As mentioned earlier, I was inspired recently by the weekly sales at the grocery store: cheap corn grits, canned black eyed peas, 2 for 1 collard greens & half off brussel sprouts! After returning from a long vacation, and without too much in the way of a real job while abroad, being thrifty in the grocery department is a must (though certainly not a reason for skimping on health).
So my first adventure with Veganafying Southern cooking came that night. Okay, I made creamy corn "kasha" that morning (think polenta but creamier & with soy milk), but I doubt that counts.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with the results, especially since it came without anything if the way of a recipe to follow. Toni was similarly pleased (clearly showing his surprise at, for once, liking sweet potatoes).
My favorite part about these mashed sweet potatoes was that they took on a texture and taste more similar to regular russet mashed potatoes: not too sweet, nice and rich. The collard greens were really made by the carmelized onions (its hard to go wrong with caramelized onions).
Caramelized Collard Greens
1 large onion, cut into thin rings
1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoon olive oil
2 bundles (heads) collard greens, destemed and torn into large squares
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-2 T, red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 t, minced garlic paste
1 t, white balsamic vinegar
1/2 t, garlic salt
1/2 t, salt
2 t, pepper
1. In a large, flat bottomed pan (I prefer cast iron), heat the 1/4 cup olive oil over medium. Add in onion rings and bring heat to low. Allow to caramelize, approximately 20-30 minutes (turn onions periodically to keep from over browning).
2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. Add in collard green squares and simmer until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain.
3. Once onions have almost caramelized completely, add in garlic slices. Once garlic is aromatic, about 1-2 minutes, add the rest of the spices and balsamic vinegar; stir.
4. Now add in collard greens and drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Mix well; serve hot. Enjoy!
Mashed Not-So-Sweet Potatoes
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cube
1 T, vegan Earth Balance margarine
2 T, soya cream
1 1/2 t, veggie salt
1 1/2 t, garlic salt
1 t, pepper
1/2 t, salt
1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into equal, small cubes.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add cubed sweet potatoes. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until very tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Once tender, drain potatoes. Run cool water over them, drain again.
4. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and smash to liking (a fork will work, but a potato masher maybe easier).
5. Add in the rest of ingredients and mix together well. Enjoy!