Sunday, January 31, 2010

Collard Greens

Since we started receiving our organic food delivery last week, I've been challenged to find recipes that I never thought to search for. I've never cooked collard greens. They are a leafy-green, with a different texture than that of spinach or kale. All the recipes I saw said to take off the stems, so I wanted a recipe that was relatively simple and not time consuming so that I could see if I like to eat collard greens.

I found out that I actually do! I wasn't sure about the vinegar in this recipe, but it actually worked. Sometimes I just have to leave it to the professionals to tell me what to do.

Ham, Collard Greens, and Egg Noodle Bowl

To speed up the preparation of this Southern-style noodle bowl, cook the pasta and broth mixture at the same time. Spice it up with hot pepper sauce, if you wish, and serve it with corn bread.

6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

3 1/3 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups diced reduced-sodium smoked ham (about 11 ounces)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups sliced collard greens, stems removed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add smoked ham; cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add chopped onion and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender, stirring frequently. Add collard greens; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Stir in the egg noodles and black pepper, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 270 (29% from fat)
Fat: 8.8g (sat 2.8g,mono 2.3g,poly 3g)
Protein: 18.8g
Carbohydrate: 29.4g
Fiber: 3.5g
Cholesterol: 76mg
Iron: 2.1mg
Sodium: 999mg
Calcium: 76mg

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The BEST Cranberry Sauce

I tried this sauce out last Thanksgiving and made a double batch. It's good that I did because it quickly disappeared. This last holiday season, I made it twice, and I think now I just need to find excuses year round to make it. I love my grandmas, but their cranberry sauces didn't even compare to this one! (It's a Real Simple recipe.)

Warm Apricot-Cranberry Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated
16 ounces cranberries (I used fresh)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup apricot preserves

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and preserves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes (it happens faster if you cover the saucepan). Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.

Make-Ahead Note: The sauce can be made up to two days in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to reheat.