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Seven-Minute Sides: Smoky Greens

A pot of fresh greens is so quick and easy to make! It’s the perfect side dish to a cool summer soup, a quinoa salad, or some Southern black-eyed peas. Greens are always ideal when your priority is easy cooking with a dash of healthy and delicious.

I was inspired to make this dish when one of my husband’s patients brought us a large bag of beet greens right out of her garden, but you can also use a bunch of kale or chard, though kale will take an extra 10 minutes to cook. I suggest  6 to 10 large leaves per person, at least, since they will reduce to a small serving after cooking.

You can use any type of seasoning, but a good artisan salt like Salish Alderwood Smoked Salt transforms an ordinary dish into gourmet food. If you crave a little heat, add some fresh ginger. If

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Spring Cleaning with Vegan Collards

When spring marches in, we naturally want to throw open the windows of our home and clean out all the dust and cobwebs. In the same way, Ayurveda recommends that we give our bodies an annual spring cleaning! Once the autumn chill descends, and all the way through the cold winter, we tend to eat heavier foods. This way we can put on a little fat to stay warm. Spring invites us to help the body transition to the new season by eating lighter foods.

I always recommend a mung soup fast along with light vegetables for a few days or a week at the beginning of spring. This helps to detoxify the colon, liver, kidneys. Cooked greens of any kind are a great side dish to support a spring detox, and today I’d like to generate some enthusiasm for collard greens. Collards belong to the dignified family of Southern “soul food,” brought to

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Love Your Greens—As Sides or Entrées

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that kale and other greens are among Mother Earth’s superfoods—and today’s recipe for Kale and Beets with Spiced Pecans will help you take advantage of your favorite greens deliciously!

Did you know that there are at least 10 different types of kale?

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Auspicious New Beginnings with Black-Eyed Pea Soup!

Ask any Southerner how to start the new year in the most auspicious way, and they won’t even blink before naming a bowl of Hoppin’ John or some other version of peas and greens—like this vegetarian Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards! Serving such a dish on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck because long ago black-eyed peas reminded someone of coins. The greens are said to bring prosperity because greens are associated with green cash. If you enjoy food history, you can read more about this legend at Southern Living  and Epicurious.

My Black-Eyed Pea Soup is filling because of the generous proportion of peas, and it is made even more satisfying by the addition of butternut squash, a favorite winter vegetable. If you serve this soup over rice, like a traditional Hoppin’ John, you will need little (if anything!) else at your New Year’s Day table.

How can you make your New Year’s Day even more auspicious?

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A Gluten-Free Vegetarian Guide to Thanksgiving

If you want to plan an intensely flavorful vegetarian menu for Thanksgiving, look no further! Today I’m sharing a recipe for Gluten-Free Millet Dressing. I’ll also point you to my sumptuous versions of traditional American holiday side dishes, which will fill your family with joy and gratitude!

Why millet?  Millet is a good source of vegetarian protein. One cup of cooked millet offers 6 grams of vegetarian, gluten-free protein, which equals the protein in one egg. It’s also filling, grounding and easy to make.

Now for the rest of the menu. My famous Holiday Sweet Potatoes, topped with a pound and a half of pecans, are the eagerly awaited crown jewel of our holiday table. For a dash of freshness and color I offer this cranberry salad, a squeaky clean, upscale version of the canned stuff that used to be served when we were growing up!

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Post Halloween Detox

Mung Bean Soup for a Post-Halloween Detox!

2022 Update

I first wrote this recipe for a slow cooker because that’s most convenient cooking mode for many cooks who work outside the home. That was before the advent of the Instant Pot, which can also be scheduled to cook before you get home. I’ve switched to cooking mung soup in my Instant Pot on the “chili/beans” setting. Or in my traditional pressure cooker, which I’m equally comfortable using. Tip: I haven’t tried cooking beans in the slow cooker mode in the Instant Pot, as one friend told me that she found it less than satisfactory. We want our beans well cooked for ease of digestion! Also, pressure cooking has been found to be the most effective way of neutralizing lectins when cooking beans.

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I’m Back—with Holiday Dishes!

After a long and much-needed hiatus to remodel the kitchen in our home of nearly 25 years, I’m joyfully back to creating new dishes for our table—and yours. Today’s offering is Winter Squash with Greens that I hope was worth the wait. (Next up: Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Bars!)

This Winter Squash with Greens is a lovely vegan entrée when served in a soup bowl over millet or it can grace your holiday table as a side vegetable.

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Start a Fresh New Year with Delicious Vegan Food—Even if You’re an Omnivore!

Have you been eating a lot of heavy foods throughout the holidays? It’s no surprise if you’ve been cooking traditional roasted meats, cheesy comfort foods, and artisanal breads for your family. Oh, and we haven’t even gotten to all those sugary cookies you ate while making batches of baked goods for colleagues, teachers, and friends! Even vegans and vegetarians may suffer after a long season of overeating favorite comfort foods.

If you’re feeling lethargic or bloated after New Year’s Eve, it’s no wonder! Your body is likely signaling it’s ready for a break. May I suggest that you make a fresh start on New Year’s Day with a lighter, yet totally satisfying, dish for your family—Hearty Lentil Stew.

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Dressing Up Humble Red Cabbage

I usually have a plan for dinner. After all, I’m a Virgo with four planets in Virgo. We tend to details. But I didn’t have a plan last night, and when I got home at 6 p.m., ready to hunker down for a Carolina ice storm, what I really wanted to do was work out before cooking. So I quickly wrapped up some sweet potatoes and put them in the oven to bake, postponing my thoughts about the rest of the menu. Thirty minutes later I was finally ready to cook, but my menu was still an empty page.

As resourceful (or sometimes desperate) cooks often do, I opened the refrigerator door looking for inspiration.  The red cabbage that had been ignored for a few days was calling my name. My first thought was to make a quick stir-fry, using cabbage as the focus since I

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