Eating Green

Super Green

It’s really not fair that my current supplier of “green food” made mine Berry flavored…there is still something about the taste of it that will leave you with a funny look on your face, even when you mix it with cranberry juice and slam it. Attempting to be healthy, it’s organic cranberry juice with no chemicals. Once you add the Ultra Green Berry Mix, it’s more like a noxious waste dump for the first few seconds. But can you believe the results….I am gaining muscle and shedding fat, have serious sustainable energy and my outlook on life is great. First thing in the a.m. I am dedicated to that one little scoop of green food drink and cranberry juice. Yes, I still chase it with some great Sumatra, but what is a girl to do?

I stopped eating junk and grabbed a healthy snack when I returned to eating in the post-relationship-with-the-biggest-mistake-of-my-life-phase. Fifteen pounds and a million tears lighter, I thought it was a good time to create some new habits. Gone are the MDew and chocolate fixes, although my pref was always Diet Coke – sigh – with gummies. In with these annoying things that I remember so well from being a professional chef… veggies. Darn it. Being a grown up, I am now required to tell myself to eat my vegetables. Being a damn good chef, I have an arsenal of spices to wow my husbter each and every day. Still, he was suspicious of Collard Greens the first time I made them for him. He’s a definite northern boy. Those of us from the South like collard greens. The recipe for the elusive South Oklahoma Greens is listed below. Give it a try, and omit the bacon if you want to be a veggie.

Funny thing about the green diet is that now I have gone veggie with a very light portion of meat or cheese one meal a day, I feel and look so much better. The detox on my system is phenomenal. A few weeks ago, I bought a seven day cleanse detox kit, cleaned out the fridge and encouraged myself with a great new black dress. It doesn’t have to be a goal dress anymore…now ten pounds lighter I am a mere seven pounds from my goal weight and the illusive size six that most of my favorite jeans linger around. Two years and one graduate school later, I have my butt back to pre-grad-school fighting weight, and a renewed relationship with my hubster/best friend. It’s amazing how you find out who your real friends are when the chips are down. They’re the ones that go on the cleanse with you so that you do not feel anymore alone. Now, how loyal is that?

A word to the wise about going high veggie in your diet: don’t eat a lot of useless carbs. Look for foods that have super high wattage…and those are typically red or green. Green spinach, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts…all very easy to serve fresh and hot for a family of six or a plate for one. Use spices and fresh garlic to switch it up an improve your overall health.

South Oklahoma Collard Greens

Serves about 4

Two full bunches (at least eight stalks each) fresh greens
Three table spoons minced garlic
1/2 tsp Goya or mixed salt
6 strips heavy smoked bacon, uncooked. – or – 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 medium onion (optional), peeled and chopped into medium mince.

Cut uncooked bacon into inch long pieces and cook in a deep saute pan with lid, fry the bacon and half of the garlic on medium high heat. Do not burn garlic. Stem and clean the greens, taking out most of the central vein. If the greens are garden fresh, you may be able to leave a larger portion of the stem. Chop the greens horizontally across the bias and then downward to form large squares of vegetable.

Add the chopped greens, along with the onion and remaining garlic, to undrained bacon. For the healthy version, omit bacon and use olive oil from stage one. Add water and salt. Stir until all ingredients are coated and mixed, then lower to modest heat (about 4 on electric stove) and slow cook with lid shut. Stir as needed. Greens are most tender when cooked slowly over a longer period, for it not only allows the flavors to fuse, but the leaves to tenderize. Enjoy with a potato/carrot AuGratin and baked chicken with Asaigo cheese for a flavorful night.

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