructions below), sorghum and hominy. Stir well and add half the crushed tomatoes, half of the stock and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to keep at a gentle boil for 60 to 90 minutes. Stir frequently; adjust seasonings and add reserved stock as needed.

When sorghum grain is cooked through but still a bit al dente, add quinoa and kale leaves. (If using canned black-eyed peas instead of dried, add those now after rinsing and draining.)

Cover and cook at a gentle boil an additional 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme.

Serve in bowls garnished with chopped green onions or chives.

JayCee Hospitality Follow Jen Williams on social media, and check out services and menus at Send inquiries to