Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stevia, Chives, Rosemary, Fennel, and Cilantro -- The Joy of Living Green!

In our front-yard collard patch, last fall's collards have survived. We continue to cut leaves off the plants. Last night we had stir-fried collards with broiled salmon; tonight we
enjoyed collards in wraps with hot Italian sausage.

Mint is growing near the rocks piled in the patch. Soon we'll set out some onions in the collard patch. Today we bought stevia, chives, rosemary, fennel, and cilantro. We plan to start those herbs in pots inside the house.

Stevia, a tropical popular herb, is growing in popularity as a sugar substitute. Stevia's small green leaves are thirty times sweeter than sugar, and they can be dried. If our efforts succeed we'll save grocery money spent on Splenda©, Alterna©, and sugar.

We selected garlic flavored chives with long, flat leaves. They will be delicious on baked potatoes, in salads, and in stir-fried collard greens. Chives do not dry well, but the chopped leaves can be frozen.

Rosemary, ah, rosemary! We love it. Rosemary is very pretty in the garden. It is a great flavoring for polenta, marinades, salad dressings, soups, sauces, gumbo, chicken, fish, lamb, and pork. Since it flavors Creole, Cajun, and Middle-Eastern food like nothing else, rosemary is an essential in Louisiana kitchens. We use it dried, but we prefer it fresh. I hope our crop flourishes.

Fennel has a mild anise flavor. The bulbous stems can be served raw like celery or steamed. Their flavor will enhance stews, soup and collard greens. Paul likes to eat the

Cilantro is important in Mexican dishes, which are important in our diets. It also flavors Mediterranean and Oriental dishes well. For a garnish it is unsurpassed.

All the plants we grow will help our personal economy, our health, and the world's ecology. Write me at to tell me how you are living green.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Collard Greens Recipes

Visit The Collard Patch at for some new collard greens recipes. Check the blog entries there.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What We Are Doing Now

On BlogTalkRadio Paul Elliott and I have a new radio talk show called GreensCast. We appear there occasionally and speak with interesting people, friends and family, to discuss a variety of subjects. No matter what our program is about, we always share information about the preparation of delicious food. Check our archived shows there. Also on our BTR blog we have posted several recipes that we wish to share with you.

Our programs include a useful interview of Dr. Mike Stanley, my son-in-law, by Paul about food safety in preparation and storage. Mike, a veterinarian and an Air Force veteran, has a wealth of experience in public health and food safety.

Another popular show is an interview with the famous marketer and cookbook author Willie Crawford. He discusses with us the way he cooks collards, and his background.

Paul and I are the authors of The Collard Patch, the world's best collard and cornbread cookbook. It is not only a book of recipes; it is also a book of stories and nutritional information about collard greens, the Cinderella of dark leafy greens. We believe that collard greens are important for maintaining good health. Collards, one of the most delicious foods imaginable when prepared appropriately, furnish a wealth of nutrients while remaining incredibly low in calories.

One of the beautiful aspects of collard greens is that they can be grown almost anywhere. They love cool weather and tolerate a mild amount of frost. These beautiful plants make excellent ground cover in yards. Also they can be used to add interest to flower beds. In a time when people are seeking more intriguing flavors than ever before because our taste buds have grown up and when people are needing to spend a smaller percentage of their budgets on food, we recommend growing collard greens.

Nutritionists consider green leafy vegetables such as collards to be one of the leading foods, as far as food value is concerned. They are nutritious when eaten raw, added to vegetable juices, or prepared in delicious dishes much as spinach has been traditionally prepared. There is a theory that the chlorophyll in them removes environmental toxins, such as heavy metals and pesticides from the body. Some people consider them to be a liver protector.

I cannot prove all these ideas, but I do know they are a source of iron, calcium, beta carotene (precursor of vitamin A), soluble fiber, and manganese. They provide vitamins C, K, B1, B2, and B9. Collards have potent anti-cancer properties, antiviral, and antibacterial components including diindolylmethane, sulforaphane, and selenium. There are only 46 calories in one fourth pound of cooked collards.

We devote a large amount of our time encouraging people to eat more collard greens. When we tell people about this project, some of them find us slightly insane. We, however, are devoted to this cause. We have appeared at book signings, crafts fairs, civic club meetings, radio interviews, and cooking shows on television in Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Wisconsin. We are willing to go throughout the country to promote the use of collard greens.

This recipe is an example of a collard greens dish that is packed with all the good things we need to eat without unnecessary calories. The taste is great.

Wilted Collards with Flaxseed

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 tablespoons minced garlic in a big deep skillet.
Toss in 1 pound finely chopped tender collard green leaves.
Heat and wilt five minutes or until tender.
Add some salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes.
Turn off the heat. Add 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon red vinegar.
Top with ¼ cup toasted flaxseed.

Get This Amazing Collard Story Cookbook, The Collard Patch, Now!

Get This Amazing Southern Cookbook, Flavored with Love, Now!

Shopping at Central Market

Central Market
HEB Food-Drugs #/546
320 Coit
Plano, TX 75076
Phone: 469-241-8300
Store Hours: 8 a. m. to 10. p. m.

Central Market is the essential place to shop. It is a grocery store like no other.

Entering, you will go through the produce section. Fresh produce is not something on the periphery of the store. Instead it is important. There are fresh vegetables and fruits organically grown from all the right places. We like the bananas and the Brussels sprouts. I've never seen such a varied selection of potatoes. The precious little fingerlings of infinite variety are fun to select. They taste delicious. The artichokes are outstanding.

After winding through the marvelous displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, you will find yourself in the meat market and fish market. Let's check the leg of lamb. I love it! If you are not traveling too far, buy one. (Or perhaps you should buy a cooler.)

My favorite part of the store is the section deep inside the store where you can weigh spices and put them in your own bags. I love the spices, as well as many of the other food items there -- coffee, nuts, candy, peanut butter, honey, cereals, flours, meals – displayed in an endless array. Sounds expensive? No. Actually these items are less expensive than prepackaged items. The curry and the chile powder mix are the best. We usually select a big bag or two of Wasabi peas (dehydrated English peas coated in Wasabi and horseradish) to munch on the way home and for days to come. We like the flax seed, which are incredibly delicious and noted for their salubrious properties. If you lose us in the store, look here. We stay here about an hour.

Did I say what my favorite section is? It is the bakery. Our favorite bread is the white chocolate apricot. We eat it toasted or straight out of the package. Don't miss the most delicious item in the store
being made by expert cooks on the spot – tortillas. I like the little golden ones with sun-dried tomatoes and flecks of pepper in them. When I pass there, I admire these and the ladies usually hand me one to cram into my starving mouth.

What I really like most in Central Market is the selection of cheese. Along the walls there are coolers with every kind of cheese imaginable. What makes this section special is the station in the middle of the floor where someone is making mozzarella cheese balls in olive oil and garlic. Buy a jar of these and serve them on very special occasions. When you pass, the cheese preparer will give you a morsel. My advice: go there first and pass the section several times as you shop. The taste is splendid.

There is a section of sausages and prepared meats. We usually select the hot Italian sausage, the bratwurst, the JalapeƱo cheddar sausage, the salami with JalapeƱos. By the time we arrive in this section, which is my favorite, the shopping cart is too full to hold anything else.

And there is a deli section. Since we have already filled our cart, we don't buy things here, although it is the most intriguing food in the store.

On the way out, we will pass through the florist's section, where the flowers are unusual and inviting. By the time we arrive there, we are loaded with food. There is no more space in the car to place flowers.

You owe it to yourself to shop at Central Market at least once in your life.

Get This Amazing Collard Story Cookbook, The Collard Patch, Now!

Get This Amazing Southern Cookbook, Flavored with Love, Now!