Eat Collard Greens - Why does Kale get all the love?

Prior to meeting with a nutritionist post cancer I had never heard of collard greens. I was a New Jersey girl whose greens included spinach and lettuce, that was it. Post chemo I added Kale and swiss chard into my diet. 

After learning I had osteopenia (stage of bone loss prior to osteoporosis) I had to increase my calcium.  A nutritionist told me to think of my daily green smoothie as my calcium drink to keep my bones strong and to add collard greens into my diet. Now, I am hooked! 

Kale gets all the attention these days but Collard Greens are another important leafy green vegetable. They contain calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin C are immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.

When I moved to the South I learned Collards are a part of southern cooking and I learned they are almost always cooked with pork fat or bacon. If you go out to eat this is not listed on the menu, it is just known that a side of Collard Greens will include pork of some kind. I learned this the hard way as I thought it was "safe" vegetarian dish. 

So I make my Collard Greens at home. I usually saute them in the morning with my eggs, add them into my smoothies, or sprinkle them on whatever I am eating for some extra calcium.

Collards can be a little bitter raw, but everyone in my family enjoys them sauteed with olive oil, onions, garlic and sea salt. Kale is another super green, but let's not forget about Collards as well! See if you can incorporate them into your meal planning this week. If you do, share your recipe! 

Cookbook Suggestion: Updated version of a cookbook that began my eating to nourish journey! Delicious recipes!

Warming Sweet Potato Chili Recipe: Autoimmune Allergen Friendly

The weather is finally getting colder in North Carolina and we are expecting snow which means being at home for possibly a few days (yes even a sprinkling will cause the state to shut down!). It is a great time to make a yummy, immune boosting chili recipe! I have tried various recipes and have created a hybrid of various recipes. This is a recipe that my entire family gobbles up. It can be served with simply a spoon, in a taco shell, or scooped up with tortilla chips (my family's preference). You can top with fresh cilantro for a splash of color and taste. Happy Cooking! 

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ALLERGEN FRIENDLY SWEET POTATO AND TURKEY CHILI RECIPE

  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup butternut squash or carrots 

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey meat (use kidney beans or chick peas for vegetarian version)

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 jar diced tomatoes in glass (Jovial Brand is my go to, cans leach BPA and other chemicals)

  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup water or veggie broth (can add more if you want it more of a soup)

  • 1 tsp greek oregano (any oregano will do, but I prefer Greek)

  • 1 tsp coriander

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

1. peel and dice the sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, onions, garlic (chop to preference)

2. heat some olive oil and cook the garlic and onions until fragrant and translucent (5-8 minutes)

3. add the spices, vegetables, tomatoes, and water. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender.

4. while chili is simmering, cook the ground turkey or chicken in a pan until no longer pink. 

5. Add in meat or cooked beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes and salt to taste.

6. ENJOY a healthy, immune boosting, tasty meal!

OPTIONS:  you can add green beans or sliced okra, red or green peppers, top with fresh cilantro and add avocado slices.