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.

I Like Me a Green Bean Casserole, please!

green bean casserole

I usually don’t like a green bean casserole dish. It always tastes more like the cream of mushroom soup itself than a casserole. So, this past holidays, because my husband who likes to follow tradition and loves green bean casserole dish asked me to make one, I had to look for a recipe for a dish that I could tolerate the taste. The old fashion one that I found on the back of the Fried Onion Packaging or Cream of Mushroom can soup doesn’t work for me. It never has.

There I was looking around and I found this great one from Paula Deen. Yes, she uses too much butter… and I knew that, so I modified it to my liking. Love it! It was not greasy and yucky… and I didn’t feel like I was eating grease. And, guess what? I had my second! and it was a hit with the family!

  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced green beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup ( I used the roasted garlic one… it was great!)
  • 1 small can fried onion rings
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  •  salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (or more.. if you love cheese like me)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Pour onto a 1 1/2 quart casserole/ baking dish: add the green beans, mushroom soup, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and mix them well. If  you make ahead, top the dish with the fried onion rings when you are about ready to bake. So, it wouldn’t be soggy.

Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

That is it! SO, go ahead and give this recipe a try if you want a grown up and new kick and twist of the ol’ green bean casserole dish. It looks and tastes delicious!!

(Cheese) Herbed Ozro

I found this recipe online a few months ago and tried to make it for a party. It was surprisingly really good and very tasty. I got a lot of rave reviews and many of my friends have been asking for recipe to make them. I made my own twist by adding some bell peppers and mushroom. I also changed the cheese from Parmesan (on the original recipe) to Machego cheese. BETTER!!

So, here you go:

2 1/2 cups orzo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red onion- chop it square
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 lemon, zested and juiced, or 2 tbsp “Real Lemon” juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan- I use machego cheese, it’s awesome!
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of chopped mushroom
1 cup of yellow, red, or green bell pepper (I use yellow for color)
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (optional, but very yummy with it!)

Cook orzo as directed on package. When it is done. Set aside.

Chop the mushroom, bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro. Set aside. Prepare the sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large bowl, toss together orzo with all the ingredients. Can be served warm or chilled. I prefer it room temperature.

Enjoy!!