Category: Winter

Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

So sorry to have been MIA the past couple of weeks, but sometimes life gets in the way…I am happy to report that my back is on the mend and while not completely normal, I am once again mobile.  With our weather in transition, I thought this was the perfect time to introduce a transitional recipe.  We are still seeing plenty of collard greens and sweet potatoes at the market, but who says we cannot make a lighter feeling dish with them while we wait for the spring veggies to come in.  This salad uses some tried and true southern ingredients with some West African flavors.  That feels new to me!  It also uses the massaging technique (you might have seen or used this with kale) to tenderize the winter greens without cooking.  Make sure that you do not skip this step or your mouth might get quite the workout. 😉  If lime and cashew are not your thing, this is an easily modified recipe so choose the flavors that you like best.  Happy almost spring!

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Slow-Roasted Beef

Well, as you can probably tell by the tardiness of my post, my back is not back to normal.  It is better, but standing at the stove and cooking for a long time is just not happening.  I made this recipe last week, using a roast that I had in the freezer from a few months ago.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.  Even though it was an inexpensive cut, the meat was tender and juicy.  The first night we just had it sliced with a side of roasted vegetables, but since then, I have been using it to make sandwiches and boy are they yummy.  So, if you are like me and mobil-y challenged at the moment or would just like an easy recipe that produces a good meal and leftovers, this is definitely for you.

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Collard Greens with Freekeh

Well, the universe has chosen to remind me that I am not Superwoman and am all too human and breakable by providing me with an excruciating bout of sciatica.  This means no standing on my feet for more than a few minutes and trying to pick recipes for my husband to cook for us that I might be able to help with from a seated position.  Just because I am not mobile at the moment does not mean that I am going to give up eating seasonally and healthily.  Enter who might be my next food crush: Joshua McFadden and his book, “Six Seasons.”  This recipe, along with a couple hundred others are broken down seasonally with some delicious and inventive ingredients.  This one calls for freekeh, a roasted wheat grain with a lovely smokey flavor.  It is worth hunting down, but you could also use a medium grain bulgur or if gluten is an issue; cracked buckwheat groats.  Here’s hoping I’ll be vertical next time we speak.

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Sweet Potato Hummus

Its still January…For some reason, it seems like the longest month ever.  Maybe because it’s the month when we are abstaining from sugar, alcohol, carbs and/or are trying out a new, healthier lifestyle after a couple of months of indulgence.  Regular hummus is healthy enough, provides a nice flavor punch and is easy to make (please do not buy that awful stuff from the store,) so I am sure you are saying, why make it with sweet potatoes(?).  Well, sweet potatoes are grown locally, so you can be assured of their quality and growth practices, plus sometimes you just want something a bit different.  So, when you are planning your food for the week and your Super Bowl snacks why not throw some “Southern” flavor in your hummus for a change.

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Chorizo and Halloumi Pancakes with Fried Eggs

I love breakfast!  At almost any time of the day, there is nothing quite so satisfying as an egg with a runny yolk, a pork product (yes, I was born and raised in the south,) and/or pancakes.  I love to find new recipes and flavors for those times when we are having breakfast for dinner, brunch, or hosting friends.  This has been in my recipe queue for a few months and this feels like the right time of year to try it.  There are a couple of interesting ingredients; Spanish chorizo (the cured kind, not the raw Mexican version that requires cooking) and halloumi cheese (a “grilling” cheese, popular in Greek cooking.)  Both should be able to be found in the cheese section of better grocers.  I like chorizo (both kinds actually) because it provides a great deal of savory flavor to most any dish, even if you use very little and halloumi; well come on, its cheese, whats not to love.  So whether you are making this for brunch or dinner, for yourself or friends, enjoy some farm-fresh eggs with a couple of new and interesting flavors.

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Garlic Soup

Sorry to be a bit late, but the day got away from me…This month, my cookbook club is revisiting (some for the first time) Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  This recipe has been quite popular and is next on my “to-do” list.  Except for the mayonnaise, which I am totally going to use my hand mixer for, it is a pretty simple dish and great for the back and forth spring-winter weather we are having.  I need something a little easy to do this week, since I am elbow deep in my husband’s birthday dinner prep.  He requested Mexican and of course I have gone a bit overboard (no big surprise there,) but this will signal the official end to the holiday season for me, so I can take a breather; at least until I decide to go nutty again.  See you on the other side…

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Parisian Hot Chocolate

I know, I know, I should be getting on board with the “New Year, New You” movement and put up a healthy vegetable recipe, but its cold!!!!!!  I know that it’s not that bad in the CSRA, but in East Tennessee people, it’s in the single digits…That means I have been mainlining soup and coffee, trying to keep all of my fingers and toes, but hey, a girl’s got to have a treat, even when she is coming off the holiday sugar fest, so voila Parisian hot chocolate.  It is the perfect little pick me up when faced with the bitter cold blah-ness that can be winter.  Au revoir for now from the frozen tundra.

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No-Knead Brioche Buns

It is the time of year where we usually start thinking about cleaning up our diets for our new year’s resolutions…well, not so fast, we still have a little partying to do.  I made these buns for our Christmas dinner and we loved them, but I realized how much better they are suited to making sandwiches for leftovers or as buns for burgers.  I actually froze half of them for the latter purpose.  This recipe will take a couple of days (due to the resting time in the fridge,) but no special equipment is required and no kneading!!  If you have an active starter and would like to replace some or all of the yeast with that, then go right ahead.  Your rises might take a little longer, but the added flavor should be worth it.

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Chopped Carrot Salad with Mint, Pistachios, and Pomegranate Seeds

Well, December is just flying by (as we all knew it would.)  After a week of treat baking, I am now putting up my tree, mailing cards, wrapping presents, thinking about my Christmas dinner and trying to prep ahead of time for that.  At the same time, we still need to eat, so this new carrot salad recipe is on my list for tonight.  I mean how easy can you get?  Minimal chopping and no actual cooking; yay!!  A perfect side dish for whatever protein you should choose.  Healthy with loads of beta carotene and anti oxidants, plus bonus points for being pretty and colorful.

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Cloud Eggs

As expected, with the joy of the holidays comes the stress of the holidays.  Trying to find time for cooking, shopping, decorating, and communing with friends and family can lead to some tension and headaches.  So, it is also a time for some self care and spoiling.  Take a moment from your busy schedule to make and enjoy a nice, fulfilling breakfast for yourself.  It will start you off on the right foot for crazy day ahead.  

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Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Yogurt

I hope everyone enjoyed a festive and fun Thanksgiving and is ready to move into December and the inevitable holiday rush.  Even with warmer than normal temperatures, another inevitable thing is the slow down in seasonal fresh vegetables.  It is also an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, be creative and try something new.  There is no reason to give up eating local and fresh, when you can just try some new combos of flavors that maybe you would have bypassed if it wasn’t the fifth time you were having sweet potatoes this week…This recipe (and the others on the link) is such a recipe.  It is vibrant and beautiful on the plate as well as your palate; hitting all of the sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and maybe even a little umami notes.  Happy experimenting!

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Couscous with Roasted Winter Squash, Apple, and Chorizo

Well, it is the week before Thanksgiving and in between all of the prep for the big day, we’ve still got to eat…cue seasonal, easy recipes that can make a lot.  I made this recipe last night and it is delicious and full of flavor.  I wish that I had doubled or tripled it; which you can easily do (as long as you have a big enough bowl to mix it all in.)  My one tweak would be on the apples.  I used granny smith and cut them into 1/2 inch dice as instructed; they disintegrated.  Next time, I would cut them into 1 inch pieces or reduce their cooking time.  Everything tasted great, the apples were just off texture-wise.  Also, definitely taste at the end and don’t skimp on the smoked paprika.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

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