1. Collards! Hardly any vegetable is more nutritious than collard greens, the Cinderella of vegetables. And they are delicious when prepared well.
2. Buy two bunches of fresh collards at the grocery story. These are usually prewashed.
3. Select a big deep pot. A four-quart stainless steel sauce pan would be perfect. Chop one large onion and sauté it in two teaspoons coconut oil and one teaspoon olive oil. Turn off the heat and let the onion rest while you prepare the collards.
4. On a cutting board, use a large sharp knife to remove the thick stalky collard stems. With the point of the knife trace along either side of each stem. Stack the leaves on the board.
5. Roll two or three leaves like a cigar and hack down the middle of each roll while you hole the roll tight. With the knife cut the greens into chiffonades (slivers). As you work, place the chopped greens into a colander.
6. Wash the greens and dump them into the cooking pan, which should be full. If you have more collards than space in the pan, don’t worry. They will cook down and you can add the others.
7. Don’t add water at this stage. Cover the collard greens and cook them at high heat for five minutes. Check them every minute, stir, and return the lid to its position.
8. Chop or crumble a pound of sausage and add it to the mixture. (Turkey is the healthy choice.) Cook at high heat five more minutes.
9. Meanwhile peel and slice three large carrots, which will provide natural sweetness, interesting color, and a variation in texture. Add the carrots.
10. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Or you may want to shake in some Cajun seasoning. Sprinkle some garlic powder in there too. Pour an entire can of tomatoes with green chilies into the mix.
11. If you wish, you may include some other vegetables and fruits, such as spinach, finely chopped cabbage, a chopped apple, some large chunks of potatoes, or a few raisins.
12. Add one half cup water, lower the heat, and simmer until tender. Don’t cook them too long—thirty minutes at the most. Collards are much tastier if they are not mushy.
13. Serve with a pan of cornbread and some vinegar of hot pepper sauce if you like. If you live in Georgia or you are from there, serve pinto beans as a side dish. If you are from Mississippi, serve field peas or black-eyed peas instead. Baked sweet potatoes go well with collards.
A good book to read while your collards are cooking is Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek by Mary Lou Cheatham and Sarah Walker Gorrell. It’s free through March 23, 2017, as a Kindle e-book. Download the book here: Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek
And leave us a review. Okay, Cher?