Transition from good greens to great-for-you greens

Learn how to take a soul food classic and give it a healthier edge.

Make soul food with healthier alternatives. Soul food, defined as traditional black American cookery originating in the rural South, is a vital part of the African-American culture and heritage. It is right up there with family unity and ethnic pride. I can’t remember one of my own family gatherings without soul food. These gatherings would often include a big pot of greens. Greens filled with ham hocks, ham or salt pork. I am having flashbacks just thinking about it. Little did we know, there is a healthier alternative to the high sodium pork in our greens.

Smoked turkey is a wonderful alternative to pork for flavor in greens. Turkey adds the same flavor and seasoning to greens. I have tested turkey with my own family and have had very successful outcomes. My own family has several members with hypertension and diabetes, so it is important to me to be aware of the food I feed them. Here are two links with information on sodium that may be helpful. For some helpful information on salt and reducing sodium in your diet, see these articles:

I am including a favorite recipe for you to try at your next family get together. Let me know how it goes. This recipe makes five servings; each serving is equal to one-half of a cup (4 oz).

You will need:
2 pounds turnip greens
2 pounds mustard greens
2 chicken bouillon cubes, low sodium
1 pound smoked turkey, lean
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash, original
1 teaspoon sugar
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
5 cups water

Soak and wash greens thoroughly with clear water. Remove greens from the stems. Shake out any excess water. Gather the greens into small bunches and cut into smaller pieces. Put water into a stock or other large pot, and bring to a boil. Add greens to the water and allow water to reach a simmer. Add all seasonings, onions, smoked turkey and bouillon cubes. Cover pot and continue to cook greens for one hour or until tender. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

Note: all mustard, all turnip greens and all collard greens, either fresh or frozen, may be used for this recipe.

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