Category Archives: Vegetables

Cooking Pole Beans, New Southern Style

Ain’t nuttin’ finer than a pot of pole beans.

Well, ‘cept maybe a pan of stewed yellow summer squash sitting pretty next to our favorite skillet of fried summertime fresh corn. Dag nabitt, I done got myself all hungry again.

Now, if you have not prepped a mess of pole beans before, well, you are in for a treat. Getting ’em ready is as rewarding as eating ’em, I mean, the process helps our sanity, don’t you see. I know there are many of you who remember time spent a few years ago shelling peas and snapping beans, a time spent that has passed our hurriedly society just as quickly as time marches forward.

“Snapping beans” is term used by mothers, grandmothers and generations before our now youth who at first thought, might think the term represents a new logo, web site or even a up-and-coming music act . . . I am just guessing here.  But I do know that back in my youth, sitting around, shelling peas and snapping beans was our way of ‘networking’, from the front porches catching up on gossip, sitting ’round the TV watching Lucille Ball, Jack Benny or  even Red Skelton, or in the kitchen waiting for the pot to boil. It was our early form of social media, with the likes of Skelton’s antics taking center stage if only for the amount of time until the ‘mess of beans’ were finished.

The beans actually do make a snapping sound, almost like a homemade pop-gun. And, to do justice, there is an art in snapping pole beans, as taught by our older generation and passed down, now to us. Start with the stem end and break away or ‘pop’ off the top and strip the string down on one side. Turn it over and pot the end followed with removing the string on that side. Then, break or snap the beans into one-and-one half to two-inch sections. As told, if there is not a string on the first run or side, then go ahead and snap into sections. The younger the beans, the less strings.

Fresh Pole Beans

Fresh pole beans should make a healthy snapping sound. When you pop off the ends, if it has a string attached, just pull down both sides of the pod to remove it.
 

the ‘ends and strings’ from Pole Beans

This is how I now cook pole beans, I mean, no one in my family used olive oil when I was growing up. It was all bacon grease and lard to ‘grease the pot’

Pole Beans
like Momma used to cook, only a little better for us 
6 to 8 servings

2 pounds fresh pole beans
1 or 2 slices thick-cut smoked bacon
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Wash and prep the beans for cooking by ‘snapping’ off the ends, removing the strings and ‘snapping’ in about 1 1/2-inch sections. Drain well.

fresh ‘snapped’ Pole Beans

Cut the bacon in 1/2-inch slices and place in a stockpot over medium high heat. Cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Turn heat down and remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a small plate or bowl. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Add olive oil (about 1 good tablespoon), the beans and increase heat back to medium high heat. Stir to coat all of the beans in the oil cooking about 2 minutes. Add onion, salt, pepper, sugar and stir to combine. Add enough chicken stock to just about cover the beans; cover with lid. At boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook between 25 minutes to an hour, depending on how firm you like them. Most southerners cook them about an hour until the beans are really soft.

Add the vinegar and red bell pepper and turn off heat. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Serve with a sprinkle of the crispy bacon.

Oven Baked Vegetable Spears

Crusted Vegetable Sticks Baked to Perfection.

Yeah, I know. There are way too many recipes for oven-baked asparagus, green beans and zucchini spears, but this one is different. It is my concoction, my way of doing it. A recipe that not only taste good but is good for you too.

You see, I made hamburgers the past weekend (okay, not so good for us but I did use whole wheat buns, okay?) and we just could not go the usual potato fries, not even baked. Nope – rarely do we eat potatoes anymore and when we do, it is gonna be one loaded dish, really good but bad. So instead, I opted for baked vegetable sticks. Now this recipe is, like I said, one that is good for you in the sense that it uses much better ingredients than most bake ‘fried’ vegetable recipes. It is one that I tweaked to our liking.

Give it a try. It is one which I will make many times over now that I have perfected it. Enjoy!

Oven Baked Vegetable Spears
I list a few ingredients with my version and an option for those not dieting
serves 4

quarter pound each of fresh whole green bean and fresh zucchini
half pound of fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Egg-Beaters or 2 whole eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise or  regular mayo
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon no-salt Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided
1 teaspoon low-salt seasoning blend (I like Badia Completa), divided
1/3 cup Japanese Panko, see note

Wash the green beans and trim the ends. Wash the asparagus and snap at natural breaking point removing the tough root end. Soak in ice water for about 15 minutes. Remove, drain and completely pat dry. Was the zucchini and cut away the ends; cut into strips about the same size as the green beans.

Using three wide shallow bowls, add the flour and half of the seasonings to one. Whisk the egg with the mayo in the 2nd bowl. Mix the Parmesan, sesame seeds, the remaining half of seasonings and Panko in the 3rd bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Position wire racks on two baking pans. Spray with vegetable oil. DO NOT SKIP the coating of the racks. Dip the vegetable sticks in the flour, dip in the egg mixture and roll in the Panko mixture to coat. Place on the racks, not touching and place into the oven, center rack.

Reduce oven to 350 and bake about 15 minutes or until brown. Remove and serve warm

I served these with a Chipotle low-fat mayo combo sauce and a low-fat Ranch type dipping sauce.

Note: Panko is a better coating and is healthier than regular breadcrumbs, here’s why:

  • Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb made from bread without crusts. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breadcrumbs.
  • Panko stays crisp after cooking, unlike other types of breading, which can get soggy.
  • Panko is lower in calories, sodium, and fat and higher in fiber than regular breadcrumbs.

Smothered Pork Chops over Collard Greens

Old southern foods are a lot like people – resilient!

There has been a lot on my mind lately that I just can’t seem to shake no matter how much I try to move on, certain thoughts still linger around, unsettled I suppose, now going on the second month. I’m talking about people, my southern brethren to be exact, folks who just don’t know how to act nor have learned the values of living. That’s it in a nutshell.

Now, I get all riled up when I see a chef go and do some dang fool thing with a southern recipe, meddling with it or doing something that I purely disagree with and then calling out to all that it’s the real deal. That’s one thing; it’s my opinion and I think I have the right to do so and I guess they have the right too. I have called out on such a thing a few times before and probably will again. Of course, the person that I’m talking about, well, I can say I have never thought of using the title ‘chef’ as reference. Why, that’s like calling me a chef and we all know I’m nothing more that a cook. A self-made entrepreneur for sure, this person climbed to TV stardom and is indeed a very shrewd business person. A ‘celebrity chef’ is perhaps more fitting, but I still think adding ‘chef’ is using the title loosely. Although she did entertain me for a short while before I became bored with the epitomized act of all things southern even though her southernism is a bit uncomfortable and embarrassing. The south was and is the main focus of this celebrity’s food, media and merchandising commodity, but really, do we southerners really tauk like that?

And, when I see such a person acting a fool on a matter that should have been answered and coped with and overhauled so long ago, it just tears me up. To sling slurs as a child or young teenager is one thing. We can blame it on peer pressure. But this is a grandmother. And we are not talking about targeting aspersions toward just one group. Why, no – she made sure she scooped everyone up in her sweet pot. I doubt her intentions missed any of her many pursued crowds. Well, it just goes to show that sooner or later, as grandmother used to say “even sweet honey brings out nasty flies.”

Oh well, I may not feel any better; my head might not be any clearer nor my heart any lighter and I might have offended a few but I do have a real, bonafide southern recipe to share. One that I am proud of and one that’s the real deal. This recipe or versions like it, been around for decades, resilient to disparateness long before anyone ever thought of becoming a ‘celebrity chef.’ Enjoy!

Smothered Thick Pork Chops
over Seasoned Collard Greens
4 servings

for the Smothered Chops:
Salt, pepper and seasoning blend
4 thick cut pork chops (about 1-inch thickness), diced
3 pieces thick cut hickory smoked bacon
2 tablespoon light olive oil
1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into ribbons
2 garlic toes, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves or 1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, optional

Dry chops completely with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and a seasoning blend. I used a no salt Creole spice mix but any Mrs. Dash or other blend would do just fine to add a bit of flavor to the meat. Set aside.

Pork Chops in Gravy covered with Onions and PeppersIn a large heavy skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until lightly browned. Remove bacon with tongs to a plate to drain and remove all but 1 teaspoon of bacon grease to a large stockpot (for cooking the collards). Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil. Add chops and cook about 3 minutes for a good brown sear to form. Turn chops over and sear the other side cooking for 3 minutes. Remove chops with tongs to a clean plate.

Stir in the onion and bell pepper cooking for about 5 minutes until light brown. Remove onion and bell pepper with a slotted spoon to a bowl leaving as much oil as possible in skillet. Stir the garlic into the skillet and cook until fragrant. Add flour and stir to mix. Cook stirring the bottom for about 4 minutes or until mixture is light brown. Slowly add chicken stock and stir to blend. Add bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Add additional salt if needed to the gravy. Nestle in the chops and spoon gravy over the top of each. Sprinkle the onion mixture onto each chop. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, test (pork should be 145 degrees F.), cover and turn off heat.

for the Collard Greens:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small hot pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bunches fresh collards (or packaged if desired)
2 cups or more chicken stock
1 smoked ham or turkey meat
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cider vinegar

Rinse greens underwater in a deep sink if possible allowing grit to settle to bottom. Remove greens and drain water rinsing away the grit. Repeat until no trace of grit remains. Remove the thick stems and discard any blemished leaves. Rough chop collards and put aside.

Add olive oil to stockpot with bacon grease and heat over medium high heat. Add onion and hot pepper. Saute until onion is soft. Add a handful of collards at a time tossing all while cooking until all the greens are wilted. Add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the ham hock and simmer covered on low until greens are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove cover, add the vinegar, stir and continue simmering out most of the liquid, about 30 minutes. Do not allow collards to scorch.

To serve:
Spoon with a slotted spoon a helping of collards on each dish. Top with a pork chop covered with onions. Divide the gravy among the chops as well as the bacon.

Note: Back in the day, for many households, the collards were cooked into the gravy mixture (which was thinned out) with the chops nestled in during the tenderizing stage of the last, long simmer.

Pork Kabobs with Garden Vegetables

Grilled Pork Kabobs
Another skewer recipe for grilling.

Many of you already know that we do love our barbecue and grilled foods and we especially love the simplicity and ease of kabob cookouts. The pork and vegetable skewers today along with a yellow rice medley and steamed fresh broccoli made for one fine dinner this week.

Now, I have many recipes, as I am sure many of you do too, for kabobs but this one folks, is one that I will be bragging about for a while and one I will make again many times. It really is that good.

The marinade aids in not only tenderizing the pork cubes but also lays down a first layer of wonderful flavors. And, the thing I love about the marinade is there is a harmonious unifying of flavors, not one overpowering the other. The finishing glaze is another layer of flavor that mingles together a taste of distinction that I am proud of and again, not one flavor is more pronounced than the other. The overall taste is really not sweet at all but brings about the gratifying spirit of what a grilled kabob should be. Enjoy!

Pork Kabobs Glazed with Sweet BBQ Finishing Sauce
and served with Grilled Garden Fresh Vegetable Skewers

for the Marinade:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano

Combine all in a sealable bag and let rest for about 20 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon light olive oil and jumble around before adding the pork cubes.

for the Pork Kabobs:
2 pounds thick cut pork loin chops (or four 1-inch cuts of a loin roast)
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/4 sweet onion, wide cuts

Trim any fat from the pork and cut into equal cubes. Place in the bag and refrigerate for about an hour or so, no more than 3 hours.
Skewer the pork cubes alternating with the vegetables. Refrigerate until about 20 minutes prior to grilling. Save the marinade for a baste.

for the Glaze:
I stirred together 1/2 cup apricot preserves along with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar over low heat until dissolved, after which I added 2 teaspoons of a Memphis BBQ sauce for good measure. Delish!

for the Vegetable Kabobs:
2 garden onions, sliced
red and green bell peppers squares
2 yellow squash, sliced
16 cherry tomatoes
mushrooms, optional
other seasonal vegetables as desired

Cut vegetables uniformly as possible to aid in cooking.

To Grill:
Prepare grill to 400 degrees F. Place pork kabobs over direct heat and baste 1 time with any remaining marinade. Discard remaining marinate. Cover grill and cook about 6 minutes. Turn kabobs over and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until pork test done. Give the kabobs a glaze of the finishing sauce the last few minutes of cook time.

Meanwhile, cook vegetable kabobs on indirect heat turning once. I basted these with a balsamic dressing.

Speckle Butter Beans, Country Style Recipe

Summer’s Enjoyment

Nothing says summer like fresh butter beans and around these parts, the speckled variety does rather well in our hot, humid climate. Now I know these are not available in all areas as I have for years had many of you write me asking where on earth could you find these wonderful gems. My answer many times depending on your locale, is either the farmer’s market when in season or in your grocers freezer. Yup, I have enjoyed many winter meals doing just that. There are many companies that package and distribute speckle butter beans so if your grocer does not carry it, tell them to get off their behiney and get to ordering. Once word gets out you better be the first in line, ’cause these will sell out faster than greased lighting.

Enjoy!

Country Style Speckle Butter Beans
about 6 servings

1 pound fresh, shelled speckled butter beans (use frozen during the winter)
1 piece smoked turkey or pork meat
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic toe, minced
1 bay leaf or 1/4 teaspoon bay leaf powder
1 spring of fresh thyme or about 1/2 teaspoon
2 cups chicken stock
2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, sliced

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add the chicken stock along with 2 cups water. Add the smoked meat, chopped onion and bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Add desired salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer on medium heat with lid partially covered for about 20 minutes. Make sure liquid does not evaporate adding more if needed.

Add the butter beans and add water or stock to cover well, at least by 1/2-inch. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about an hour or until the bean is creamy on the inside but still intact; do not overcook to mush. As stated in another recipe, I like to turn off the heat and allow beans to set in the pot-licker while finishing other parts of the meal.

Right before serving, pour off most of the liquid and stir in the tomatoes and green onions. Serve using a slotted spoon along side fresh, hot cornbread or muffins.

Note: Like many fresh beans, speckled butter beans enjoy cooking in a good amount of liquid.

Squash and Tomato Tian

Summer Fresh means Good n’ Healthy

Layered summer vegetables in a casserole is nothing new but in our household, a dish without a sauce or filling, or a vegetable pie without a crust is very much new. Heck, a side dish without butter causes eyebrows to rise with the mere mention of lack of such.

This is a take on an old southern garden favorite featuring the bounty of fresh, summer vegetables without using a crust, any butter or a binder such as mayo or heavy cream. In other words, it is a much healthier option version of a Tomato and Squash Pie and it’s taste is outstanding; a real bonus when you are watching carbs and calories. A classic casserole truer to southern kitchens made a while back melding tomatoes with yellow squash is my Squash and Tomato Wonder. Other pies include  Tomato PieTomato Spinach Pie, Fresh Corn and Tomato Pie and Vidalia Onion Pie.

Enjoy!

Healthy Squash and Tomato Tian
serves 4

4 small yellow squash
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
1 small Vidalia onion
salt
extra virgin olive oil
salt-free seasoning
1 tablespoon minced crisp bacon
2 tablespoon part-skim milk cheese blend

Slice squash, tomatoes and onions uniformly in quarter-inch disks. Lay on double thick paper towels. Lightly sprinkle the top with salt.
 

 
Allow to set at least an hour to draw away liquid. Lay another layer of paper towel on top to absorb liquid and wipe away moisture and salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large 10-inch pie plate, add enough olive oil to coat bottom. Add layers of squash, onion and tomatoes. Give a light sprinkle of seasoning and add the bacon. Repeat with a second layer of vegetables and seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil. Follow topping with the cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve hot.

Roasted Green Beans and Vidalias with Apple Reduction

Perfect Side Dish for Entertaining.

There are so many good side dishes we are enjoying this time of year thanks to just harvested, fresh vegetables. So many of which go well with our favorite pastime; that is time spent on the patio while grilling or barbecuing. This dish along with a good cold, creamy pasta or potato salad, and maybe roasted corn, is about all we need to serve while enjoying our love for outdoor entertaining,

I have made a similar reduction before or a recipe using similar ingredients in a gravy for fried pork chops. This time, I chose to make it (less calorie redux) for a flavorful addition using two of my favorites this time of year: Fresh green beans and Vidalia onions. Enjoy!

Roasted Green Beans with Sweet Vidalia Onions
and served with a wonderful Southern Apple Reduction
4 servings

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 Vidalia or sweet onion, sliced into vertical strips
2 garlic toes, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 sweet cooking apple, such as Gala, peeled and 1/4-inch diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of sugar or Splenda
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon real bacon bits, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash the green beans, pat dry and for ease, cut with kitchen shears into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Place into a bowl along with the onions and garlic. Toss with the olive oil and add a little salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes or until beans wilt and begin to roast. Do not let the garlic burn. Remove to a serving dish and keep warm.

Meanwhile, place apple, chicken stock, vinegar, thyme, paprika and Splenda in a small saucepan and heat over medium high. Reduce down to about 1/4-cup; remove from heat and strain sauce into a small bowl mashing the solids with the backside of a spoon to render as much sauce as possible. Discard the solids. Add sauce back to saucepan and reduce to about 2 tablespoons. Add margarine and when heated, remove from heat.

Before serving, drizzle sauce over green beans and sprinkle with bacon bits if desired. Serve immediately.

recipe by +drick perry

Spinach Stuffed Catfish or Tilapia Roll

Uptown Catfish.

Much earlier in time, way back in my youth, as oppose to now-a-days living here in the ‘big’ city, I grew up in a small town atmosphere where life was ever so simple, or so it seemed as a child. I remember, even though we used the term ‘city’ to describe the town, it was not; think along the lines of a metropolis Mayberry. The town’s main commerce pretty much consisted of the central street running from the train depot and underpass to the courthouse up on the hill. Now, down the hill near the depot were many stores including my uncle’s hardware store and across the street was one of our favorite eateries that served many of the townsfolk. I remember several birthday parties there as well as many lunches with Uncle ‘Punch’ and my Grand-daddy ‘Cotton’. This area of course was known as downtown. And, up on the hill, near the courthouse and county’s governing seat was another uncle’s storefront and across from that, a corner eatery where I too enjoyed many lunchtime meals. This of course was called uptown and there were storefronts lining the street there too, but also many lawyers and ‘uptown’ folks. And right dab in the center, conveniently located for everyone was the local bank. Now I must mention that to get from downtown to uptown took all of five minutes; walking that is. It was much faster in a car, including being held up at the stop-lights.

I also remember pretty much everyone in the city eating fish on Friday’s. I am not for sure why, it wasn’t because of religion, not that we were not a religious town, just not Catholic. Grandmother normally served bream like bluegill or shellcracker, or what-ever had been caught and stored in the freezer. Momma liked the newfangled fish-sticks. At the restaurants we enjoyed catfish and most always it was prepared fried. I suspect if we ever saw anyone serving poached or broiled fish, why, we would probably think they done gone ‘uptown’.

This recipe is actually a really healthy option and you can prepare it any day of the week, not just on Fridays. Each serving contains only about 9 carbs and if you use tilapia, you can cut it down to about 4 carbs per serving. Enjoy!

Catfish and Spinach Roll
4 servings (or halve the recipe as I did for 2)

4 catfish fillets (about 4 oz ea)
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic toes, minced
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
11 oz package fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon wine vinegar (I used O Pinot Noir)
Salt-free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash) or seasoning to taste (I also like whole-grain mustard here too)
fresh black pepper to taste
4 oz low-fat feta cheese, cut into 4 pieces
lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a dish for baking by oiling with extra light olive oil.

Soak the fish fillets in the milk for at least an hour in the refrigerator, not more that three.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and cook to soften. Add the spinach and cook stirring occasionally until spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the wine vinegar and salt-free seasoning. Toss to mix flavors.

Drain milk from fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Place one fillet in baking dish and lightly sprinkle with pepper. Add a slice of cheese in the center and add one-fourth of the spinach mixture on top of the cheese. Roll up the fillet and secure with a toothpick. Place seam side down in dish and repeat until finished rolling all fillets.

Bake in the oven about 20 minutes or until flesh is tested done with a fork. The fish should be firm all the way through and flakes easily with the fork. Remove and garnish with lemon. I like to plate and add a squeeze of lemon over the fish.

Afterthought: Why soak in milk? It’s like saying “yes ma’am” to the ladies, I mean, it’s just the way I was taught. I was told it made catfish ‘sweeter’ and truth-be-known, buttermilk is the norm.

Sautéed Spinach

Stewed, Sautéed or Wilted, it all taste good.

This is a very easy recipe that I like to make, not only because is it low in fat and calories, but also ’cause it is so darn tasty. Yes, as you read it, it does have a smidgen of butter, but ya gotta use it if you want the spinach to absorb and pick up the essence of this recipe, and that is the wonderful simple, yet fantastic flavors.

Now you can trim the ends of spinach if you like; I know, it makes for one fine, silky tasting experience, but I do not at times, it does not bother me one bit. And for the best ever taste, cook this right before serving, dishing it right out of the skillet while steaming hot and not covering it with a lid as doing so causes it to wilt even more, at it did for me last night as I finished another dish. However, wilting it down so didn’t change the taste one bit. Enjoy! 

Sautéed Spinach
about 4 servings

1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 or 3 sweet red mini peppers, sliced or 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic toes, smashed and diced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound baby spinach, washed and patted dry
seasoning blend to taste (I use Badia complete)

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the onion until crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mini sweet peppers and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and mustard.

Increase heat to medium high. Add the spinach and saute until it wilts down just a bit, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste. Stir to fully incorporate. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm but doing so will result in something like stewed spinach.

Southern Stir-Fry Vegetables

Complete all-in-one meal that satisfies.

Good any time of the year and especially when vegetables are young and tender, garden fresh, this recipe is so easy, so good and affordable too. Most items are in the ‘fridge and pantry anyway so there should not be too much to add to your shopping list. Chocked full of flavor and vitamins, this recipe is not to bad in carbs if you use turkey sausage and margarine, that is, compared to my original way.

This meal comes together really fast once you get to cooking so it is important to have vegetables and sausage sliced and ready before starting to cook. It is also important to have vegetables cut in uniform size so each cooks just right.

Enjoy!

Southern Stir-Fry Vegetables
A very satisfying plate of fresh vegetables with good ol’ Southern flavor.
2 large meal servings or 4 sides

1/2 pound smoked Conecuh (mild or spicy) sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices – or use turkey sausage to reduce fat
1 to 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1 cup trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup sliced onion
1/3 cup sliced bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced mini sweet peppers
2 medium yellow squash, sliced
salt, pepper, garlic seasoning blend
2 cups chopped fresh green collards, turnips or cabbage
1 cup broccoli florets
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons dry white wine or flavored vinegar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, optional

Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat (or 375-degree F. if using electric) and cook the sausage stirring all while until brown on both sides. Remove to drain on a paper lined plate and wipe wok with a paper towel.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and when hot, add the green beans and carrot. Toss and cook 1 minute. Stir in the celery, onion, peppers, squash and seasoning mixture. Toss and cook about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and additional oil if needed; cook stirring for another minute. Add the broccoli and cook tossing for another minute.

Add the chicken stock, wine and butter. Toss and continue to stir lifting from bottom cooking another 2 minutes or until vegetable are crisp tender.

Serve immediately.