I grew up in the South and collard greens were a staple dish on our table every Sunday and for the rest of the week until they were gone (which usually was only the next day). My mother seasoned them with pork neck bones, fatback or another part of the pig and they were delicious! I loved them! I still do except now with the awareness of health and wellness information at my fingertips I have vowed, not to abandon my traditional foods which bring back memories of family gatherings and cousins and friends sitting around the table or at a picnic bench in the park, but to modify the recipes so that I maximize the natural vitamins and nutrients the foods contain. I don’t want anyone telling me that I can’t have this or that I can’t have that so in order to avoid that most serious conversation with my physician I will do my part and make the traditional foods I’m used a little healthier (there, I said it). In this dish there is no loss of flavor, just a slighter different one. The intake of vitamins and nutrients is significantly higher and the cooking time in my recipe is shorter. Sounds like a win, win, win situation! Try it out and let me know what you think.
2 large bunches of collard greens, stems removed
3 quarts of water
2 cups chicken broth
1¼ – 1½ lbs. smoked turkey necks or legs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon EVOO
Optional: 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Method of Preparation
- In a large Dutch oven (or other heavy bottom pot) add the water, turkey, salt, sugar, ground pepper, paprika and oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to medium heat and allow turkey to cook for 40 minutes creating “pot liquor.”
- Thoroughly wash/rinse the collard greens. Chop greens into small pieces.
- After 35 minutes check the turkey and pot liquor. Liquor should have reduced by about ¼ and the turkey should be soft but still on the bone. Add the chicken stock (or vegetable stock) and replace the lid and cook for another 5 minutes to blend.
- Add the greens to the pot and sprinkle with a little more sugar, salt and olive oil drizzle. Stir and cover. Cook for another 30 -35 minutes or until greens are tender and tasty. The turkey should be falling off the bones. If not, cook a little longer until desired tenderness.
- Note: Serve with cornbread.
- Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey
Chef Renée’s Berry Crisp
Berries are back! This Berry Crisp recipe is best when made in season, but cab be just as tasty if you freeze and store your fresh berries for a winter treat and all through the year. Fresh is best for me but feel free to use store bought berries as well. I used popular berries but feel free to use your own selection of berries. I added blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. The farmer’s market is a great place during the season to purchase berries and it also helps support the local farming. (Below is my dear friend Chef Christiane of Arugula Restaurant located in beautiful West Hartford, CT withe her delicious Apple Crisp. Yummy!) Choose your favorite fruit this summer or fall and enjoy.
2¼ cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2¼ cup fresh strawberries
Zest of 1 orange
2¼ cups whole oats
1¼ cup light brown sugar
1½ cups granulated sugar, divided
1¾ cups plus 1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour, divided
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup of toasted pecan pieces (optional)
2 sticks of Butter plus 2 tablespoons, very cold and cubed
- You will need 2 9-inch pie plates.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Rinse the berries, drain and pat dry using a paper towel. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add ½ cup flour, ½ of the granulated sugar, orange zest and cinnamon and whisk together.
- Add the berries to flour mixture and gently toss to coat the fruit.
- Divide evenly among the pie plates.
- For the topping, place the whole oats in a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 short bursts. Do not pulse to a flour but small enough to recognize and chew the oats.
- Pour oats into a large bowl. Add the remaining flour, the sugars and the salt. Mix Thoroughly.
- Add the cold butter to the flour/sugar mixture using a pastry cutter and mix until mixture resembles small peas.
- Spread over the berries and cook until browned and bubbly.
- Serve with whipped cream, sweet cream, or ice cream and top with Triple Berry Sauce (found on www.simplechefrenee.com).
Turn your favorite drink into a meal. Sometimes I throw my hands up and just indulge in a dish that makes me want to sing and this is one of those dishes. To try and help myself not to get too carried away I make it as an appetizer and not the main course (at least not this yet). Lol! I wanted something that would melt in my mouth but also something that would provide me with a sweet delicious taste with a little bite to it and short ribs did the trick. Hmmm hmmmm! They were awesome!
Don’t look at the recipe and think, “Oh no! That’s just too many ingredients I can’t do it!” You can do this. Half of the recipe is for the dry part and the other is for the wet part. Then you just combine the two and into the oven the ribs go. Try this recipe and let me know what you think.
4 lbs short ribs
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup dark rum
¼ cup soy sauce
1¾ cup Cola
1/3 cup dried dark cherries
2 cups beef stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh Ground Pepper
Method of Preparation
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Season short ribs with salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika. Set aside
- In a large Dutch oven, add oil and heat until hot.
- Sear short ribs on each side (top, bottom, sides, etc.). Remove to a paper towel and allow to drain.
- To the Dutch oven, add onions and dried cherries. Cook until cherries are plump and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook until very fragrant.
- Stir in flour and ginger.
- Add stock and cola; allow cooking for 5 minutes while whisking.
- Add soy sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar, continue whisking until all is well incorporated and has begun to boil.
- Return short ribs to pot, cover and place in preheated oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and cook for 2 ½ hours or until ribs are tender and a thick, dark, sticky sauce has formed. (It will thicken more as it sits.)
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
“Salmon with Garlic-Dill Yogurt Sauce”
As osteoporosis month comes to a close let’s continue to be mindful about good care for our bones. This meal is bone supportive and anti-inflammatory as it contains essential ingredients like calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and other important nutrients that our bodies need for healthy bone development and maintenance. Foods such as yogurt, kale, broccoli and bok choy (to name a few) are calcium rich; but we also need foods such as salmon which contains vitamin D to help the calcium move through our bodies. Magnesium is another thing our bodies need in healthy bone development. It is found in foods like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes and black beans which help neutralize acids formed in the body and that could over time cause bone loss. Potassium is another essential component in developing healthy bones. Potassium aids in increasing bone formation. It also helps in neutralizing acids that would otherwise have a negative impact on our bones. Foods rich in potassium are romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, plums, prunes and other foods found in this recipe. So go ahead…be Bone Healthy and enjoy your food while you’re at it! Let me hear from you soon and thanks for stopping by!
Garlic-Dill Yogurt Sauce
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lime wedges
1 tablespoon shallot, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
3 to 4 tablespoons water, as needed
fresh ground pepper, as needed
Method of Preparation
In a small pan, drizzle a little oil. Sauté shallots and garlic. Squeeze lime wedges into pan. Add 2 tablespoons of water and remove from heat. In a bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and stir. Combine the shallot mixture. Pour mixture into a blender or a Nutribullet and process until desired consistency. Add remaining water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4 – 2.5 oz. cuts of Wild Salmon
Chipotle paprika seasoning
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper, optional
Method of Preparation
Season the salmon. Rub the seasoned fish with oil. Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat. Drizzle with a little oil. Sear the salmon for about 3 or 4 minutes on the first side, turn it over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Proper cooking temperature for salmon is 145ºF.
Rainbow Vegetables with Prune Dressing
2 cups each kale, red cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and romaine lettuce
1 small sweet potato, diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
Pumpkin seeds, garnish
Almonds sliced, garnish
Sunflower seeds, garnish
Cognac Prune Dressing
Kosher salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
1. In a large pan drizzle a little oil. Sauté bok choy and remove to a bowl.
2. Sauté kale with a pinch of salt and parsley. Add to the bowl with the bok choy.
3. Drizzle a little oil to the pan and add the sweet potatoes to the pan. Add a little water to steam the potatoes and allow to evaporate. Add the potatoes to the bok choy mixture.
4. Drizzle a little more oil to the pan and add the red cabbage. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Add some of the Cognac Prune Dressing to the pan and continue to sauté the cabbage for another minute.
6. Add the cabbage to the vegetable mix and stir. Stir in the romaine lettuce.
7. Garnish with sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds.
12 prunes, pitted, chopped
2 ounces of Cognac
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/3 cup all natural grape juice
1/3 cup of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons water
1 shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Avocado or Extra-virgin olive oil
Method of Preparation
- In a pan drizzle a little oil.
- Add the shallots and stir.
- Add the thyme and prunes, reduce heat to medium and stir.
- Add the broth and molasses.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to cool. Place in a blender or Nutri-bullet and process. If too thick add water a tablespoon at a time.
What is it about Salmon that we love so much? Is it the beautiful color of the fish? Is it that its quick and easy to prepare? Or could it be because of all the yummy vitamins and nutrients we get from it. I don’t know your reason, but I just love the little fish and you are like me, well, you are in luck as it is salmon season! That’s right, it’s here. You can get all the fresh salmon you want. Salmon season began in April and runs straight through November. (So be sure to check your local grocery store and ask the fish monger, “Excuse me, but what day is your salmon delivered?”) Lol
FYI: Here are some of the vitamins and minerals we get from our up-stream swimming friends: Vitamins B3, B6 and B12; we’ve got Vitamin D and selenium. But don’t stop there! We’ve got Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Protein too!
Don’t overcook it nor feel intimidated when you see it in the store instead, feel encouraged and follow the recipe below. Thanks for stopping by!
Seared Salmon with Salad
4- 4 oz salmon filets
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon Blackening Seasoning
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of ½ lemon
4 cherry tomatoes
1 peach, diced
2 cups (packed) Arugula
2 cups (packed) Mixed Greens
Your favorite vinaigrette (I used Lemon – Honey)
Method of Preparation
- Season the filets with the seasonings. Drizzle with EVOO and rub into filets. Set aside.
- Place a large pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium-high heat.
- Drizzle the pan with the olive oil and add the butter (when you are ready to put the fish in the pan).
- When the butter has melted add the salmon, skinned side a cook until easy to move and nice crisp has formed on the top of the fish.
- Place the entire pan into the oven and cook until desired temperature. The proper cooking temperature for fish is 145ºF. Please fish, cook and eat responsibility.
- Allow fish to sit while you prepare the salad.
- Place the lettuce and arugula in a large bowl and mix with a small amount of your favorite vinaigrette. Place a handful onto each plate.
- Add tomatoes and peach bites on the plate.
- Dot with drops of glaze around the salad and top with the salmon (crispy, non skin side up). Enjoy!
Who likes to hear the word healthy? I do, I do! I think these days we count it all joy to hear those words especially from our physicians. Well, guess what, you can create something that is healthy, TASTY and colorful without losing flavor. Here I have prepared a colorful, delicious and nutritious meal within minutes. Try this and your friends and family will thank you, their heart will thank you.
Tri-color Israeli Couscous
¼ cupSun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
5 Black Olives, sliced
2 stalks, Celery, sliced
½ each of Bell Peppers, Red, Yellow and Orange, med dice
½ English Cucumbers, diced
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Your favorite dressing (I used a Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette)
Method of Preparation
- Cook Israeli couscous according to package directions and set aside.
- Allow to cool.
- Place all ingredients into a large bowl and stir together.
- Add cooled couscous!
- Shazam! You’re a superstar.
ENJOY THIS HEALTY DISH…it has all the freshest ingredients your heart could ever imagine!
If you are looking for a recipe, have I got one for you…
It’s my recipe for success! It’s easy, the recipe is to surround yourself with people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. People who encourage and inspire you, people who go the extra, extra mile to make sure something is done the “right” way. People who want you to succeed. Here are a very few of those individuals. There are hundreds and even thousands who inspire me each day to stay forward and keep doing what I am doing. For that and to you I say, “Thank you.”
This post is for all of you. Thank you to everyone over at WinTV, Jenny, Dee, Mike, Vivi, Howard, Justin, all of the interns past and present, the Windsor Community Television Board Members, Simsbury Community TV, Enfield Comm. TV, Manchester, Newington, Glastonbury, Southington and the list goes on to all who caught on and are now airing the show. Thank you to ALL of my favorite libraries and librarians! Suffield, Rocky Hill, Friends of the Cora J Belden Library, Kent Memorial Library, Bloomfield Library (hi everyone!), Windsor Locks Public Library (the beginning…thanks), Glastonbury (love you Nicole) and the many more librarians whom we love and adore, thank you. To friends and family and people I meet out, thank you. I appreciate each and everyone of you. And this is my recipe for success! Yummy!
And to all of you who are not pictured!
Coming up with spring dishes is always a treat for me. Here is my Vegetable Salad with avocado, haricot vert, roasted tomatoes, peas, and sautéed celery. Add a few sprinkles of fresh kiwi and micro greens! Sounds good? Give it a try. I took all the green vegetables I had on hand, sautéed a few onions, roasted a few tomatoes and kablam! Instant energy food without the guilt. It’s everything your body craves.
Ingredients: onions, haricot vert, peas, avocado, celery, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, fresh spinach, arugula your favorite dressing and micro greens for garnish (Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper are optional.)
There aren’t any real measurements for this salad (although I can provide you with some if you really want it but I think you’ll be fine without it; just remember to have fun with it) it’s really what you like and how you’re adventurous you’re feeling that day. I always add enough to share but if you want, take out just enough of the ingredients for one person. Place halved cherry tomatoes into a 350ºF degree oven and roast. Remove and allow to cool. Blanch and shock the small cut green beans (haricot vert) and set them aside; drizzle a little olive oil into a pan and add the medium-diced onions, cook for about 1 minute, then add the bite-sized celery. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the green beans. Add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper as needed. Stir. Remove from the burner. Dice the kiwi and set aside.
Now its time to assemble the salad. Toss a serving of fresh spinach and arugula with a small amount of your salad dressing and place onto a serving plate. Spoon the vegetables over the top. Spoon a few tomatoes on top and add sliced avocado. Sprinkle with diced kiwi and garnish with micro greens. Serve as is or with a slice of lime. Yum!