Miso Collard Greens and Cornbread Bread Pudding: chanterelles, smoked gouda, & thyme

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collard greens cornbread

Cornbread, collard greens, fried okra, sweet potato casserole…if these things don’t evoke a sense of southern comfort, then you may need to watch Paula Deen on the cooking network or take a trip down to Alabama.  As we speak, I’m actually on my way back from Alabama, my home roots! I made a pitstop in Houston to visit a dear friend and attend an Outstanding in the Field event; something I have been itching to do for years.  Their philosophy is brilliant yet simple: bring the chefs and people to the farm to enjoy the bounty of mother nature. “Farm to Table” dining at its finest.   We dined on farm-fresh squash, prepared three ways, over a decadent salad with popped wild rice; a corn “pazole” with local Gulf shrimp, blackened redfish, and radish; beans and apple butter from the garden in front of us and we finished with a mesquite sweet potato “chess” pie with pecan crust.   It was heavenly, yet straight from the earth we sat on.  {Pardon the photos; they were taken with my iPhone!}

outstanding in the field farm dinner austin texas

As I sit here on this plane, looking out the window into the amber sky, I can’t help but be grateful to have experienced my youth in the southern United States.  I don’t think I realized until I went back how interesting and truly unique the South is.  Everything moves a bit slower, everyone says “please” and “thank you” and “no sir”/”no ma’am”.  Upon meeting someone they will probably call you darlin’ or honey; a term of endearment, no less.  However, if you hear the words “Bless Your Heart”, don’t take it as a compliment! Everyone is approachable and everyone is your friend the moment you introduce yourself.  Don’t be surprised if you see children running through the grass in bare feet while mommas sweep the front porch with sweet iced tea and daddies play cards with each other while drinking jim beam.  And the food….the food is in a whole other category.

 cornbread muffins

There is something so comforting about southern food and it was only when I moved to Canada that I realized what it was: the immense amount of love that goes into their food.  I think this is where I learned to “cook with love”.  If someone is sick, you bring them food; if someone just had a baby, you bring them food; if someone just lost a loved one, you bring them food.  Thanksgiving is just as big of a holiday as Christmas and everyone in the neighbourhood is always welcome for dinner – no questions asked.  Food translates into love and community in the south, which I especially feel connected to. 

After this trip to Texas and Alabama, I knew I wanted to do a post on the food from this part of the world.  However, it doesn’t really fit into the category of “healthy” most of the time.  Enter Anise! Collard greens are a staple in southern cuisine, as is cornbread.  The century-old recipe for southern collard greens is “cook them down for 12 hours with a ham hock and many other spices until they are tender” – almost like a soup.  Since I want to retain as many nutrients as possible in my greens, I sauté mine quickly until bright green, then off the heat they come.  This recipe calls for an easy miso-lemon sauce with a sprinkle of hemp seeds and coconut….sounds strange but I promise you’ll love it! This is my ultimate greens recipe; I just can’t get enough! 

collard greens miso lemon hemp seeds coconut

Greens are considered a superfood because they are extremely nutrient dense: chock full of vitamins such as beta-carotene, minerals such as iron, antioxidants, and easily digestible fiber and protein.  They are high in chlorophyll, which enriches red blood cells and aids in communication with the brain.   Dark leafy greens are also an excellent source of folate, which contributes to serotonin production…hello mood-booster! The darker the color, the more nutritious, so go dark!  Collard greens, specifically, protect against estrogen-related cancers and retard the growth of carcinogens related to cigarette smoke.     

collard greens

The cornbread was a 3-day project (hence why my blog post is so late this week!). I tested Alicia Silverstone’s vegan cornbread option and a more traditional, yet healthy, recipe I came up with and I must say the latter turned out better.  However, the vegan option was still delicious!  I got tired of eating plain cornbread muffins, so I turned these little cakes into a decadent cornbread bread pudding, inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook “Plenty More”.  Yotam uses sourdough bread with other ingredients completely different from mine here, however the technique is similar to his.  Why mess with a method perfected by a culinary-world genius?! I did try this recipe with vegan cornbread, almond milk, and omitted the cheese instead of the traditional cornbread and milk, but check my notes under the recipe to see my comments.  Cheese is a must in this recipe so you can’t really go all vegan.

cornbread bread pudding chanterelle mushrooms smoked gouda cheese thyme

Next time your cooking, I hope you sprinkle a little love into your dish, because nothing tastes better than food made from love!

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Miso Collard Greens: lemon, coconut, hemp seeds
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
GROCERY LIST
  1. 1 bunch of collard greens or your favorite greens (swiss chard, kale, etc)
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  4. large pinch of sea salt
  5. hemp seeds for garnish (I like a lot, but use as much as you like!)
  6. coconut flakes for garnish
Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  2. 1 1/2 Tablespoons white miso paste
  3. 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaxseed oil
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim your collard greens, removing the stalk. Arrange the collard greens in a pile, then roll the pile up. Cut the "roll" into thin strips and then cut once through the middle. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce: whisk together the lemon juice, miso paste, and flaxseed oil. Set aside.
  3. In a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil and garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant (be careful not to burn), add the greens and a large pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently until the greens are soft and bright green. Remove from heat and season with more sea salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Drizzle with the sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle hemp seeds and coconut flakes over the top and serve immediately.
Love & Garnish — A Nourishing Kitchen http://loveandgarnish.com/
Cornbread Muffins
Yields 12
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GROCERY LIST
  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1 cup maple syrup
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 8 Tablespoons melted ghee
  5. 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  6. 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Insert muffin wrappers into a muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: milk, maple syrup, egg, and melted ghee. Set aside.
  3. In a 2nd medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine; do not over stir.
  5. Pour the mixture into the muffin tins and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and removed dry.
Love & Garnish — A Nourishing Kitchen http://loveandgarnish.com/
Cornbread Bread Pudding: chanterelles, smoked gouda, thyme
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GROCERY LIST
  1. 4 cups of milk (I used whole milk)
  2. 2 cups of chopped onion (approximately 1 large onion)
  3. 3 bay leaves
  4. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  5. 15 stalks of fresh thyme
  6. 1 stalk of fresh rosemary
  7. 2 Tablespoons ghee
  8. 8 oz roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms (approximately 2 cups)
  9. 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
  10. sea salt and pepper
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 1 cup smoked gouda, grated
  13. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  14. 12 cornbread muffins from previous recipe, broken into large chunks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring milk, onion, bay leaves, nutmeg, thyme, and rosemary to a low simmer. Once it begins to simmer, remove from the heat and let stand until room temperature.
  3. While the milk mixture is cooling, prepare the mushrooms: heat the ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms and thyme. Saute for approximately 5 minutes until soft. Sprinkle with sea salt; remove from the pan and transfer onto a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Once the milk mixture has cooled, strain off and discard the onions, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Put the eggs into a bowl and whisk as your pour the milk mixture into them. Season with sea salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. In a 8 x 12 inch baking dish, arrange half the cornbread muffin chunks on the bottom of the dish. Layer the mushrooms, smoked gouda cheese, and parsley on top. Push down into the cornbread. Arrange the other half of the cornbread muffins on top and press down firmly. Slowly, pour the milk and egg mixture over the cornbread and let sit for 15 minutes until the cornbread has soaked up the milk mixture.
  6. Cover with parchment paper and bake at 400F for 25 minutes. Remove parchment paper and bake for another 10-15 minutes until a toothpick is inserted and removed dry.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. *I tried this with the vegan cornbread recipe I provided a link to and substituted almond milk for whole milk and it actually tasted very close! You couldn't even taste the difference in the cornbread once it was baked into a pudding. However, you do need eggs for it to set properly and the smoked cheese adds a wonderful flavour, so either way, this will not be a vegan dish! I did not try this with vegan cheese or chia seeds, because that just seemed wrong!
Love & Garnish — A Nourishing Kitchen http://loveandgarnish.com/
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