Grits and Greens

Grits and Greens

Feb 22

Last week at the potluck that got us started back into this blog, John and I ate our dinner at a table with a couple of ladies that had big issues with me not having ever tried kale (or any other southern grown green really). They both gave me some verbal recipes on how to cook kale and made me promise I would make some. John, as a born and raised southerner, was all for this. So when I was out grocery shopping this weekend I bought myself a fresh bunch of kale.

I made it yesterday night and I surprised myself by enjoying them immensely.Things I learned about Kale that made me happy….

  • Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system
  • It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer
  • Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll

The ladies we ate dinner with also said that greens should be eaten with a red vegetable like a tomato or red pepper in order for your body to absorb the most nutrients in both. I couldn’t find this proved anywhere in my quick searches, but I was wiling to take their word for it.

The following is the general recipe I made for our Kale. There is no exact amounts because I did it all by eye and feel, so adapt this as necessary to your own tastes.

In a 12″ nonstick skillet, saute half a medium onion in a little olive oil until it begins to turn translucent. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry Kale. Cut off thick part of stems and slice into about one inch wide strips.

Add cut Kale into pan along with about 3/4 cup of water, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and  garlic powder. Allow Kale to steam and cook about 10-15 minutes until water is evaporated and Kale is tender to your liking (we left ours still green and al dente, some others like it to be well done and very wilty). Add in about half of one tomato cut into chunks.

Toss in tomato and cook about one minute until tomato is warmed through and skin begins to peel off. Adjust seasoning if needed, remove from heat and serve (in our case served with Pumpkin Grits)

As for the Pumpkin grits in short form:

  • Saute about half an onion in olive oil with salt and pepper until soft. Stir in a few good dashes each of dried sage and dried tarragon.
  • Add in instant grits and water according to the package for 4 servings.
  • Cover and cook about 5 minutes until grits are thickened and cooked. Mix in one 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling).
  • Add about 1/2 cup of Almond Milk (the nuttiness is amazing with pumpkin, but you could use regular milk if you wanted), a tablespoon of butter (for some richness), a sprinkle of cayenne (optional, but the heat is great in this!), a tad of sugar (helps bring out the pumpkin flavor). Stir and adjust seasoning as you feel needed, and serve warm.

The meal was really quite delicious and I promise to branch out and try some other greens. I have some Swiss chard growing in my garden but until they are ready perhaps I’ll try some collards, any good recipes?

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