UPDATE: There’s a new and improved version of this post! Please CLICK HERE to check it out!
I love the idea of Sunday dinner. In my family, it usually meant going out to a restaurant we enjoyed after church in the early afternoon, sometimes with other families from church. For my husband’s family it meant a big meal at the family table in the early afternoon. When I can, I try to make a special early dinner for us on Sundays. It just starts the week off right! Today I made a classic Southern meal, and I tried to make adjustments from the recipes I usually use to make it healthier and less fatty.
WELL worth spending half a day on.
(Sorry there are no step-by-step pictures in this post. My camera died on me and only started working again once I was done with everything! Annoying. )
While my mom makes greens all the time, this is the first time I made them from scratch (I usually just heat up some canned ones). It takes forever to make, but oh man are the results worth it. I used smokey turkey rather than the traditional hamhock for the flavor to cut down on fat.
- 2 lb. bag of pre-washed and cut collard greens
- 1 smoked turkey wing
- 3 quarts water
- 2-3 T. salt (it gets diluted in the liquid)
- 1 T. canola oil
- hot sauce
-Start by boiling the water in a LARGE pot over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil add the turkey wing. Cover and let boil for an hour (the meat will get very tender and start to fall off the bone).
-Add salt, oil, and a few dashes of hot sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Add the collard greens to the water one handful at a time, waiting for the leaves to shrink when they are submerged.
-Allow the pot to return to a boil, then lower the heat as low as it will go and let the greens simmer for at least one hour (I cooked mine for 2).
-Remove the greens from the pot with a slotted spoon and serve. Serves 4.
Smoky Mac n Cheese (inspired by recipe from Southern Living Magazine, January 2011 issue)
- 1/2 lb. corkscrew pasta
- 1 T. butter
- 2 T. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c. 2% milk
- 1/2 can fat-free evaporated milk
- 1/2 c. smoked Gouda cheese
- 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese (made from 2% milk)
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepepr
-Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions.
-Meanwhile, grate the Gouda and cheddar cheeses.
-In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then add in the flour, whisking together quickly for 1 minute. Gradually add both types of milk, whisking together until smooth. Continue to whisk and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
-Add the Gouda and half of the cheddar to the pot and whisk until melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat.
-In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta and the sauce, and then pour into a pre-greased baking dish.
-Top with the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese at bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
-Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
I really loved the Gouda in this and think it’s a great idea, but this actual recipe I wasn’t crazy about. It’s pretty low in fat and calories, but that means nothing to me if it doesn’t taste great. It ain’t got nothin’ on Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac n Cheese (a whopping 798 calories and 49.3 grams of fat per serving) that I usually make. I’m going to keep working on a healthier version of that recipe.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 T. molasses
- 2 T. coconut oil
- 1/4 c. organic sugar
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. nutmeg
-Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks. Place the chunks into a baking dish.
-In a small saucepan, heat the rest of the ingredients over medium heat. Whisk as it cooks, until it forms a thick syrup.
-Top the sweet potatoes with the syrup. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to coat the potatoes.
-Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and brown. Serves 4.
So delicious. The coconut oil actually made a GREAT substitute for the half stick of butter I would have normally used.
And last but certainly not least…
Southern Fried Chicken
- 8 chicken pieces
- 1 T. salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 T. salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- canola oil for frying
-Heat the oil (enough to fill up the pan 3-4 inches high) in your frying pan. While you wait for the oil to heat, fill a large bowl with ice water and stir in the salt. Let the chicken pieces soak in the water until the oil is hot (about 10 minutes).
-Add the salt and pepper to the all-purpose flour inside of a gallon ziploc bag. Zip the bag and shake it around to combine.
-Two pieces at a time, remove the chicken from the ice bath and put them into the ziploc. Zip the bag and shake it around until the chicken pieces are completely covered in flour. Open the bag and shake off any excess flour before putting the chicken into the hot oil.
-Fry the chicken for about 25 minutes. Fry it in batches, and be careful not to crowd the pot (for example, I fried my 8 pieces of chicken in 3 separate batches).
-When the pieces are done, remove them to a towel-lined plate and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Nothing makes me happy quite like the sight of freshly fried chicken. There’s no need to feel that guilty about it either because it’s not that unhealthy, especially when eaten in moderation. I don’t use hydrogenated oils to fry with, so there is no trans fat here (whereas you might get it if you order fried chicken at a fast food joint)!
Now THIS is my kind of meal.
After eating this we can die happy.
Weeeelllll, now I have to go do that homework I’ve been avoiding all weekend…/watch the Oscars…
Thanks so much for reading!