Black-eyed Peas and Mixed Greens

I love black-eyed peas and I’m still a southern girl at heart. I do crave my fried chicken, potato salad, and greens. The love is still there. Not too long ago a sister of mine posted a picture of her dinner on social media. It used a combo of greens and black-eyed peas. All I could think of is that must taste soooo good. I have got to try that combo!! Whenever I make greens or black-eyed peas I always use smoked turkey. You can still enjoy the smokey taste that people want from ham hocks. The meat will break up or you can cut it up once it cooks at least 3 hours. So it’s meat too in almost every bite!!

Ingredients: 

3 packs of 16 oz frozen black-eyed peas

2 bundles of turnip greens (little over a lb)

2 bundles of mustard greens (little over a lb)

2.25 lbs of smoked turkey tails

1 large onion diced

4 cloves garlic chopped

garlic powder

sea salt

black pepper

H-E-B Originals Steak Seasoning Spice Blend

2 tablespoons of paprika

2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

Equipment: A large stock pot

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Wash your greens, chop off the ends and slice them so you won’t have large pieces. Don’t chop them up because nobody likes mushy greens! I have come across this way too many times at North Carolina BBQ restaurants. Yuck!

Everything goes in the pot covered with water. Add the seasonings after about 2 hours of boiling on high. The measured ingredients will be added once. The steak seasoning, sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder is added liberally. These are really the core seasonings. Add a large glass of water. Stir occasionally making sure to bring the bottom vegetables to the top throughout the process. After 3 hours taste the broth and add more sea salt, steak seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper to your preferences.

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Then turn down to medium heat and let it cook for another hour. Taste the actual greens this time so that you aren’t over salting and are pleased with the taste. Add based on your preference. This is one of those meals that doesn’t need you as much to turn out well. Your family will love it and you really haven’t done much at all.

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I paired it with rice made in the rice cooker and baked BBQ chicken. So yeah I binged watched Nurse Jackie episodes, with a beer, and had my feet kicked up the entire time.

 

 

Cast Iron Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients:

4 lbs chicken thighs

3 roma tomatoes sliced

1 large onion quartered

1/2 pound green beans with ends cut off

Marinade:

1 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon chili paste

oregano

basil

salt and pepper

Equipment: Cast iron skillet

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a separate small mixing bowl: whisk together chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, honey, olive oil, worcestershire sauce and chili paste. In a large bowl pour over your chicken and let it marinade for 30 minutes.

Arrange the sliced vegetables on the bottom of the skillet. Then cover with marinated chicken and pour rest of the sauce all over. Lastly season the tops with sea salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Bake for about 1 hour. Verify that the chicken is completely cooked through.

I served with herb roasted potatoes.

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Baked Mackerel with Lemongrass

Welcome to the fishiest fish in all of creation. This fish is a destroyer of worlds and friendships. The Mackerel. Though it by far has the most flavorful taste for a fish I’ve ever had, it’s NOT a date night meal. Reason why: breathing on anyone after you have eaten it is going to cause a nuclear holocaust on their face. I’m talking an Extinction Level Event breath. Now besides that it’s super good and packed with vitamins and nutrients. So at the end of the day enjoy it alone or with the understanding of what I have just said to you.

Ingredients:

3 whole mackerels split

2 lemons

1 red onion

1 red, green and orange bell pepper

minced garlic

black pepper

*sea salt unless it is already salted

tumeric

cumin

chili powder

basil

oregano

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Preheat oven 450 degrees. Slice the onions and bell peppers. Arrange them on the bottom of the pan. Place mackerels on top and drizzle over top with olive oil.

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Sprinkle tumeric, cumin, chili powder, oregano, pepper, garlic, lemongrass, and salt if needed. Slice lemons and place 2 per fish. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice over top the fish. Then sprinkle basil over top.

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Bake 15 mins and serve with rice.

*Don’t speak to anyone until you have washed your hands, brushed your teeth, tongue and gargled THOROUGHLY.

My Typical Brunch

I thought I would give you a quick peek at my typical weekend brunch. I don’t wake up early on my days off so this meal I usually eat at like 1pm. Sorry, I’m just not a morning person.

I keep it simple: eggs, a starch, and lots of vegetables. I’m not a fan of super heavy meals especially when I plan to go hiking right after. So this is my go to meal for myself and it’s very rare for me to eat something different. If there is a love interest, I’ll preplan the meal and purchase a steak so can give him a wow meal. Men love their steak and eggs it’s just facts.

Again this not on the regular. UGH. Anyway moving on….

Occasionally, I’ll have bacon but it is BEEF bacon. Since it’s very expensive at over $7 a package, I reserve that for my kids mostly as a luxury meat. I just eat my eggs and stay humble… let them enjoy it.

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My latest find was Turkey Canadian bacon! My eldest son Troy has been dusting it off. It is really good too!

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To some this looks odd because was never raised to eat this way but as I have gotten older I realized the American diet is just too heavy. Focusing on the fresh ingredients just treats your body right and in turn you will see increased energy and will maintain a healthy weight. Try it out and you will thank me later.

Easy Creamy Chicken Marsala

I’m a very busy woman and believe me when I say sometimes I don’t have time for the fancy stuff. Besides a clutch stir-fry, the next easiest go-to dish is a pasta. All you have to do is figure out the sauce situation. This is something that can be done and over with in 30 mins if you are about your hustle. So last night I cut some MAJOR corners but was the pasta amazing? Um yeah!

Ingredients:

4 lbs of chicken breast

8 oz of sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 packs of linguine noodles

1/2 cup of Marsala cooking wine

1/2 cup of chicken broth

2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup

fresh parsley chopped

oregano

4 cloves of garlic chopped

sea salt and pepper to taste

On high heat in a stock pot, bring water, a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Then break the linguine in half and drop it in. Cut on a timer for 9 mins. I do this because when I multitask I don’t want to ruin the noodles by forgetting about them. It’s happened way too many times. LOL. Once the noodles are ready, drain them and run cold water through them to make sure they aren’t sticking together.

Rinse the chicken and pound each breast with a tenderizer. Slice the breasts into strips. On medium heat, saute them in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano until fully cooked. Then set them aside. Lastly on medium heat: combine chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, marsala wine, garlic, bella mushrooms in a pan and cook for about 7 minutes. It is going to thin out so don’t worry. Stir and keep an eye on it so that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Toss back in the chicken strips and let simmer another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and more oregano to taste.

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Garnish on top with fresh chopped parsley and serve over the linguine noodles.

Tuna Poke Bowl

Ingredients:

2 lbs of frozen Ahi Tuna

1/2 of a shallot chopped

olive oil

1/2 a large red onion chopped

1/2 a bundle of green onions chopped

3 cloves of garlic chopped

*1 serrano pepper finely chopped (optional for more heat)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Sauce:

1 tablespoon of Mirin

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Sriracha

sea salt

Veggies:

1 thinly sliced cucumber

rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of Mirin

edamame

1 mango sliced

matchstick carrots

avocado sliced

*Serve with rice

In olive oil, saute your chopped shallot with a little sea salt and black pepper until browned. Drain and set aside.

After your tuna has thawed out slice into 1 inch or smaller cubes. Place in a large bowl.

Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, Mirin, honey, a little Sriracha, lemon juice and a little sea salt in a small bowl. Then pour on top of tuna and thoroughly toss. Add scallions, red onions, green onions, serrano peppers, sesame seeds, garlic and toss. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to marinade.

*I did a quick marinade for my cucumbers in a rice vinegar and a tablespoon of Mirin. Place in the refrigerator.

To make my tuna poke bowl, add rice at the bottom of the bowl. Tuna on top and garnish around it with vegetables.

Why I like Red Lobster…

Ok so we are going to go into a touchy subject. I swear a lot of people act as though they are too good for Red Lobster. There are way fancier, pricer seafood restaurants to eat at. I get that. But people were dang near ashamed to admit that they dine there until Beyonce shouted them out in the song “Formation”. I like to go there because of the simplicity of the ingredients and sauces. I love the taste of a fresh clean fish. Always have always will. Other seafood places do have more going on with their sauces but to me it covers the taste of the actual fish. (Not to mention will tear my stomach apart). So yeah I got to Red Lobster for the fish!

Their current menu has tuna poke. It’s a little over $5.00 and makes a great appetizer. It was how I expected it to taste. It is a lighter take on poke. Most pokes are significantly more flavorful. The typical poke is darker because of a more fuller bodied sauce and it’s marinated longer. I believe this was lightly tossed right after I ordered it to be honest maybe I’m wrong…

The fish was very fresh so it was a light and refreshing. This dish is a great way to introduce eaters who are a little scared to step outside the box. It was good. Not fantastic but good nonetheless.

Notice the differences of my homemade Tuna Poke marinaded for 2 hours before serving. **I’ll post that recipe another time.

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For my entree, I went with the grilled trout topped with a tomato-cilantro relish, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and chesapeake corn on the cob. The trout was of course more of the star and the sauce was missing more acidity. I think more lime juice was needed to be used because it was more like stewed tomatoes with a touch of cilantro. I added squeezed lemon to balance it out and it was good from there. Probably wouldn’t go for that topping again to be honest but I applaud their effort to bring more flavor to the menu without murdering my insides.

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