Easy Southern Style “Healthier” Collard Greens

collard green

If anyone ever asked what I have learned about food in the Southwest is BBQ and collard greens. Truthfully,  I have never heard of collard green before I came to Texas (excuse my ignorance), and when I got here, I hesitated to even try it.  I remember trying collard greens in one of the many Southern food places  in Central Texas, and it was okay. I think I even bought the canned one from the nearby grocery store one day.  Surprisingly, later on, I decided to buy the frozen one.

I didn’t know how to cook it for a while until my friend said to juice it. Weird, I thought. But, I went ahead anyway to see what I could juice it with, hence, I was looking the recipe for it. Then, I found this recipe. As usual, I modified it to fit my taste palette and what I had in my pantry. It came out pretty good. Next time, I would try using crock pot to simmer the greens. Hmm.. yum!

Oh, the recipe doesn’t come with the recipe of pork chop as in the picture that accompanied my dinner (sorry!). It was a simple pork chop with a store-bought bread crumbs with cheese mix if you are wondering.  🙂

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices maple flavor turkey bacon (“healthier”) or  if you use regular turkey bacon, add about 1 tsp of brown sugar.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt according to your taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 can of chicken broth (about 2 cups)
  • a pinch or two red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium size package of frozen collard greens (“easy”) OR 1 pound fresh collard greens, cut big pieces

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic until fragrant, then put in the chopped onion until translucent.  Add in bacon, and cook well. Remove mixture of bacon, garlic, and onion from pan. Add collard greens, and fry until soft. Or if you are using fresh ones, until they start to wilt.

2. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

Now, I won’t be hesitant to try collard greens again. In fact, after this recipe, I like it! Enjoy.

Easy Pleasy Chicken Cordon Bleu For Two

I was in the mood for something rather fancy, but something that won’t break my savings. I wasn’t in the mood of eating out either since we just went grocery shopping few days ago. So, I was thinking about easy and fancy at the same time…

This was inspired by my grandmother’s recipe. I remember she used to make special deboned stuffed chicken with liver pate, and we always loved it.

I saw in the fridge that we still have one of those liver and cheese cold cut, and turkey cold cut. I’m thinking fancy, but using what I already have at hands, and healthier, maybe? Using the turkey instead of ham? Why not?!

This what I came out with:

2 chicken breast
Garlic salt to season
Garlic powder to season, and to mix with the flour
Paprika to season, and to mix with the flour
2 slices Liver and cheese cold cut (Oscar Myers have it)
2 slices Manchego or swiss cheese (I bought slices from local grocer that has slices of Manchego)
2 slices ham or turkey (I used turkey)
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs and 2 tsp dry white wine
1/4 chicken bullion
2 tbs butter to fry the chicken (I used Smart Balance)
1 packet of hollandaise sauce (or you can make your own sauce using flour and milk)- I sticked with easy

Pound the chicken breasts with tenderizer as flat as you can. If the breasts are too thick, cut a slit or pocket in the middle. Season the breasts with garlic salt and paprika evenly. Place the filling- liver and cheese, turkey, and cheese slices in the pocket or lay them flat on the chicken breasts so you can roll them. Use toothpicks to hold the roll or to close the pocket.

Mix the flour with paprika and garlic powder. Coast the rolled chicken breasts with the flour mix.

In the medium high heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Brown chicken breasts on all sides. When they are brown, pour the wine and put in chicken bullion. Make sure that the chicken bullion dissolves. Reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the packet of hollandaise sauce mix in separate sauce pan. When it is done, keep it in a low heat until the chicken is done.

Plate the chicken breasts. If you like, pour a little juice on top on each (I did it), then pour the hollandaise sauce on top. Then, serve them whole or in slices (fancier ;))! ENJOY!!!

Ps. My husband and I love them!!

“Grown Up” Mac and Cheese

Who said that Mac and Cheese is only for kids? Mac and cheese is known for its quick and fulfilling, somewhat nutritious meal for kids, as the TV commercial says. But, I crave mac and cheese every now and then, especially when I’m traveling somewhere. It just does not fail that my taste buds miss their comfort food. So, after our return from an almost 2 weeks of vacation, I craved for mac and cheese. I decided to make a “grown up” version of it. Here is the recipe I have compiled, which I put different kinds of cheese. I love cheese! Go ahead, give it a try and see if you like it. I am open to any suggestions… You can also add veggies and any kind of meat to it. I usually diced ham and mix into it, but this time, I only make it with cheese.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
2-3 tbps butter
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup and additional 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup of bread crumbs

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the oil and the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain well and return to cooking pot.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter; stir into the macaroni.

In a large bowl, combine all the cheeses mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Add the half and half, and eggs to macaroni; mix together and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a lightly greased deep 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese mixture, and bread crumbs.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbling around the edges; serve.

Enjoy!