GREENS! You gotta eat them, right? You at least should be. I know kale gets all the freaking attention but there's a green that I've been eating for far longer than kale and those are collard greens. Nutritionally they REALLY stand up to kale and they taste great too! The little nutrition label on the side is for 1 cup of chopped cooked collard greens. Check out the Calcium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A - not to mention fiber, PROTEIN and Iron!
I don't know about you but I can easily eat two or three cups of cooked greens with a meal.
I'm not sure why collards aren't more popular but they flippin' should be! They are also awesome as wrap alternatives! So - what are you waiting for? Of course, if you cannot find them for some crazy reason you can use kale, mustard greens or even spinach (I won't judge!)
Now I know that if you are a collard aficionado you're thinking "Girl, collards are NOT quick!" and frankly, you'd be right, most of the time. There are times though when you don't think ahead, you want something fresher, or whatever excuse I might have for cooking these as short as I could manage. They aren't as crazy tender as southern cooked collards but they have a lovely texture all of their own!
And POLENTA? Geeze... not even grits.. I know.. but I always have polenta. Simply Healthy meals is all about keeping things easy on you and working with what you have to make a meal. Got grits? Use em? Got an hour to stew collards - GO FOR IT! You won't be sorry. Though if you are like me you start to cook when you're hungry sometimes and then you gotta do things fast. So bust out your pans and make this quick dish that makes a good quick lunch but also fits in with breakfast, brunch or dinner (though I won't go as far to call it dessert - Chocolate Pudding is dessert!)
Start the water for the collards and polenta at the same time to make this a meal. It would be awesome served with some tomatoes (if it was summer - which right now it is not and the tomatoes taste pretty bland!)
- 8-10 large collard leaves, stem removed and cleaned
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups of water
Slice the collard greens really thin (like chiffonade if you wanna get fancy.) Make sure those thin shred are only like 3-4 inches long (you don't want them hanging out of your mouth when you're eating!)
Put the water, salt and paprika in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the collard greens, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add any additional salt to taste at the end. They're really good with some hot sauce and vinegar. Mmm!
Jalapeno Garlic Polenta
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated with a microplane grater
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a pot. Whisk in the garlic, jalapeno and polenta. Stir the pot continuously. If the bubbling starts to pop at you turn the heat down a touch and keep stirring. You want it to thicken up considerably It shouldn't take a terribly long time but make sure you can keep stirring during this time. Add any additional salt to taste at the end.