Thursday, December 27, 2012

Braised Collards & More...

After two weeks of "eat whatever you want until Christmas", I'm totally over it!  Feeling sluggish, irritable, bloated, addicted to sugar, and overall not so good just doesn't last long around here.  My husband always jokes that my "bad" eating habits are still better than most peoples normal diets, while this makes me feel better :) eating gluten-free vegan Christmas cookies everyday, still have SUGAR in them!  The most detrimental, toxic, addictive, disease causing drug that exists.  So out goes the sugar. 

It's all about small goals, but strict ones.  Completely eliminating any and all sources of sugar (including honey and super dark chocolate), works better for my success rate than saying "oh I can have one bite of dark chocolate, or some honey in my raw almond butter".  Nope.  None.  Zilch!  But it works.  I did this right after Thanksgiving for 16 days, and now I've started over, I'm on day 3 and I already feel a gazzilion times better than I did on Christmas day where I had so many cookies and truffles I lost count!

Anyway, this was not supposed to be a post about sugar, but about the amazing dinner I made tonight.  I did a braised collard greens variation with mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic in a chipotle infused olive oil, ghee, and chipotle spice (YUM!), and then blanched asparagus on a bed of arugula with fig balsamic.  Yes, we had protein too, a bison burger with pickled veggies on top, but that wasn't the star.  Making fun veggies side dishes makes me really excited!  I know, total dork, but when you eat "salads" 4-5 times a day it starts to get really repetitive, so you gotta keep it interesting.

Braised Chipotle Collard Greens
2 bunches collard greens, washed, deviened, and chopped
1/4 yellow or white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 box (8oz or so) mushrooms, washed, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 tbsp Ghee
2 tbsp Chipotle infused olive oil (from EVOO)
1/2 tsp Chipotle spice (Penskey's)
1/4 c organic chicken broth
salt to taste

Prepare all your veggies (wash, chop, etc). 

Using a large sauce pan, melt ghee and olive oil over low heat.  Add in onion, garlic, and carrots.  Cook about 5 minutes.

Add in collard greens and mushrooms.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add spices and chicken broth, and cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.  The bitter flavor of the collards cooks out the longer you braise.

Blanched Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus

By far my favorite way to prepare asparagus...the easiest, and the healthiest.

Wash your (organic) asparagus, and chop off the hard end parts.

Bring pan of water to boil, and prepare a bowl of ice water near the stove.

Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook 2-5 minutes depending on the size of the spears.  You're looking for the spears to be bright green.  Don't over cook, don't want them to be mooshy.

Remove from boiling water and immediately drop into the ice water.  Once they've cooled, dry them off and serve how ever you want.  These are great to store in your fridge and eat as a veggie snack during the day too.

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