Ever make New Year's Resolutions? In the past I have made a point to avoid them. This year is different. I have decided to commit to some changes in my life and business in 2014 and this newsletter is a start to what will be the first of a few Resolutions this greens-eater has made in forever.
What is a resolution? There are many uses for the term and you can read them all right here and here but no where in either of these locations, Wikipedia or Merriam-Webster, does the definition for a New Year's Resolution appear. When searching a bit further, searching for the entire term 'New Year's Resolution', Wiki comes up with some really great information dating this type of promise back to ancient time and linking it with religious tradition as far back as the Babylonians.
These days, most New Years' Resolutions are related to self improvement, health, kindness to others and respect/awareness of the environment. Eating a plant-based diet is a great start to addressing these concepts and for many, a shift to do just this is their 2014 goal. Here at the Leafy, we already eat a clean, green diet so what changes will we make? Here are my 2014 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Blog more regularly. Jog more regularly! 2. Create a Newsletter with recipes in support of FFL and Leafy Cafe Cooking School participants or those who just wish to stay in the loop. 3. Start a take-out meal service for anyone wishing to explore a plant-based diet and looking for convenient, healthy, delicious options. 4.Consume less sugar! :-) this will be the toughest! 4. COOKBOOK!!! Perhaps a recipe book would be a better description. This book will be for folks who know how to cook but just do not know WHAT to cook.
This list is long and growing! If you are reading this email, I have already started on Rez number 2! Are you in? I promise to keep the email newsletters brief, no more then monthly, and always include a recipe. Please opt-in and share with your friends! Our Just Eat Plants community is growing and you are a part of it!
Our first newsletter recipes are for Black-eyed 'Hoppin' John Pilaf and Yammy Stolen Collards -new versions of old favorites. It is absolute to eat Black-eyed Peas and Greens on New Year's Day. This tradition also dates back to Babylonian times! This originally Jewish "good luck" tradition was probably brought to the New World in the 1700's when the Sephardi Jews settled in the Southern United States! I hope you enjoy this healthy version.
Thank you for all of your support in the past years! Have a blessed and peaceful HEALTHY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Remember, this is the first one :-) !
New Year's Day Hoppin' John
makes 4 servings
Ingredients: 3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice 2 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 1 cup chopped red onions 1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 dash hot sauce 1 vegetable oil spray Method: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine rice, peas, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce in a casserole dish coated with vegetable oil spray. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Based on a recipe from www.nutritionmd.org
My-Yammy (Stolen) Collards
I named this dish as such because I stole the collards from my sister’s garden while she was away visiting our baby sister (who is a Yoga/Pilates instructor in Bali) and I like the way yam and yo mammy sound so I had to work that into the title.
½ diced onion 2 -3 cloves minced fresh garlic 1 T. minced fresh ginger ½ - 1 c. water or veggie broth ½ T. Rooster Sauce* or Red Pepper Flakes Some ( Stripped) Collards (with the stem removed and cut into ribbons) 1 Lg. Sweet Tater cut into ½” dice ½ t. smoked paprika Zest and Juice of 1 lemon ½ T. toasted sesame seeds
*This is the Hard Part – I stole these Collards from my sister Donna’s Garden, I do not know how much I took, I snipped and snipped. Donna is an RN who inspired me to move my body and eat healthy. She is a cardiology specialist nurse, has her Masters in Exercise Physiology, and she is a Dean Ornish/Jane Brody-fan-from-way-on-back kind of a gal. I’ve been stealing stuff from D since I was born. I always thought: “she has so much, she won’t miss this stuffed toy, D won’t miss this dress or later when I was a teen: her driver’s license”!!! Well, I hope she does not miss these collards, they would have been yeller by the time she got home anyway! Rooster sauce is that chili sauce with the rooster on the jar, also known as Sriracha. To strip the collards, just hold the leaf by the stem, folded in half – length wise and pull the leafy bit off of the stem.
Oh do we really need to know to preheat the skillet? It all works anyway, preheat or not. So, here is how I do it: 1. Steam sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger in a non-stick skillet or in a cast iron skillet with a small amount of veggie broth or water (1/4 c) ON LOW HEAT. Don’t let it burn! Until onions are translucent. 2. Add the Sweet ‘Taters Rooster Sauce (or red pepper flakes), smoked paprika & lemon juice, cook on LOW, COVERED for about 10 min. 3. Add the Collards, and steam/sauté for another 10 minutes until the collards are cooked down and sweet taters are cooked. 4. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and lemon zest and serve immediately – YUMBO
NOTE: I've lived most of my adult life in Southeast Georgia. I am very intimate with Collards, Turnips, Mustards, and many other greens which are southern favorites. I am also all too familiar with the heart attach and stroke rate in that area of the country. I have many friends who’s fathers never made it to 55 years old. I learned to cook Southern food with a healthy flair. This also was my first official job out of Culinary School. I was hired to be the consulting chef at The Lodge on Little St. Simon's Island for just this reason – making traditional Low Country Cuisine with a health, delicious slant. Traditionally, greens are cooked with pork fat and then once on the table they are doused with vinegar flavored with hot peppers. I have taken the fat out but kept the flavor & spice!
On New Years’ Day, serve these greens with Black-eyed Peas and Brown Rice (hoppin’ John) for a great, healthy start!