On a Paleo Diet (heck... even the Standard American Diet (SAD)) we all need to ensure we get all our needed calcium. You can read more about getting your needed calcium on my post Dairy Free Calcium Sources. Collard Greens are at #1 on my list for a great way (more than a glass of milk) to get calcium. This underrated cruciferous vegetable is also cholesterol lowering and super high in vitamins K, A, and C (read more here) . Can we get a wowzers for collard greens - who knew?
My favorite way to prepare collard greens is with bacon, well my favorite way to cook most things is with bacon, I try not to discriminate. This slightly spicy and oh so yummy recipe is also great prepared with a left over ham hock.
Even if you think you do not like collard greens, I dare you (ya.. I am so in 5th grade) to try THESE collard greens. They are spicy, a little salty, and smokey....umm southern goodness.
Paleo Southern-Style Collard Greens Recipe:
2 large bunches of collard greens
1 lb gluten free bacon (if you only have half a package because you ate other half for breakfast - that is ok!)
OR - you can used diced smoked ham or a left over ham hock
1 medium size yellow onion
1 teaspoon sea salt - this is a good one (affiliate) http://amzn.to/17eR2Gb
1 tablespoon hot sauce - I like this one (affiliate) http://amzn.to/1aehuy7
1 tablespoon granulated garlic - I like this one (affiliate) http://amzn.to/17eQY9h
1 quart homemade stock (this works with chicken, beef, or marrow stock), or water if you must.
Dice the onion and bacon and saute it in a large stock pot. You should not need to add oil to the pot as the bacon will release all its yummy goodness and make it so nothing should stick. However, if you are feeling like you need a little oil, olive oil would be great.
While the onion and bacon are having a party, clean and chop your collard greens.
I take a chef's knife and run the blade down the woody center of the greens to remove the leafy part from the stem.
Then I stack the leafy part (and slice them intro strips). I place the stems in my "chicken bucket" aka the food scrap bin that gets taken out the goats and chickens after dinner.
Once the greens are cut into strips, I chop them into large bite sized pieces. You want them about 2inches by 2inches.
Now check on your bacon and onions. They should be browned and yummy. The bacon should be crisp, but if you are not patient (like me), it is ok to hurry this step... you just want to make sure it is fairly cooked (don't worry you will be boiling this for a couple hours).
Add in your salt, hot sauce, and garlic. Stir until fragrant and evenly distributed.
Now add in your chopped greens to the party and stir to coat with all the yummy bacon and onions.
Now add your broth (or water if you do not have broth). It should just cover the greens. If not add a little more (it can be water) until they are swimming in a nice bath.
Bring to a soft boil, then cover and reduce heat to low (keep a slight simmer) for 1.5-2 hours. The greens will be nice and soft, and the flavors will be to die for. I had no idea that I liked greens, I LOVE them! Who would have thought an Italian farm girl from California would like down home southern collard greens.
I love to serve these in a big bowl (with the juices) as a hearty side for ribs, pork chops, or bbq chicken. Slurp the juices as you eat the greens, serious nom nom.
Do you like collard greens? Is this something you grew up eating?