Archive for the ‘Entrees’ Category

Vegetable Drawer Pasta Friday

January 18, 2019

The plan is 10 miles in the morning so it’s Pasta Friday.  The plan is also to leave town on Sunday so it’s empty the fridge time.  I’ve been out two nights this week so there’s a fair amount still in the vegetable drawer and I pulled a bunch of it out to throw in my linguine.  The result?  Meh.  On one hand, pasta is always good, especially if you’re on a weight loss plan.  On the other, being at the mercy of vegetable drawer leftovers rarely results in greatness.

What did I have in the drawer you ask?  Broccoli slaw, broccoli crowns, matchstick carrots, roasted eggplant slices (left from the pizza), a few mushrooms, and a bunch of tiny tomatoes.  I selected the eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes for the pasta, plus some onion, garlic, mozzarella, and spices from Penzey’s.  All good choices.  So why meh?  Everything in the pasta is on the mellow and sweet side. There’s no punch.  I might have been better off to pull some artichoke hearts out of the cabinet and swap out the mushrooms for those.  Hindsight is 20/20 of course.

I learned something else tonight too.  Ok, I didn’t so much learn it as I was reminded of it.  A “serving” of pasta is a lot smaller than I’d like to believe.

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Overall, I’m going to call tonight a success.  I used up a bunch of vegetables instead of throwing them out.  I observed Pasta Friday without blowing out my healthy choices for today.

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Eggplant Pizza!

January 17, 2019

The last couple of nights have been eating out nights – business dinner and book club.  So, I ate (and drank) well, but not terrifically aligned with my healthy eating plan.  I’ve been doing pretty well today, and I planned to use the eggplant in my vegetable drawer to make Chinese eggplant in spicy garlic sauce.  But come dinner time, I just didn’t have it in me. I’m tired.  And not feeling very adventurous.  Pizza.  Yes, pizza.  Still a way to use the eggplant.

I know, you’re thinking there’s nothing even vaguely healthy about putting fried eggplant on a slab of dough and covering it in cheese.  You’d be right about that.  So I didn’t fry it.  I roasted it.  No batter.  No breadcrumbs.  Just a tiny brush of olive oil and some salt.  So I can taste the eggplant.  Yum.  Naan as a base and sauce made by cooking down a jar of home canned tomatoes.  Easy peasy.  The hardest thing is not eating all the eggplant before the sauce and naan are ready.

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One tip about eggplant pizza.  After you roast the eggplant cut it up.  If you don’t, you know what happens.  The same thing that happens with pepperoni.  You bite into a piece and end up pulling the whole piece off.  Probably you burn your chin and definitely you leave a big naked spot on your pizza.  For that matter, cut the mozzarella too.

I have a wonderful Pizza setting on my countertop oven.  If you don’t have such a thing, no biggie.  Just use high heat.  450-500 degrees.  And if you have a Fan Bake setting, use that.  It will help the crust crisp up.

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Comfort food that isn’t fat food.  Ok, it’s a little bit fat, but totally worth it!

“Everyday” Red Lentils

January 13, 2019

I have developed a serious love for lentils prepared with Indian spices – dal, in many of its forms.  For this Southern girl, with weird food texture issues, it might seem an odd comfort food, but that’s exactly what it is.  So I’m always looking for new recipes. I found this on foodnetwork.com.  It’s from Aarti Sequeira, so that seemed legit.  Whether it’s traditional or not, I love it!

I planned this as the wonderful cap to my “snow” day.  Sadly, I found out too late that I only had 1/2 C of red lentils so there’s only 1 serving of leftovers!  Frankly, I could eat this the rest of the week except that I have an eggplant thing on tap and a business dinner.  If you end up in this spot you could always serve it on rice to stretch it some.

This is super easy.  I was a little nervous about having to substitute mustard for mustard seed, but it worked out ok!  Other than that, I followed the instructions. I don’t know enough about cooking Indian food to monkey around with it but so much.  Could you use canned tomatoes?  I don’t see why not.  You’re cooking them down so not having the peels might be nice.  Could you use ground cumin?  Sure, but trust me on this, it’s not the same.  If you want to cook Indian food, invest in some cumin seed.  I was a little sorry I didn’t have a hot chili to add.  I like a little heat and it helps me not eat too much!

I think you could add rice and spinach to complete this one dish meal.  Lentils have protein, but they don’t offer a complete protein. Rice rounds that out.  And a leafy green is always a good idea.  I’ll do that for the leftovers.  I was so ready for these to be done that I ate them as is!

The one surprise for me was that adding salt too soon will make the lentils tough.  It took a lot of restraint for me to wait to add salt!

Here’s what you need:  serves 4-6

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  • 1 cup red lentils, picked through for stones
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • One 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced in 1/2, optional

Tempering Oil (Bagaar):

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • Generous 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Here’s what you do:

  • Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chile, if using, and the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim any scum from the surface. DO NOT ADD SALT YET; it will toughen the lentils, thereby lengthening their cooking time. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer until the lentils are tender, almost translucent, and almost falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.

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  • Whisk the lentils, releasing its natural starch, and mash some them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt, to taste.

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  • Tempering oil (bagaar): In a small bowl, combine the oil and mustard. In another bowl, combine the spice powders and cumin seed. Have all the ingredients ready because this will move very fast!
  • In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add seeds and immediately cover so you don’t get covered in spluttering oil and seeds! Add the spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little – that’s the blooming and it’s exactly what you want. Don’t let them burn. The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.

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  • Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don’t get hurt when the mixture splutters again. Stir to combine.

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This is so good, y’all.  Really.  Every bit as much comfort food as mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.  And it’s vegan, for those of you who care about that.  It’s low fat and WW friendly.  Gotta love a comfort food that doesn’t make you feel the slightest bit guilty about over-indulging.  Enjoy!

 

Clam Chowder

January 12, 2019

It’s a sort of snowy evening in Central Virginia.  We can see a few flakes anyway.  And in preparation for the coming storm, I had a craving for chowder.  More importantly, I braved the grocery store to get provisions to make it!  Always a huge gamble here, especially if you need milk, bread, or toilet paper.  I needed potatoes, clams, and corn so I was in the clear except for the parking lot and the checkout line.

I’ve never made clam chowder before, as far as I can remember.  Honestly, my exposure to it is almost limited to the lovely bowl you get from Legal Seafoods.  Given my current attempts to reduce my fat and calories, in hopes of narrowing my waistline, it’s an odd choice.  But I found a recipe on foodnetwork.com that didn’t seem so bad.  More broth than cream.  I actually used a little half and half, because I had it, and some skim milk.  I’m sure it’s not as thick as intended, but it’s definitely chowder and not soup.  I added some corn for sweetness.  And some bacon on top to make it seem slightly more decadent.  Having my first beer in 2 weeks made it seem downright festive!

What would I do differently?  Well, I added too much salt, which is a bummer.  The corn helped balance that out, but still.  I’m super paranoid about not salting the water for potatoes, grits, and pasta.  In this case, since the potatoes are staying in the broth, waiting until the end to salt is probably a better approach.  Lesson learned.  On the leftover bowls, I’ll add some green onions as well.

UPDATE:  I decided to address the too much salt issue.  I chopped a few more potatoes (about 3 small red potatoes); boiled them until they were soft; drained most of the water; and pureed them with an immersion blender.  The added potato puree helped balance the salt and made the chowder a little thicker.

Here’s what you need (plus some flour, which I forgot for the photo, but managed to get in the dish): serves 3-4 as a main dish

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  • 1 T oil or bacon grease
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 T flour
  • 2 C vegetable stock
  • 1 C milk/cream or a mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 C chopped potatoes, about 1/2 inch in size
  • 1 10oz can clams, whole or chopped
  • 1 C corn
  • 1/2 slice of bacon per bowl for garnish

Here’s what you do:

  • In a heavy pot, heat the oil.  If you’re cooking bacon to top the bowls, feel free to use the bacon grease
  • Add the onion and garlic.  Cook until soft
  • Stir in flour
  • Add stock, milk, and bay leaf.  Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.

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  • Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer
  • Add salt
  • Simmer 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender
  • Add clams and corn, simmer another 5-7 minutes

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  • Serve topped with crumbled bacon

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Stir-Fried Veggies and Rice with Seared Tuna

January 10, 2019

My mission tonight was to use up the ends of vegetables in the fridge and turn them into something that didn’t seem like odds and ends.  I had half an onion; some shiitakes; wilty green onions; the last of the broccoli slaw; half a bag of matchstick carrots; and some cooked rice staring at me from the fridge.  I bought a beautiful piece of yellowfin tuna at the store to help dress it up.  If you figure that all the vegetables and rice are sunk cost, then I only invested the cost of the tuna.  This is one of the best $5 odds and ends dinners I’ve ever had!

I found a marinade for the tuna on Genius KitchenI left out the red pepper flakes, just not in the mood; and the sugar, just didn’t need it.  I wish I’d used more ginger and less lime, but basically this is good.  And it’s fish, so you only have to marinate for 30 minutes.  Love not having to plan too far ahead.  I started the marinade first and then started on my vegetables.  About half of those were already chopped so the prep work was only about 10 minutes.

Your tuna is going to cook 2 minutes on each side so you’ll start the stir fry first.  A little canola oil in a wok or wide pan at the beginning and a little soy sauce and sesame oil close to the end and that’s it!  When you’re adding your vegetables, whatever you have, just think about how long each one takes to cook and how soft you want it to be in the end.  I wanted the onions to be pretty soft so I added them first, with the garlic and ginger.  Then the carrots and broccoli slaw to cook the raw flavor out of them.  I wanted to keep some crunch in the peppers so I added them just before the mushrooms. Always throw in the green onions last.  They look pretty on top.

Do the tuna in a separate pan.  That way you can be super careful about the timing on that.  This tuna steak was a little more than an inch thick, so 2 minutes on each side leaves a cool pink center.  That’s what you want.

Here’s what you need: (I added the carrots and rice at the last minute)

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  • Tuna marinade
    • 2 T soy sauce
    • 2 T lime juice
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 T minced ginger
    • 1 t sesame oil
  • any selection of vegetables:  for example,
    • 1/2 onion, sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1 C broccoli slaw
    • 1 C matchstick carrots
    • 1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    • 1/2 C baby bella mushrooms, sliced
    • 5 green onions, chopped

Here’s what you do:

For the tuna:

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients in a baggie or a dish
  • Add the tuna and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature
  • While the stir fry is cooking add 1 t canola oil to small, heavy pan
  • Heat oil until it smokes
  • Cook the tuna 2 minutes on each side, discard the marinade

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For the stir fry:

  • Heat 1T canola oil in a wide pan or wok until oil shimmers
  • Add onions, garlic, ginger; cook 2 minutes
  • Add broccoli slaw and carrots; cook 2 minutes

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  • Add bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 2 minutes
  • Add 1 T soy sauce and drizzle of sesame oil
  • Mix and cook 1 more minute
  • Stir in the cooked rice, if using, until rice is heated (about 2 more minutes)
  • Toss with green onions

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So the stir fry takes about 10 minutes to chop and 10 more to cook.  There’s plenty of flavor, but no heavy sauce.  And mixing in the rice will reduce mean you use less of it.  More vegetables and less rice is good.  Serve with the tuna on top.

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So, I spent $5.50 on 8 ounces of yellowfin tuna.  I had half tonight and have half left for tomorrow. That $2.25 a serving for this beautiful dinner.  It’s cheap.  It’s healthy.  And it’s good.  Mission accomplished!

Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Chicken and Peanut Sauce

January 8, 2019

Like many of you, I’m in the throes of shedding those excess holiday pounds.  I’m not a fan of diets or giving up things or being hungry.  Mostly I know what I should and should not be eating.  What I need is a system that helps me see when I’m making good and bad choices.  Calorie counting doesn’t work for me.  So, I’ve joined Weight Watchers.  I have no interest in selling you on that or any other program.  I tell you that as a way of explaining some of the choices I’m making right now.  Because I do not enjoy being hungry, I’m paying a lot of attention to the WW list of zero point foods.

Ok, moving on.  Over the weekend I was watching The Kitchen on the Food Network.  It was a “lighten up” themed show and Jeff Mauro made this amazing looking dish:  Thai Peanut Sweet Potato Noodles with Shrimp.  Mostly I was attracted to the peanut sauce.  What’s not to love about peanut sauce?!  I substituted butternut squash noodles because sweet potatoes have points and butternut squash doesn’t.  I thinned the sauce and only made half a recipe to keep the points under control.  And I used chicken instead of shrimp because that’s what I had.

As expected, I wanted to drink the peanut sauce.  I ended up with a cup of it.  It only took two tablespoons to add enough to my noodle bowl.  I might not thin it quite so much next time.  The “noodles” were a little mushier than I wanted.  Maybe the sweet potato ones hold up a little better.  Fortunately, I had some pre-cut broccoli slaw left from taco night and I added it in.  That gave me the crunch I needed.  And this whole dish came together in about twenty minutes.  A winner for sure!

Feel free to top with tofu for a vegetarian bowl.  And I’d guess you could use a different nut butter if peanuts are a no-go in your house. I might try it with tahini instead of peanut butter.

Here’s what you need:  2 servings of noodles and lots of peanut sauce

  • 1 container pre-noodled butternut squash noodles
  • 1 1/2 C pre-cut broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp grater
  • water to achieve desired texture
  • cooked chicken or shrimp or pork or tofu

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Spread the noodles and broccoli slaw on a sheet pan
  • Bake 10-15 minutes on dry pan
  • Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl to make the sauce
  • Serve vegetables and protein in a bowl
  • Top with 2 T of peanut sauce

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Fish Tacos with Broccoli Slaw

January 6, 2019

I probably wouldn’t have bothered to write up yet another evening of fish tacos except for two things.  One, I’m trying to be more consistent about writing.  And two, the broccoli slaw is new and it’s fantastic.  To see previous incarnations, see here.

There’s not a ton to say really.  The pre-shredded cabbage didn’t look good at the grocery store, but you can’t have fish tacos without something crunchy on them.  I was actually in the pre-cut vegetables section, which I never go to, looking for butternut squash noodles. (Talk about something not worth your time and energy when you can buy them pre-spiralized).  Right next to the “noodles” was a contained of broccoli slaw.  Crunchy.  Pre-cut.  Done.

I have no idea how people usually make broccoli slaw.  I don’t actually like raaw broccoli so my first step was to blanch the vegetables.  Cooking them just a touch takes that bitter rawness out, but leaves the crunchiness in.  Then a little mayonnaise, much less than I would use for regular slaw, and a few dashes of white vinegar.  Some salt and a little of the seafood seasoning I used on the fish, and voila!  Yummy topping for my tacos.

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I used catfish, as per usual.  It’s cheaper than most other fish in my part of the world and it has more flavor than something like tilapia.  A little seafood seasoning and a little canola oil.  2 minutes on each side.

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Corn tortillas, always. I did try a new thing with these too.  I was watching Pioneer Woman earlier today and she was making a taco skillet dish.  She put her tortillas on her gas burner to char them.  Let me say, that’s a great idea for adding flavor to a taco skillet.  However, it makes a tortilla you’re planning to stuff a little bit tough.  Not terrific.  I ate them anyway of course.

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Finish with some salsa or pico de gallo and some hot sauce and enjoy!

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Malai Palak (Indian Creamed Spinach) with Chickpeas

January 5, 2019

This is one of my favorite dishes.  I love Indian food and I mostly shy away from making it at home.  Much of my favorite Indian food has dozens of ingredients and almost as many steps.  This is serious cooking.  So, in a “build or buy” analysis, “buy” almost always wins.  Except for this.  The yum factor far exceeds any difficulty, and it’s not really that hard anyway.  Be prepared for some kitchen cleanup though!

I’ve made this dish twice before.  Once, as described in the recipe – just the spinach; and once using one of the given variations that adds paneer.  The spinach only variety is fantastic, but it’s not a meal.  It’s a side or a sauce.  With the paneer you’re getting closer to a meal, but it’s still really a side.  I wasn’t in the mood to think of anything else tonight so I had to make this my entire dinner, without just eating the whole pan.  I could have added some cubed chicken, but that would have meant an extra pan.  No good.  Aha, chickpeas!  Nothing to do but drain the can.

The recipe below is how I made it tonight.  You should know that the original uses heavy cream, not half and half. I just used what I had on hand.  The end result is slightly less thick, but still so, so good.  The original, which is from my Rasika cookbook, also calls for fenugreek powder.    I’m sure it adds some depth of flavor.  I’ve just never ordered any.

Here’s what you need:

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  • 10-12 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 C (or  slightly less) canola oil
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 2 T finely chopped garlic
  • 2 C chopped onions
  • 1 T finely chopped ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped or Thai chilis to taste
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 1/4 C half and half
  • salt to taste

Here’s what you do:

  • Blanch the spinach (wilt in boiling water, submerge in ice water)
  • Drain the spinach well
  • Add spinach and 1/2-1 C water to a blender
  • Puree and set aside

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  • Heat the oil in a large skillet until the oil shimmers
  • Add cumin and garlic. Stir 15-30 seconds (Do not burn the garlic)
  • Add onions, stir 5 minutes until soft

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  • Add ginger, chilis, turmeric.  Cook 30 seconds

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  • Add chickpeas and spinach.  (watch for splatter)

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  • Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Reduce heat to medium, add cream and salt
  • Return to a boil and cook another 5 minutes
  • Serve as is, or with rice and/or naan

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A couple of tips.  First, adding the chickpeas reduces the splatter factor quite a bit, but still be careful.  If your bare hand or arm gets splattered by hot oily spinach, it really hurts.  Second, time these 5 minute steps.  You need to give the flavors time to develop and the chickpeas time to heat through and soften.  It will feel like a very long time, but do it.

I can hardly describe how good this is.  The addition of the chickpeas was a very good call.  They provide good substance and have a wonderful creamy texture.  I served it over rice, but this is one of the rare cases where I think riced cauliflower might actually be just as good.  I’ll try that next time.  And there will definitely be a next time.  It’s all I can do not to eat the leftovers before I even put them away!

 

 

Thai Chicken Breast in Coconut Milk

January 3, 2019

I’ve had enough of black-eyed peas and greens, at least until tomorrow.  And honestly, the transition back to healthy eating isn’t going all that smoothly.  So, here’s an attempt at something that tastes and feels rich, but maybe isn’t so bad for you.  I used lite coconut milk at least.

Let me start by saying that poached chicken is a lovely, soft, velvety dish, that’s pretty hard to pull off in my experience.  I’ve only ever tried it in broth and overcooked it every time.  You just end up with boiled chicken that way, that leaves most of the flavor in the broth and makes for a kind of rubbery texture.  Not the same at all.  This is the most successful I’ve ever been at poaching chicken.  Yay me!

This dish is a little bit strange.  The texture is a little too smooth.  The color is a little too blah.  The sauce is a little too thick.  I liked it.  But I wanted to love it.  I don’t love it.

First of all, it’s really unattractive.  If I hadn’t added the carrots it would have been almost entirely beige and brown.  Unless you’re eating biscuits and sausage gravy, an all beige and brown dish isn’t very appetizing to look at.  Second, the sauce is a little bit much.  I think you could cut the coconut milk with chicken stock as the poaching liquid and cook that down in the end.  It would lighten things up some as well.  Finally, the poached chicken is so soft and velvety, which is good, that the shiitake mushrooms have more bite to them than the chicken.  It’s unexpected, and not in a good way.  Ultimately, I’m glad I halved this recipe.  I liked it enough to eat one serving of leftovers, but not more than that.

Here’s what you need for 4 servings, as in the original recipe: (the photo is what I used for 2 servings)

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  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic cove, minced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer layers removed, core finely chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally
    • NOTE:  The original recipe doesn’t call for them to be halved horizontally, but I’d have been poaching forever if I hadn’t.  And if you halve them ahead of time your 4 portions will already be done.
  • 8 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 C matchstick carrots
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Rice for serving

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat the milk, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and lemongrass in a large skillet
  • Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat
    • NOTE:  Do stir this as it heats.   If you don’t the coconut milk solids will stick to the bottom and burn.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add the chicken; cook 5 minutes

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  • Flip the breasts; add the mushrooms, carrots, and scallions

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  • Cook another 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is done; the time will depend on the thickness of the chicken.
    • NOTE:  If you’re not sure whether or not the chicken is done, slice across the thickest part and check. You can cut it up to serve it, so you don’t lose anything by checking it.
  • Remove the chicken and keep it warm
  • Bring the sauce back to a simmer and cook it down 2-3 minutes

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  • Serve chicken and sauce over rice

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New Year Luck and Money: Vegetarian Style

January 1, 2019

In my little corner of the world it’s tradition to have black-eyed peas and collard greens to bring luck and money in the new year.  Sometimes I make them into soup; sometimes hoppin’ john; sometimes a side dish for grits or cornbread.  But there’s almost always been a smoked meat element – smoked turkey legs or ham hock.  I do love the flavor that smoked meats add.  So, this year is an attempt to get that flavor, or something very like it, without the meat.

There are a few choices for adding a smoky flavor without adding smoked meat.  You could actually smoke another ingredient.  I think the black-eyed peas could have been successfully smoked.  But that’s a lot of trouble.  I just wasn’t going to do that.  You can add liquid smoke to a dish.  This works well, but you have to be super careful with the amount. It can over power a dish quickly.  So, I picked option three -smoked paprika.  You get a little smoke and a little heat.  Good stuff.  And you only need one of the elements to carry the smoky flavor, the black-eyed peas in this case.

The peas contribute the smoke and the greens bring the heat and the acid.  Cook your greens with hot sauce and vinegar.  Then throw in some rice and you’re ready to eat!  I decided to stuff a couple of bell pepper halves this year just to change things up.  You could also mash up some peas and mix in the rest of the ingredients and make patties.  That seemed like a lot of trouble today.

For the peas:

  • 1 pint fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • water
  • salt

Cooking the peas:

  • Add all the ingredients to a small pot and bring to a boil
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook until the peas are soft, about 30 minutes

For the greens:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh collards, stemmed and chopped (if you need some help with this, check here)
  • 2 C vegetable stock
  • 1 T Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1-2 T cider vinegar
  • salt

Cooking the greens:

  • Heat oil in a pan until the oil shimmers
  • Add onion, pepper, garlic and saute until vegetables are soft

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  • Stir in collards

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  • Add stock, hot sauce and vinegar
  • Simmer until collards are soft and most of the stock has cooked out, about 90 minutes

For serving:

  • Mix peas and greens.  Add rice if desired.

This is super comfort food for me.  I love the smoky, earthy, acidic, hot combination.  And I really liked the pepper.  I baked the pepper until it was just warm, but not soft.  The crunch of the pepper is a wonderful balance for the soft peas and greens.

I’ll be eating the leftovers for a few days and happy as a clam about it.  Here’s hoping this is the kick start my weight loss plan needs!