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Collards are closely related to cabbage. If you take a good look, you can see the similarity in the leaves and the stems. Both the stems and leaves are edible, but the stems take longer to cook. Collards are good sources of vitamin C, K fiber, and contain multiple nutrients with anticancer properties. If you've never had collards before then GET OVER IT. They are pretty yummy.

QUICK IDEAS: substitute collards in your pesto recipe and use as a sandwich spread, sauce, or dip; finely chop and cook in oil in a pan before adding your morning eggs and bacon

Spaghetti with Collard Greens and Lemon
from Martha Stewart Living December 2014

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp. red-pepper flakes
1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds (optional)
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
12 ounces regular or whole grain spaghetti
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano, for serving

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook until tender, about 1 minute. Add collard greens and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in nuts (if using) and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt.
2) Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta.
3) Add pasta and reserved water to skillet, tossing to coat. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon zest and sprinkled with cheese.  

Braised Winter Greens with Coconut and Curry: Serves 4

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
2 pounds collard greens or kale, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3 in. pieces and rinsed.
1 cup chicken broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
salt and pepper
2-3 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup toasted cashews

1) Heat 2 tbsp. oil in Dutch oven or large pot with lid over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half the greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, coconut milk, and 1/4 tsp. salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occationally, until greens are tender, 35-40 minutes. 
2) Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in 2 tsp. lime juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and remaining teaspoon of lime juice. Serve.

Collard Greens: Serves 2

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 slice bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth (water or veggie broth would work, too)
red pepper flakes, to taste
5 ounces fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces

1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. 
2) Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. 
3) Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. 
4) Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt. 
5) Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

*If you don't like the collards super soft, cook for less than 45 minutes.

Matapa: Serves 4 

1 large bunch collard greens (or substitute kale, spinach, or another leafy green)
2 cloves garlic
1 3/4 cups unsalted peanuts
3/4 cup coconut milk
salt to taste

1) Grind the collard greens with the cloves of garlic. Add them to a large stockpot pot with a small quantity of water, just enough to submerge all of the ground greens. Bring this to a boil and allow it to continue bubbling on medium-high heat for about twenty minutes or until paste-like.
2) Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, grind the unsalted peanuts as finely as possible to get 1 1/2 cups of ground peanuts. Mix peanuts with a bit of water to form it into a paste. Add peanut paste and the coconut milk into the boiling greens and mix well.
3) Allow to simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours until the mixture comes together as a cohesive, thick sauce. If the matapa is looking too watery you should simmer with the lid off and it will thicken. If matapa is looking too thick you can always add a bit more water or coconut milk and then simmer with the lid on.

Serve with white rice and grilled or sautéed seafood

Green Eggs 

4 leaves of Collards or Kale 
4 Eggs
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1) Combine Kale and/or Collards with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutrional yeast and/or parmesan in a food processor. Don not de-stem the kale and collards, just include them!
2) Add in the eggs and pulse until combined.
3) Pour into pan and let cook for a tiny bit before you scramble!

Collard Green Smoothie with Mango and Lime: Serves 2
from Real Simple, 2013

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups stemmed and chopped collard greens 
1 1/2 cups mango, frozen (this is simple...if you have a mango getting ripe and you aren't going to eat it right away, peel it, chop it to remove core, and freeze for the next time you make this smoothie!)
1 cup grapes

1) Combine the lime juice, 1/2 cup water, collards, mango, and grapes in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Add more water to reach desired consistency.