Story last updated at 4/3/2013 - 3:40 pm
I’m not one of those people who hated vegetables as a kid. Truthfully, I loved them. Probably because my mom tricked me into eating my vegetables by telling me I wasn’t old enough to eat them. Reverse psychology…tricky parenting, but effective.
As much as I enjoyed eating my veggies, I couldn’t bring myself to eat greens. They were gross looking, mushy and tasted bitter and no matter how hard mom tried, there was no getting me to eat them. She still calls me every New Year’s Day and asks me if I ate my black-eyed peas and collard greens for the New Year. Southern superstition tells us that we should eat black-eyed peas for all the cents we’ll have and greens for all the dollars we’ll make. Given that I am not living in a penthouse apartment somewhere I suppose that might be true because I eat my peas, but I skip the greens.
Recently our office had a potluck at which everyone brought one of their favorite dishes to share. One employee brought amazing potato salad, another made goulash, which was incredible and sweet, dear Miss Elizabeth brought greens. Yes, greens, one of my least favorite dishes. What made matters worse was that this particular potluck was for my birthday, which meant I was honor bound to at least try them.
Plucking up my resolve I put a small helping on my plate inhaled a deep breath and ate an appropriately polite-sized bite. It took all of my southern belle manners to not pinch my nose and quickly swallow them down. Then I chewed. Actually, I tasted and chewed. Oh my gosh. I didn’t hate them. In fact, I like them. Not only did I not hate them, I liked them, I really, truly liked them. No one was more stunned than I when I helped myself to several more servings.
What did she put in these things to make them taste so wonderful? Ahhh…the magic ingredient. Bacon! Yes folks, bacon to the rescue once again. Not only did she put bacon in with the greens, she added Cajun spices to give it a special little kick.
I was excited to tell my mother that yes, now I would be eating greens and I’d eat them anytime because Miss Elizabeth told me how to cook them.
Now that I knew how to cook greens, I had to decide which ones. I opted for kale. Kale has become one of the new super foods that is all the culinary buzz. I have seen recipes for kale salad, kale chips, kale in soup. But kale with bacon? Now that’s the perfect super food. So, now instead of turning away from greens I say hail to the kale and bring them on!
This week, I present to you a super food that is good to eat and super easy to make: Miss Elizabeth’s Kale with bacon.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@
Miss Elizabeth’s Kale with Bacon
3 cups fresh kale, washed and stripped from stem
1 medium red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
8 slices bacon, cut into large pieces
½ cup water
2 teaspoons Cajun spices*
Chop kale into smaller pieces. Place kale, chopped onion and water in Dutch oven pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add bacon and Cajun spices. Simmer on low-medium heat for 30-45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe works for just about any sturdy green such as collards and chard.
*use your favorite Cajun or Creole spices add more or less according to your desired taste