Monday, December 6, 2010

Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas and Beef Soup

My husband buys frozen organic black eyed peas (as you know by now) and i like the fresh collard greens at Peter Burkhart's organic stand at Sarasota's Farmer's Market. I also buy beef from Whole Foods and we bought a roast on sale and cut in into cubes and then into zip lock bags into the freezer for soups and stews or chili. Brilliant.
In a large pot ( 4 quart ):
4 cups water and
one cardboard box of stock (I use the Imagine brand of chicken or vegetable because they use no sugars or corn syrups etc.).
1 diced onion
1 self made package of cubed beef (3/4 lbs at most) I place the frozen beef in the water directly
1 package of frozen black eyed peas
6 large collard green leaves cut lengthwise 4 times then chopped
1 large can of whole tomatoes, i add entire can but break the tomato pieces with my hands as they enter the pot
6 cloves garlic cut in large pieces
1 T cayenne or crushed red pepper (i like it spicy, so maybe that's too much so use your own judgement on the amount)
3 bay leaves
1 T rock salt
1/4 cup left over wine if available
Bring to boil, let simmer, then let sit and keep pan covered at all times.
This soup should be done in an hour so eat as much as possible whenever possible.
remember how important greens are for our bodies, and this is just another way to get a bunch of good stuff into our gorgeous bodies!

veggie topped baked potatoes

it is absolutely cold for Florida today and extreme cold is forecasted for tonight. I actually moved all my potted herbs under shelter and out of the wind and may cover more plants with sheets to protect them from the cold.

I love to get large baker potatoes and keep in fridge for this exact reason(being cold weather). Sat. was Farmer's Market so i bought lots of stuff as usual. I am baking my potatoes wrapped in tin foil and placed in a small toaster oven i've owned forever, there are many ways to bake a potato but this is how i still do it. When they are soft to the touch they are done and
to keep them hot keep the temperature on low until you are ready to cook topping.
In a heated saute pan, pour 1/8 cup olive oil, and start to add your veggies:
onion diced, (approx 1/4 - 1/2 of a large onion)
grated fresh garlic (2 cloves)
one fresh jalapeno ( i grow and a nice red one is available) use cayenne instead if you don't have a spicy pepper to add
Anaheim pepper (1/2 of a pepper or any mild bell pepper)
diced eggplant (equaling approx 1 cup)
diced patty pan squash (1 cup)
one diced tomato
splash of white wine or in my case, leftover Proseco (Italian champagne)
1 - 2 T fresh diced herbs, basil and oregano (whatever you grow) if not, use dry herbs of your choice
stir and then add some chopped greens, in this case i have fresh baby kale ( one good cup )

I have added no salt (yet) or packaged spices, and now i covered the pan and letting it simmer for 5 minutes then turn off and let sit and soak, mellow, get yummy.

When ready to eat, take your potatoes out of foil, place on plate and smash flat, add some grated cheddar (type of cheese or cheese at all is optional), i love it...... so put some cheese on the hot potato and top with the veggies and some juice from the pan and top again with some more cheese (consider feta or parmesan) tonight i use cheddar. Top with fresh ground pepper.
This is so satisfying especially in this very cold weather.

The greatest thing about making baked potatoes with veggies is that you can use whatever you have. Frozen peas, carrots, onions, green beans, it all can work if you saute them with some herbs and garlic and a little of your favorite spices and cheeses. You cannot go wrong and sometimes it can turn out like a pizza, use your ingredients you have in the fridge and your imagination and eat well..... don't forget buy local, organic and use what you buy!!!
Don't forget...... salad is great for breakfast especially with some Quinoa and/or poached egg on top. Soup is good for breakfast too. my next post will be yesterday's Collard Green Soup.....