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Southern Food


Dirty Rice Stuffed Collard Greens

Collard Greens have to be one of my favorite things in the world.

They have been ever since I was little and I would eat them at my Grandma’s house.

My first memory of eating collards was me wanting to try them because my Dad was eating them.

I tried a lot of things when I was little just because my Dad liked them.  Perhaps, even some things I shouldn’t have when he wasn’t looking!


I did a recipe for Collards called “Easy Peasy Collard Greens” a while back.

Check them out here if you missed them.

The other night for Valentine’s Day dinner, I decided to make a recipe I had done a while back.

I made The Neely’s, Dirty Rice Stuffed Collard Greens.

I love Dirty Rice.

To my surprise, it wasn’t hard to fix.  If you have never had Dirty Rice and want to try it before you make it, Bojangles make a great version.


I decided to replace the regular white rice with brown.

Personally, I don’t think you can tell a difference and it’s better for you.


To assemble the Collard Greens, I took a 1/4 cup of the Dirty Rice and placed it in the center of the Collard Green leaf that I had simmered for 5 minutes to soften.


Fold over one side.


Then the other.


Then roll up.


This is what they should look like when rolled up.  *Don’t be discouraged if you have some that tear.

As long as you get them into the pan semi together, you will be fine.  I had one tear but it was fine.


Pour prepared tomatoe sauce (recipe to follow)  into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.


Line the rolled up Collard Greens into the pan on top of the sauce.


Top with remaining sauce.


And bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


As you can see, it doesn’t look much different than it did before you cooked it, but it is oh soooo good!

The sweet tomatoe sauce paired with the Collard Greens is AMAZING!


This was our Valentine’s Day dinner.  I did Wine Braised Oxtail paired with the Collard Greens and some Artisan Bread.

The recipe for the Oxtails, I will never share.

I didn’t care for it even though the rest of the family did.

My oldest daughter looked like a Cave Man eating hers. (It wasn’t pretty!)

Just keepin it real because some recipes work out and some don’t and I don’t share unless it is a homerun.

I  DO , however, hope you will try the Collard Greens.

This one, my friends, is a GRAND SLAM!

*Note:  The recipe calls for Pork Sausage, but I’m going to try Turkey Sausage next time and see if it changes the taste too much.  It is better for you and has less fat.

*If you have any questions about the recipe, please email me or leave a comment.



Recipe:  Dirty Rice Stuffed Collard Greens

Total Time:  1 hr 45 min

Prep:   15 min

Cook: 1 hr 30 min




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch collard greens, about 12 leaves, stalks discarded


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Saute the onion in oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, until softened. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15 minutes.



Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown. Once browned, add the garlic, onion, celery, and green bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chicken broth and cayenne. Stir in the cooked rice and parsley, mixing thoroughly and letting the broth reduce until there is no moisture left in the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.


In a large pot of boiling salted water, over medium heat, add the collard leaves and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.


Lay a collard leaf out on a flat surface and add 1/4 cup of the dirty rice into the center. Fold both the sides into the center and the top and bottom over the center. Roll into a cylinder and repeat with the remaining leaves. If there are any remaining leaves you can chop them up and add to the sauce.


Pour a 1/2-inch layer of sauce into a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish. Arrange the collard rolls, seam sides down, on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed collards and cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.



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Shrimp and Grits Casserole

So lately I’ve been trying to get back into my “I have to put a bathing suit back on in a few months” kind of mindset.

I mean, let’s face it.

I live at the beach, and since that isn’t going to change anytime soon,

and my family lives at the pool and beach during the warmer months, I figure I better start…..


Here is an alternative recipe to my other Shrimp and Grits.

This will allow you to not kill yourself the next day at the gym because you have “eaters remorse”

from your meal the night before.

I guess you could say, “It’s easy on the hips!”

Plus, it feels lighter too!

Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Casserole

– 2 Cups Reduced Fat Milk  ( I use Skim)

– 3/4 cup Fat Free, Less Sodium Chicken Broth

– 1 Cup Uncooked Quick-Cooking Grits

– 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

– 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

– 1/2 (2 oz.) Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

– 1 (3 ounce) package 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese

– 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley

– 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Chives

– 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

– 2 Large Egg Whites ( I use Egg Beaters)

– 1 Pound Peeled and Deveined Medium Shrimp, Coarsley Chopped

– Cooking Spray

– Hot Pepper Sauce (Optional)


– Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

– Combine milk and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

– Gradually add grits and salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Cook 5 minutes or until grits are thick, stirring constantly.  Remove pan from heat.

– Add Parmesan cheese, Butter, and Cream Cheese to pan and stir until smooth.

– Add Parsley and next 4 ingredients to pan.

– Stir just until blended throughout.

– Spoon grits mixture into an 8×11 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

– Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.

– Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Side Dish Idea:

Roasted Broccoli – Spread 2 cups Fresh Broccoli Florets onto a cookie sheet sprayed with Cooking Spray.  Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until slightly crisp and brown, tossing once during cooking.  Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

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Buttermilk Quick Biscuits

It’s no secret that I like  LOVE biscuits.

I have loved them for as long as I can remember.  In fact, if I were in a prison that only offered biscuits and water, I would be good!  Yes!  I know, it’s supposed to be bread and water, but this is my blog post and I say it’s BISCUITS!


My mom taught me how to make these.  This is how she always makes her biscuits.  Somehow  hers always seem to be better, but I guess everything is better at mom’s, right?

These little babies are not the pretty little things you get when you go to a restaurant.  That is for another blog post.

However, these are the yummy little things  you get when you have a hankering for some biscuits in a flash!

Only 3 ingredients!  Now who doesn’t love that?

Here is what I did:

First, I sifted 2 cups of Self-Rising flour into what I like to call my “biscuit making bowl”. › Continue reading

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Easy Peasy Collard Greens


Let me just say that I have always loved Collards.  Let me also say that I have always been intimidated to cook them.

Oh!  I’ve tried!

I’ve tried ALL sorts of ways, but it wasn’t until my mom came down for a visit, that I finally found the EASIEST way on earth to fix them.

I had this huge pre-washed, pre-cut bag of Collard Greens in my fridge that I had to fix very soon, or they would go bad.  I bought them on my last trip to Sam’s Club (yes! I’m a Sam’s girl).  I had seen them and feeling pretty ambitious, bought them only to get home later, feel intimidated again, and toss them in the fridge.

I said, “MOM!  I don’t have any fat back or bacon or anything you use to cook them.”


She says, “Well, do you have any bacon grease?”

Now, growing up, my mom used to always drain her grease from frying bacon, put it in the fridge to solidify and then use it later to make her eggs.  I definitely don’t use this method myself to make eggs, BUT!  I do drain it, put it in the fridge until it solidifies, and then throw it away, so nothing goes down the kitchen sink!


So I thought, “WHY YES!  I DO!”


SO!  Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what we did and I will continue to cook my Collards this way from now until forever:


I took that big ole bag of collard greens.  Don’t fret!  They will cook down kinda like spinach. › Continue reading

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