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.

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Hearty Minestrone Soup

Sometimes I feel like a hearty soup, especially when it’s cold outside. I found this recipe because I felt like eating soup but vegetable at the same time. So, minestrone was the answer. My family likes the soup. Here is what I found:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup frozen cut italian green beans
1/4 cup minced celery (about 1/2 stalk)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup carrot, julienned or shredded
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup small pasta (shell, tubes, elbow macaroni, etc.)
1 sausage (optional)

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

Saute onion and garlic until onion begin to turn translucent. Add in sausage until it’s half cooked. Put in celery, green beans, and zucchini, and fry for 5 minutes.

Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings.

The result is very yummy. Try it yourself! Let the soup sit for overnight… the next day, it tastes so much better!