Thursday, November 24, 2011

Don't Forget the Medicine

Good medicine for your body
During the feasting of the holidays, don't forget to take your medicine.  Huh?

Holiday feasting is fine, in fact, I believe that it's an important part of being alive.  It's fun and comforting, so what's all this medicine fuss about?

What's not so good about all the rich and delicious food of the holiday season is that it throws our bodies off balance.  Body to self: "Hey, whassup?  I don't feel like taking a walk or going to work or cleaning up or...  I feel like lying here on the sofa and taking a nap."  See what I mean?

To keep your body balanced, try one day of feasting and one day of nutritious, delicious and healing food to balance things out.  My prescription?  How about a stew of collards, green beans, onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and tomatoes?  Now THAT'S good medicine.

Stewed Collards, Green Beans and Tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 large yellow onions, chopped (about 2 cups +/-)
24 cups collards, packed down to measure (about 2 large bunches) *
1 lb green beans (if you can find haricot vert, there's no stringing or cutting)
1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes
56 oz water--use the empty tomato can
1/2 bunch fresh Italian Parsley or fresh cilantro, chopped
freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil, add the onions and garlic and stir in the salt.  This will help to draw out the juices from the onion.  When the onion is transparent and soft, stir in the collards and season with the pepper.  Crush the tomatoes with your well-washed hands and stir into the pot, along with the tomato juic in the can. Add remaining ingredients, stir, bring to the boil, lower heat to simmer, cover the pot and walk away for about 30 minutes.  Check seasoning and adjust, if needed, stir, cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes longer.

Serve over rice or Greek style, with toasted French bread and a big chunk of Feta cheese on the side.

*Buy fresh collards (organically grown, if possible), pull leaves away from the tough stalk and wash well.  Gather several leaves together, roll as if you were assembling a cigar and slice on the diagonal into large ribbons.  NOW pack them into a measuring cup and you're done.  Obviously, having a larger measuring cup is useful.  I have a 2-cup and an 8-cup, which make it much easier than using an itty-bitty one-cup.  You can also "eyeball" this, 'cause you can't go wrong with a few extra collards.