Eating collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is a Southern tradition that is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. My favorite way to prepare them is to slice them into thin strips and braise them with onions, garlic, tomatoes, lite coconut milk, and lime juice. I like to use fresh tomatoes when they are in season or canned tomatoes in the Winter.
Collard Greens with Coconut Milk and Tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1-2 small red chilies, seeded and minced or hot chili sauce
1 bunch of collards, thinly sliced with tough stems removed
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 large tomato (fresh or canned), chopped with the juices reserved
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and red chilies (or hot chili sauce). Sauté until the chopped onion is soft and light brown. Add the collards and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomato, and lime juice; stir, put a lid on the pan, and let the collard mixture braise for 7-10 minutes until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 1/4 c. sweet potato puree*
3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
Sift together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and sweet potato puree into a food processor bowl and process until smooth. Add the eggs, brown sugar, and milk; blend until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and process briefly until combined (don't overprocess). Heat a skillet or griddle lightly coated with vegetable oil spray on medium heat. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto the hot griddle. When pancakes start to bubble, flip and cook until golden. Serve with toasted pecans and your favorite syrup.
*To make sweet potato puree, pierce 2 medium sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave 5 to 7 minutes on high, until they are soft. Peel the skins off and measure out enough to make 1 1/4 cups.
Swiss Chard and Herb Tart
I have made this tart several times using different types of greens each time. My favorite is swiss chard, but feel free to use any type that you have on hand such as spinach, broccoli greens, kale, collards, etc.
1 lb swiss chard, stems and ribs removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 (17 oz) pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)