Soul Food Junkies

8 Healthy Soul-Food-Inspired Recipes

rich green collards with raisins

Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux

Yield: 4 servings

Author and chef Bryant Terry says this recipe was the seed of his book Vegan Soul Kitchen. “(The recipe) is a brand-new classic, if you will,” says Terry. Its delightful combination of sweet and savory will have you coming back for seconds — or more!

Ingredients

  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 large bunches collard greens, ribs removed, cut into a chiffonade (see below), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅔ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preparation

In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.

Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color of the greens. Drain by gently pressing the greens against a colander.

In a medium-size sauté pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic and raise the heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. (This also makes a tasty filling for quesadillas.)

Chiffonade

The chiffonade cut is used to produce very fine threads of leafy fresh herbs as well as greens and other leafy vegetables. First, remove any tough stems that would prevent the leaf from being rolled tightly (reserve them for stocks or salads). Next, stack several leaves, roll them widthwise into a tight cylinder, and slice crosswise with a sharp knife, cutting the leaves into thin strips.

It doesn’t get much healthier than collard greens and garlic sautéed in a little olive oil! The greens are low in calories and high in vitamins and phytonutrients.

Bryant Terry is a chef, food justice activist, and author of three books. His interest in cooking, farming, and community health can be traced back to his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare, and appreciate good food.

Since graduating from culinary school, Terry’s guiding mantra has been, “Start with the visceral, move to the cerebral, and end at the political.” He says that because so many people are detached from having pleasurable experiences with wholesome, fresh food, empowering people to cook at home and share meals with family and friends is a revolutionary first step toward food justice. More about Terry >>

Recipe from Bryant Terry’s book Vegan Soul Kitchen. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. © 2009.