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Category: greens

Balsamic Glazed Beets and Greens with Feta

Balsamic Glazed Beets and Greens with Feta

This is really great with baby beets, but still very good with full grown beets. You will rarely find beets with their greens still attached at the grocery store.

Beets
Preheat oven to 375. Cut green off beets and save. Rinse beets. Roast, covered, for about one hour (should pierce easily with a knife). Allow to cool. Remove skins.

Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper

Simmer all ingredients together for a few minutes stirring occasionally.

Cut up beets into bite-sized pieces. Simmer in the glaze for about 10 minutes, tossing and stirring occasionally to coat.

Greens
Cut up greens and stems. Slice up about 4 cloves garlic. Cook in about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, covered, stirring occasionally.

Putting it all together
Pour glazed beets over the greens and top with a bit of crumbled feta cheese. Keep covered on warm until ready to serve.

I served these with deep fried chicken livers.

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Greens and Leftovers

Greens and Leftovers

Well, I was going to make mackerel croquettes when I realized I had some leftover chicken breast and leftover roast that really need to be used up. I also have some fresh spinach I need to cook before it goes bad.

I am making my basic greens cooked in bacon grease with garlic slices. I will cut up the roast and chicken and toss that in on top to heat near the end of cooking. Just to change things up a bit I may sprinkle some shredded parmesan on top.

I will serve this with steamed red potatoes (not really new potatoes, but close). It sounds so good, it seems a shame to call it leftovers.

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Ribs Tonight

Ribs Tonight

Tonight I am making ribs. They take forever to cook and it’s driving me crazy! We will have Kale and probably Mac & Cheese with them.

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Barley and Brown Rice

Barley and Brown Rice

1 ½ cup cooked barley
1 ½ cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons pico or salsa
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Turmeric
Cayenne

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT nutritional yeast in an over proof bowl. Heat for 15 minutes. Stir. Heat for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and stir in nutritional yeast. Can be served immediately or kept warm in a warm (not hot) oven.

You can add meat to this dish to make it a main dish. It goes really well with my Black-eye Peas and Greens combo.

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New Year’s Black Eyed Peas and Greens

New Year’s Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Black eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day to ensure good luck throughout the year. This was a tradition in my family, but I didn’t like black eyed peas so I would eat just one. Greens and pork are also traditional New Year’s food eaten for good luck. They were not a part of my family’s tradition, but it’s never too late to start. Bacon, ham, and sausage are the only types of pork that I cook.

I thought about cooking some other type of pork for New Year’s, but bacon was such a natural choice with greens, and kept the meal pretty light, which is exactly what I was going for. The plan was to eat this shortly after midnight, so for dinner we had fried chicken tenders with no sides. I was going for easy finger foods that wouldn’t be too filling, but would keep us from going hungry all night waiting for our special meal.

1 pound bacon
1 bunch red chard (or any greens)
3 or 4 large cloves garlic
Black eyed peas

I cooked the black eyed peas from scratch. To do this soak for at least eight hours, drain, rinse, and simmer for a couple of hours until soft. For this dish I did not season my black eyed peas. You could use canned.

Cook the bacon and save the grease. I use a broiler pan and cook mine in the oven at about 400 degrees. You can cook the bacon in the skillet you plan to use for the greens.

Pour the bacon grease in an iron skillet and heat on med-high. Slice garlic and add to grease. Rinse and cut up greens. I just lay them down and chop all the way across in one to two inch sections. Some stem is OK. Put the greens in the skillet. Cut up the bacon into bite sized pieces. I hold the whole bunch of bacon in my hand and cut it up with kitchen scissors. Add bacon to the greens and toss to coat the greens in the grease and garlic. Cover and reduce heat or turn off and let the greens wilt to your desired consistence. I like mine a little on the crisp side. Remove to a large bowl and toss with drained black eyed peas.

Tips and substitutions:

This dish can be served immediately or reheated in the skillet. If you want to reheat it, I recommend putting the black eyed peas in at the last minute so they don’t overwhelm the other flavors. They can be added just before reheating or added cold after the rest is heated. I did not want to cook this late at night during our celebration, so I cooked it ahead of time.

I used all the grease from the bacon. You don’t have to do that if it freaks you out. You can use less grease or you can substitute with butter or olive oil. If you substitute the grease it will drastically change the flavor, though. You might try using a little bacon grease and mostly some other kind of oil to help maintain the flavor.

I used “hardwood smoked” bacon this time and it was very delicious. The flavor was in the grease and influenced the flavor of the entire dish. I did not realize I had picked up flavored bacon until I smelled it cooking and looked at the box again. It was the brand I normally buy, and I hadn’t noticed (I was in a hurry at the store). The ingredients for the flavoring are pretty questionable, but it is so yummy that I am going to have to search for some with natural flavorings.

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Greens

Greens

Greens
Bacon grease
Garlic
Salt
Fresh ground pepper

Slice the garlic. Melt the bacon grease in a skillet (about 2 tablespoons). You can use butter or olive oil if you are squeamish about bacon grease or just don’t have any, but the flavor won’t be as good. Rinse greens and drain well. Pat dry with a paper towel if you have the patience; the water will make the grease splatter. Add greens and garlic to the skillet and toss to coat with the grease. You my need to come back and toss a few times as the greens wilt, to get everything thoroughly and evenly cooked. Once evrything is well coated, cover the pan and let them moisture help them wilt. It won’t take a long time. The greens shrink a lot as they cook!

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The Goodness of Greens

The Goodness of Greens

Greens are amazing! They are so nutritious, can be added to salads or soups, or they can be cooked alone. You can even sneak them into spaghetti sauce. The leaves from just about any root vegetable and many other plants can be used. Sadly, most people cut them off and throw them away, and grocery stores tend to sell their vegetables with the greens cut off. Green are sometimes more nutritious than the vegetables from which they are cut!

Here are just a few types of greens you can cook:

Dandelion leaves
Borage leaves
Turnip greens
Collard greens
Mustard greens
Radish greens
Parsnip greens
Carrot greens
Beet greens
Chard
Spinach
Bok Choy

Here are just a few of the nutrients found in greens:

Vitamin A
B Vitamins
Vitamin C
Vitamin K
Calcium
Iron
Folate
Lutein
Magnesium
Potassium
Omega 3’s
Antioxidants

They are good for your bones and joints, blood, and heart. They can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and arthritis, and they are anti-aging. Recipe to follow.

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