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Posts Tagged ‘collard greens’

COLLARD GREENS: a method

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I did not grow up eating collards or much of any such “greens,” but with age come knowledge and a change in palate. The last few years have brought an explosion of information about “super foods” and “greens” such as collards are included in that list. We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the lowering of cholesterol and cancer protection.

Collard greens have been eaten for at least 2000 years, with evidence showing that the Ancient Greeks cultivated several forms of both collard greens and kale. The name “collard” is a corrupted form of the word “colewort” – the wild cabbage plant.

They are available year-round, but are tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, so we are enjoying collards in their prime! Let’s cook some!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Collard greens

Fat (butter, smoky bacon grease, olive oil)

Onion

Garlic

Liquid (water or broth)

Two large bowls

Large pot/skillet with lid

WHAT YOU DO:

Fill one bowl with cool water and submerge collard greens. Swish around to loosen any trapped sand/dirt. Remove the tough center stem.

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Tough center stem has to go!

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I hold stem in one hand and run my other hand down the length, stripping away the leaf. Place the leaves in the second bowl. Don’t worry about water on the leaves; it will help in the steaming process. Discard the stems. I toss them in the kitchen compost bucket for our garden compost pile.

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de-stemming process

Next, slice the leaves to help them cook more quickly and to make them easier to eat. I grab a handful, roll them up into a bundle as best I can, and slice into thin ribbons. I then cut across the length. It took me three bundles to chop up two bags of greens.

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Roll and slice!

Set aside while you prep the other ingredients. I read that chopped greens need to sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities, so you’re doing a good thing by waiting!

In a large pot or skillet, slowly heat some type of fat. I prefer the fat I render from the smoky Louisiana sausage I cook for my Cajun husband, but any type fat will do. I used about a heaping tablespoon. Some recipes will suggest using ham hock.

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Smoky sausage fat adds flavor!

Chop onion and add to hot skillet. I used the green onions from the CSA box. Once the onion begins to soften, add chopped garlic and stir.

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Increase the heat and add the chopped greens, stirring to coat with the fat and to distribute the onion and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now it’s time for some liquid. I used chicken broth, about 6 ozs. Stir, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and set timer for 10 minutes. At the end of that time, I checked and I still had plenty of moisture, so I re-covered, set the timer for 10 more minutes and checked again. Greens were done! They were tender but not mushy, just the way I like them. Test yours and cook longer if you prefer more tender, but remember, if you turn off the heat but leave the lid on, they will continue to steam for several minutes. Overcooked collard greens will begin to emit that unpleasant sulfur smell, so don’t overcook!

We love collard greens with pork chops or hamburger steak and some type of bean or pea (pinto, black-eyed peas, field peas) and of course, CORNBREAD to soak up the “pot liquor,” that nutrient-rich collard broth.

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Delicious and nutritious!

In domestic refrigerators, fresh collard leaves can be stored for about three days; once cooked, they can be frozen and stored for greater lengths of time.

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I am always excited to try a vegetable as a wrap rather than using the traditional wrap or bread that is usually full of refined carbohydrates. Our bodies thrive off of eating living foods rather than empty carbs, so  ditch the breads and tortillas and try a collard leaf instead! These collard burritos have become my favorite meal. They are so satisfying and packed with flavor and, most importantly, disease-fighting nutrients.

In this recipe you will be able to use your CSA collard leaves, cilantro, and kale. I combine veggies with quinoa, black beans, and mexican spices, and roll them into a wrap. So far collards have been the easiest green to use as a wrap, because they are not as fragile and don’t tear easily.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

4-6 large collard leaves washed

1 C quinoa

1 diced orange bell pepper

1/2 small onion diced

1 avocado diced

1 can black beans drained

handful of chopped kale leaves (any variety)

approx 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1-2 limes juiced

a handful of cilantro leaves

Mexican seasonings to taste (cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, red pepper, salt & pepper)

Jalapenos to taste

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First, begin cooking your quinoa. Quinoa cooks a lot like rice except more quickly, and the measurements are the same….

1 cup quinoa:2 cups water…. bring to a boil, and then turn to low and simmer with lid on until water is absorbed (usually about 10-15minutes).

While that cooks…..

Remove the hard stems from the collards to make them more pliable. Bring a large wok or pot of water to a boil and submerge the collard leaves for only a minute or two. Remove, dry, and set aside. Flash boiling the leaves makes them easier to fold into a wrap. But, it is important to only do so for a minute or two so that the leaf is still durable enough to wrap.

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IMG_3428Once the quinoa is done, allow to cool a bit. Then, mix all the other ingredients with the quinoa. Taste the mixture and add any more seasonings or spice that you desire.

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Next is the fun part! Wrap your collard leaf with the quinoa filling. Fold the ends in first, wrap, and cut in half. I serve them with salsa.

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You will most likely have some leftover. You can also you your big CSA lettuce leaves as wraps or eat it by itself. Enjoy!!

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Collards

It is always nice to have a simple “go-to” recipe for a side of greens that you don’t have to slow cook for hours. These aren’t your mama’s collards! You can pair these greens with so many different entrees.  I am always eager to add leafy greens to any meal because they are such nutrient dense power foods. Since I eat a dairy free diet, I have to be diligent about getting enough calcium into my meals for my family.  Leafy greens are an excellent source of calcium, and give milk a run for its money! The list goes on: many other vitamins are packed into these collards (E, A, C, K , B6 , and more).

Ingredients

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Rinse your bunch of collards well, and tear the leaves away from the stems. Discard stems and coarsely chop the leaves.

Heat oil in a skillet over low to medium heat and add garlic and red pepper. Add the greens and sauté for a couple minutes.

Add the cider vinegar and cover over low heat for just a few more minutes, until tender.

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Serve these collards alongside your entree of choice. I paired them with sautéed chicken sausage, peppers, onion, herbs, and brown rice. Or you can add some white beans and serve over rice for a vegetarian meal. Enjoy!

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BCT

When I heard what would be in our boxes this week, I was a little stumped about what recipe to post. I made the same Shrimp and Collards again, but I can’t post the same recipe week to week. I had considered making Julia Child’s carrots braised in butter, which sounds really good – but honestly, the kids enjoy eating the carrots raw too much I hated to take them away from them.

And maybe that’s an important part of eating from a CSA? Not every dish needs to be complicated and new. It’s good to just incorporate the foods into the meals you’re already eating.

I also couldn’t help but think of how families would have handled slim produce in past centuries. I’m sure their dependence on weather and the crops increased increased their gratitude for collards and carrots. My kids and I are thinking about that as we enjoy our simple and nutritious lunch today, and we’re giving thanks for carrots, collards, and the farmers who grew them for us.

BCT and Carrots

 Bacon, Collards, and Tomato Sandwiches 

(with raw carrots on the side)

  •  two slices of french bread
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 2-3 slices of tomato
  • 3-4 collard leaves with stems removed
  • mayo

Make this classic sandwich, but substitute collard greens for the lettuce. Collard greens are rich in Vitamins A and C, so they’ll make your yummy sandwich even better!

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Good spring to all of you! I’m excited to jump right in with one of those less familiar vegetables for our first recipe. You guessed it: collard greens. Don’t write off collard greens to quickly, or just try to hide them in a familiar dish – they are pretty tasty! The leaves and stem have a fresh, crisp flavor similar to broccoli. My husband’s only request was that they not be not mushy. That’s not too hard, but I think I found a recipe that will do more than “not be mushy.” With shrimp and beans and a little bit of spice, this one is quick and tasty.

Ingredients

 

Ingredients

  • one bunch collard greens (3-4 leaves)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1.5 tsps ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsps dried thyme
  • 1 cup of diced leek
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp
  • dash of red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)

1. First, wash and slice the collards thinly crosswise. I removed the thick part of the stems from the recipe, but don’t throw them out! They’re quite tasty – eat while you cook!

Slicing Collard Greens

2. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the cannelini beans, cumin, thyme, leek, garlic, bay leaf, shrimp, and just a dash of red pepper flakes. Saute until the leeks are translucent and the beans and shrimp are heated through (about 8 minutes).

3. Next, add the collard greens and continue sautéing until the leaves are just tender – not mushy! (about 6-8 minutes.)

4. Remove the bay leaves, and serve the mixture over penne pasta with parmesan!

Shrimp and Collard Greens over Penne

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