Monday, May 4, 2009

Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas & How To Shred A Squash

A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post, “One Little Move Is All It Takes.”

The back is feeling better and it’s up to some cardio and light strength training. Now if only my head was. I do NOT want to exercise today. Don’t know why. Just don’t want to. But I will, because I’ll kick myself later if I don’t.

But that’s not the reason for the follow up. Remember how I said I’d never tried collard greens or black eyed peas and I was going to give both a try in one recipe? In a word, the are FABULOUS! And the recipe was so good I had leftovers for breakfast. Where have these foods been all my life? Oh wait, I grew up in Minnesota…*snort*

Here’s the recipe from Weight Watchers online. I modified it a bit – I left out the oil and salt, and changed chicken broth to veggie broth. But this former Minnesotan and spice phobic says, “Bring on the Tabasco!”

Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas
6 servings is 2 Points, 4 servings is 3 points

1 medium onion, chopped
4 C collard greens, without stems, coarsely chopped
1/2 C vegetable broth (original recipe calls for chicken broth)
15 oz cooked black-eyed peas, canned, rinsed and drained
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, or more to taste (I used ¼ tsp)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C dried bread crumbs, coarse-variety (I used panko)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch round glass baking dish with cooking spray.Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and a bit of broth and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes; add collard greens and rest of the broth. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; simmer until greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook on high for 1 minute if necessary, for liquid to evaporate. Stir in peas, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Spoon pea mixture into prepared baking dish; smooth into an even layer.
In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and cheese; sprinkle over pea mixture. Bake until topping is browned, about 15 minutes.

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45 and Aspiring asked in a comment how I shred a butternut squash. I eat a lot of shredded butternut squash. It was through a Hungry Girl recipe that I started eating them. I make them like hash browns, pan “fried” in cooking spray with minced onions and garlic, and serve them with my favorite potato condiment: ketchup. However, I also use “hash brown” butternut squash as a base for pasta sauce. I like spaghetti squash, but I find it a Catch 22 – sometimes it cooks up dry (the way I like it) and other times it’s very watery. Butternut squash has a few more calories (and Points) than spaghetti squash, but one cup (6 ounces shredded) is only a Point, so it’s worth it to me.

Anyway, back to the shredding. I first peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and then either shred it with a box shredder or, when I’m doing a large batch, throw it through the food processor. Shredded butternut squash will last in the fridge for 2-3 days (sometimes longer).

As for okra, Gail from Shrinking Sisters recommends I try the pickled kind. 45 and Aspiring recommends I “fry” it in the oven and it won’t be sticky. (Yes, it was the sticky that turned me off the first (and only) time. It has the texture of snot.) I promise to give it a go when it’s in season.

So how do you like your collard greens? Your black eyed peas? And why can’t I say “black eyed peas” without a southern accent?

11 comments:

  1. We did greens for Mardi Gras, and I used this recipe:
    http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2009/01/12/flash-in-the-pan-sauteed-greens-with-onions-and-apples2/

    They were really good! I had never had greens before, and it was a good choice to do them this way.

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  2. Great! I'll try these. THanks for the recipes. :)

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  3. I really dislike cooked greens, something from childhood... mother was a horrible cook. But I made black-eyed peas this past New Year's Day, added ham, and it wasn't too bad. Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

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  4. Lynn, I'm from Arkansas and my only comment is--parmesan cheese on collards and black-eyed peas? Ugh! (Who am I to talk, though, my mother--and just about every other Southern lady I bet--put leftover bacon grease in hers.)

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  5. So you don't like the snotty texture of okra. If I told you how to cook it to minimize the slime, would you try it?

    (Be aware that the rougher you handle it when washing, the slimier it will be after it is cooked.)

    Carefully wash the uncut okra and gently pat dry. Preheat the oven to 400. Either spread the okra on a baking sheet, spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, or drizzle oil in a zip-top bag with salt and pepper and add the okra, gently GENTLY rolling the okra around in the bag to coat with oil, salt & pepper before spreading on a baking sheet. Roast whole in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes flipping once and checking for doneness. You can switch to broil for a couple of minutes if you want the okra a bit browner.

    I eat this stuff straight out of the oven like little green french fries (but I grew up in the south and love okra, so I'm a bit biased). :) Remember, the rougher you are handling the okra, the slimier it will be when it comes out of the roasting process.

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  6. Thanks, Lori! Apples in the greens sounds very yummy. I've also subscribed to her blog thanks to you. It looks interesting.

    Carla, parmesan cheese goes with everything :)

    Tessler...I'm up to trying anything that will take the snot out of okra. Thank you for your recipe and tips and I'll let you know how that works out. We should have fresh okra around these parts sometime in July.

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  7. I've been reading for a long time and recently introduced a great vegan lentil dip by a local cafe that I think you may like. Ah!Zeefa. You'd have to order it online, as it is local to St. Louis, but it is worth it. I have tried the Mild and the Hot. The hot is hot but I l.o.v.e it. It is similar to hummus but without the grit. I put it on crackers and vegetables. Very yummy.

    Here is where to order:
    http://www.berhanuorganic.com/azeefa.html#

    Here are some reviews I found:
    http://www.scoodog.com/2008/02/good-food.html

    Here is the cafe that introduced me:
    http://www.localharvestcafe.com/

    Much love from STL
    K

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  8. Hi Lynn: I enjoy your reading your blog, but this is the first time I've posted a comment.

    Don't give up on okra! Try it in Indian recipes, where it's sauteed with tasty spices. Never any slime. Use only fresh okra, not frozen. It's a very delicious veggie, and full of nutrition (e.g. high in calcium, among other things).

    Try some recipes from these links (lessen the oil if it looks too much):

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Indian-Style-Okra/Detail.aspx
    (use 2 tbsp veg oil instead of the butter; sprinkle a little lemon juice at the end; the ginger should be fresh; substitute cayenne pepper - adjust amount to taste - instead of the black pepper; saute uncovered instead of covered: the 'slime' will first come out and then totally disappear)

    Many good suggestions on this thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586773

    Lots of scientific information on okra (including nutrients) and links to recipes:
    http://www.physiology.wisc.edu/ravi/okra/

    Enjoy! I hope you can get good okra in your farmer's market, even in Minnesota!!

    If you have any Indian friends / coworkers, ask them to take up the challenge to get you to like okra :)

    If you do try any of the recipes and like them please do post back and let us know ....

    All best

    S

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  9. Katie and S, thanks so much for the links. I knew if I asked the right question I'd get the right answers :) I promise to post a blog about okra in all the ways you all recommended later this summer.

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  10. Hi Lynn, I just found your blog, and can't wait to read more. I remember seeing you on Oprah! I am so excited to read more about your journey and how you maintain your weight. I am the same height as you, and hope to be the same weight one day soon.

    I have lived in Georgia almost all of my life, and I am pretty sure you can't say "black eyed peas" or "grits" with out a southern accent...no one would even know what you were talking about! :-)

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  11. Lynn, truly fresh okra is not as slimy. It's really nice if you saute it in the tiniest bit of butter. However, every Southerner knows that okra really shines when fried. So I basically eat okra twice year as a treat, fried. It's irresistible.

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