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Lent Recipe: Hoppin’ John with Carolina Kale

hoppin' john kaleRice and beans could mean lots of things. Perhaps Mardi Gras inspired to keep my culinary effort south of Mason-Dixon with a combination of two recipes that fulfill my dietary plans for Lent. Hoppin’ John is a dish of black eye peas served with rice, and the Carolina Kale helps me toward my goal of five bunches of greens per week.

Carolina Kale

This is a dish I haven’t done for a while that I chose for being different from my usual preparation. The greens are cooked with tomatoes for more liquid. I modified the recipe intentionally by adding eight ounces of pre-sliced mushrooms to increase the dish’s nutrient density Fuhrman style. They were a great  addition, and by adding a couple of cups of cooked beans it would make a great all in one Rice and Beans and Greens Super Dish. I will definitely make this dish again during Lent.

Hoppin’ John: Yam Variation

This dish seems to be black eye peas cooked in many different ways.  I chose a variation from Alan Goldhamer’s cookbook The Health Promoting Cookbook that included chopped yam and potato and celery as the main seasoning. The yam looked huge when chopped, so I omitted the potato. It came together nicely, but when finished I realized that I should have added more yam or sweet potato.


The Six Million Dollar Woman

I lasted a week.

I said I would not bum rush Paula Deen

Beacause she is like many of us, uninformed and suffering as a result.

But she is not like us. She get paid millions for her illness, instead of the other way around.

I couldn’t resist any longer

Anyone remember that old TV show The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors? Well, thanks to the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Deen has become the $6 mil. woman. Shameful. How come no one is approaching me to promote kale? Or peppers? I really like peppers of all kinds! Any wealthy pepper farmers? Oh yeah, all the USDA money goes to wheat, corn and soy headed to livestock not the fruit and veggie growers.

But apparently, there are no blood pressure sponsors lining up as Dr. Oz allegedly learned that blood pressure was a taboo topic. Celebrity endorsements of drugs disturb me, but I suppose we should all be surprised that it hasn’t happened sooner. I was disturbed when TV ads for prescription drugs were allowed. It always seemed to me that medications should only be marketed to doctors. Now TV chefs can get in on the action. profitably. So who is next? I’m going to take some B12 and cry into my herb tea.

Rant finished

You may now go about your regularly scheduled minutia.

Where do you put the leafy greens?

Everybody knows they’re supposed to Eat More Kale, but once you get that bunch of uber healthy dark green leafy vegtables home and the smugness wears off, what do you do? You’ve got this giant pile of something that smells vaguely like lawn clippings. For a long time my preffered preparation was to leave them inthe fridge while I thought about what to do with them. A week later they would be yellow, I’d throw them out and buy a new bunch. Sound familiar?

I’m a late convert to leafy greens other than spinach. I just kept trying them over and over until finally I kinda liked them. They’re not my favorite thing to eat, so I’m always on the lookout for recipes that use them. But practice makes perfect, and I finally figured out to prepare them easily, and how to eat more of them.

Simple Preparations:

Wash, chop, and saute in a little water covered for about five minutes.

Add chopped garlic and a splash of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.

That’s it!

Those are the secrets. The soy sauce and vinegar cut all the bitterness and they taste great.

For a spicy southern version use Tabasco instead. The concentrated vinegar will have a similar effect.

How to use them:

I learned this from a cooking demo I watched while sick, unfortunately I don’t remember what it was. Cook greens as above, and put a handful in the bottom of your bowl or plate, and pile the rest of your meal on top. You don’t really notice the greens are there, they don’t get in the way, and you get a great dose of green leafy goodness. I did this while sick with kale and collards under my brown rice, which was then topped with a soup. I increased my nutrient density while not offending my limited appetite.


For a different flavor, try using your favorite mustard for the seasoning. Mustard also has a lot of vinegar, and it gives a nice flavor.