Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Somewhat Southern Stuffed Collard Greens

I mentioned last week about my weekly produce delivery from Kula Fields.  This past week featured some big leafy things-and despite growing up in the South, I had no idea what they were!  Fortunately, there is always a list to refer to!  Viola! Collard Greens.

Ooooooooookay, now what?  My friend Jennifer suggested using the greens like cabbage and stuffing them.  Sounds good to me, I know I wouldn't enjoy them cooked to death with ham hocks and vinegar, served with black eyed peas, as I'd known them as a kid (known of them, not eaten them!).  Next, what's in the freezer and pantry for stuffing? Ground turkey breast-that will work; brown rice-good South Beach grain; ingredients for basic tomato sauce-good; red bell peppers-mmmm, love them; onion-good.  Well, looks like stuffed collard greens are on the menu!

I wasn't too sure about how long to cook the greens to soften them up for stuffing.  I looked at some stuffed cabbage recipes and times ranged from 30 seconds to 5 minutes so I opted for 3 minutes-halfway, sort of.   I cooked the brown rice in the rice cooker this morning (it takes forever but does make great brown rice).  To honor typical Southern collards, I added some vinegar to both the stuffing and the tomato sauce (no ham hocks though) which gave the dish a nice distinctive taste. 

We enjoyed the stuffed collard greens more than I expected (well, I knew hubby would be fine with them, as I have said before, he'll eat just about anything).  This recipe turned out to be more labor intensive than I planned, so make sure to allow plenty of time.  Start to finish including oven time was 1 ½ hours, not including cooking the rice this morning, but I wasn’t particularly organized as I was winging it.  I chopped onion and garlic twice and cooked it in two batches, one for the sauce and one for the stuffing.  Next time, I’ll just chop and cook it all at once and then divide it out between the sauce and the stuffing.

Collards probably aren't something I'll go out and buy, but if they come in the box again, I'll know just what to do with them.  Or maybe, you will send me an alternative recipe and I can try that!

Somewhat Southern Stuffed Collard Greens; makes four 2 pieces servings with approximately 2 oz turkey, 1/2 cup veggie, 1/4 cup brown rice in each piece, and 1/4 cup sauce
Approximately 446 calories, 47 grams carbs, 15 grams fat, 30 grams protein per serving (2 pieces)

2 cups cooked long grain brown rice
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (or whatever toms you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion; divided
4 cloves garlic, crushed; divided
2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP dried Italian seasoning
4 TBSP apple cider vinegar; divided
2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
16 oz ground lean turkey breast
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
8 pieces washed and dried collard leaves, large stems removed, large enough to hold 1/2 cup of stuffing
Cooking spray

Prepare brown rice in rice cooker or on stove top following package directions. 

Coarsely puree tomatoes.  Saute 1/2 cup onions and 2 cloves of garlic in 1/2 TBSP olive oil until slightly clear and softened. Add tomatoes, TBSP vinegar, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper if needed.  Simmer on low while rest of meal is prepared.

Saute remaining onion and garlic in 1/2 TBSP olive oil until slightly clear and softened (see my note above about chopping and cooking once and dividing).  Add red peppers and oregano; cook 10 minutes then add remaining vinegar. 

Remove veggies from pan.  Add TBSP olive oil to pan and cook ground turkey on high until brown-don't stir it too much or it won't brown.  Break up into small pieces. 

Add veggies and rice to pan and stir in chicken broth; add salt and pepper if needed. 

Wash collards, cut out thick stems and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes or until softened. 

Drain and rinse in cold water and dry (I used my salad spinner). Place 1/2 cup of stuffing on lower middle of each piece of collard green.  Fold bottom up and sides in and roll up to make tight rolls.  Honestly, some of my “rolls” were more like little packets based on the shape of the leaf-be creative!  There was a bit of stuffing left over which I will have warmed up over salad tomorrow for lunch.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place a thin layer of sauce on bottom of oven proof casserole dish, sprayed with cooking spray.  Put rolls seam side down on sauce and pour remaining sauce over top. 

Ready for foil and then in 375 degree oven

Cover with foil and cook 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling hot.

I served with a large salad but I think a side of black eyed peas would be a great additional Southern tribute!  Next time.


  1. Hey there Susie Bee- I found your blog thru the comment on Pro Blogger site:) This recipe looks delicious, reminds me of stuffed cabbage leaves. I will definitely try it- the turkey is a great substitute for ground beef!

  2. Hey Arlene,
    So glad you found me! Let me know how you like the stuffed collards! Love your Indian Chicken Tenders recipe. Will give those a try soon.
    Susie Bee