Tasty Tuesday – Collard Green Cigars

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-third participating post!

I’m not sure what made Mom give Koko *OTRB*and I collard green stems from her garden a few years back.  Maybe it was Miss Margie, from Bee Heaven Farm, who told Mom how much her dogs loved zucchini and ate them like cigars.  Anyway, Mom was preparing the dish below one day and gave it a try.  We LOVED them.  Mom loved the crunch, crunch, crunch sounds we made as we smoked devoured the stems.  From then on, she set aside stems for us as treats.

When Mom shopped for her UMiami class at the new Publix this weekend, the Organic veggie section looked vibrant.  She selected a bunch of organic collard greens along with her grocery list items for class.

I’ll have her list the ingredients now and you’ll see how JJ liked her first exposure to collard green stems!  Click here to see the full series of recipe photos.

Mom’s Collard Greens with Grains & Turkey Bacon

  • 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, sliced into ribbons* (otherwise what’s the point of the recipe I ask!)
  • 1 package of turkey bacon (an extra for her faithful Kitchen K-9s would be thoughtful)
  • 1 onion, chopped**
  • Garlic, grated, diced, or sliced***
  • Ginger, grated, diced, or sliced (optional)
  • Grains****
  • Olive oil
  •  *You can substitute kale, chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens or any combination of same.
  • **Use the size which coordinates to how much you enjoy onions!  You can substitute shallot or scallion if you wish.
  • ***Same rule as onion or you can omit.
  • **** Mom used oat groats, a bit of rye berries and kamut this time already cooked in the rice cooker.  She placed 1 ½ c. grain with 3 cups low sodium chicken stock, with a quarter size circle of olive oil.  She added about 1 cup of cooked grains and used the rest in another recipe.  Feel free to substitute rice, pasta, potatoes – experiment!

Heat a smidge of oil in sauté pan.  Place as many slices of turkey bacon as fit comfortably in pan.  Cook according to package directions.  Remove onto paper towels or straight on to cutting board if not too greasy.  Cut into small pieces when cool enough to handle.

As the turkey bacon cools, heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat.
(Adjust the amount of oil depending on how much grease your turkey bacon left in the pan.)  Add onion and sauté until softened and translucent.  Feel free to keep going to carmelized!   Add garlic if using, then ginger if using.  Add collard ribbons and stir until they turn kelly green, about 2 minutes.  Add grain and stir to warm.  (Add a little chicken stock or water if the pan is dry.) Add turkey bacon back to mix in.  Add any herbs and spices you enjoy.  Mom used fennel with her onions this time. Sometimes she add sweet red pepper.

Another great collard green stem day.



Tasty Tuesday – String Beans for the Holidays

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-second participating post!

With Thanksgiving around the corner (for our blogpals in the USA like us), we thought you might like a few new ideas for the classic green bean.  Mom steamed hers this week to go along with a new version of turkey meatloaf with fennel and veggies.  (Remember we tried fennel last week?)

Little Miss I’m Getting into the Veggie Thing snapped up her raw string bean tidbit, while I enjoyed mine in repose (VBP – vocab builder project).  BTW, you can get a glimpse of my racing stripes (requested by Daisy yesterday) in the photo.

Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Bacon

  • 1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped (Mom says you can substitute turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon as you wish)
  • 1 1/2 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (no fussing, Mom says use whatever vinegar you have on hand…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (4 ounces) log goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a papertowel-lined plate to let drain.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and transfer to a large platter. Scatter bacon, cranberries, goat cheese and parsley over the top and serve.

Would you like to try a modern/vegan version of the traditional “Green Bean Casserole?”

Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into thin moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morel or porcini), wiped clean and
  • thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 3 cups Silk Unsweetened Soymilk (Mom would use almond milk!)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • Additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two 10-ounce bags of frozen cut green beans thawed or 1&1/2 pounds of  fresh green beans cooked in salted water for 5 minutes, then drained.
  • 1. Preheat oven to 30°F. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking or casserole dish.
  • 2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or butter in a large heavy saucepan,  over medium heat. Add the onions, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and  cook the onions until slightly browned and soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove the onions with a spoon and set aside.
  • 3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the large heavy saucepan and then add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown and there is very little liquid, about 5 minutes.  Add the red wine and cook for about 1 minute or until completely evaporated.
  • 4. Sift the flour into the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the flour is browned slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
  • 5. In a small saucepan, heat the soymilk with the bay leaf to just below the boiling point and turn off heat. Remove the bay leaf and slowly whisk the hot soymilk into the mushrooms, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the saucepan to the heat, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often and cook for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency of a thick cream soup.
  • 6. Stir in the tamari, salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 7. Add the green beans and 1/2 cup of the onions. Place in the buttered casserole dish, top with remaining onions and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Another great green bean/string bean day.