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White Beans, Greens and Smoked Turkey

Beans and Greens, my favorite combination

Beans and Greens are a favorite of mine. They remind me of my moms cooking growing up. We ate beans often and they remain a staple in my house. Here is a one pot dish that I created to give me the best of both worlds. The best thing about it is the price. The ingredients are not costly, are found in most grocers and a little goes a long way, thanks to the fiber in the beans. Make sure you serve with cornbread muffins. 


1 1/2 cups of white beans (navy beans will work) *Soaking the beans will cut the cooking time in half. 

1 bunch EACH of kale and rainbow swiss chard. I used Lacinato kale but curly kale will also work. 

1 smoked turkey leg

3 stalks of celery 

5 med carrots

1/2 yellow onion

1/2 green bell pepper

1/2 red bell pepper

6 cloves of garlic 

Trader Joe's African Smoke Spice Blend 

Kosher Salt



Place the smoked turkey leg in a pot and fill with water. Cook for about an hour making certain that the water does not run out. This will make the meat tender and give a good stock base for the stew.

Slice the carrots, celery, onion and peppers into thick chunks. Mince the garlic. Rough chop the greens. 

When the turkey can be easily removed from the bone add the white beans and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Check the water level and add the vegetables. Taste the liquid in the pot to see how salty it is. Smoked turkey has a lot of sodium so you will not need to add much to this dish for flavor. 

I used Trader Joe's African Smoke Spice Blend here. You can opt out of using this if you do not have a TJ's near you. In place of it add, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes and if available smoked sea salt. 

I generally do not like to give a measured amount of spices because it is relative to your palate. The key is to start small and allow time for the spice to settle into the dish. Taste and continue on. 

This is not a quick dish. It is best for a weekend or you can put it on in the morning to start and finish in the crock pot or appliance like an Instant Pot. It takes approximately 2 hours or more. When the beans are tender the dish is done. 

If you prefer your greens lightly cooked......add them when the beans are just about done. 

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Warm and complex soup 

 Butternut squash is one of those vegetables that often shows up in a fall cornucopia display and often people have no idea what it is. You can find it peeled, and cubed in most grocery stores which is great for those who may have a touch time peeling and slicing it. The outer skin is thick and the flesh is hard even when ripe. The flavor is mild and it lends itself well to a variety of dishes.

There are many ways to cook it and my favorite is roasting but it provides a wonderful base for soups and balances curry flavors well which is how I prepared it here. This recipe is easy, quick and enough for two servings. So grab a friend, some cornbread, naan, or fresh bread and enjoy. Harissa is the spice factor in this dish and can be omitted if you like. But, if you like heat, try it out. 


1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash

1/4 cup of diced red onion

1/4 cup of diced green bell pepper

2 cloves of garlic minced

Fingertip size piece of fresh ginger chopped 

Handful of fresh cilantro (washed and dried on paper towel)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp yellow curry powder

Harissa Paste (optional) to taste 

Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until tender then add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat until squash is tender. Stir frequently. Add salt, pepper and cilantro as needed. Add harissa (recipe here) as needed. Serve with warm bread, naan, or cornbread. 

Quinoa, Broccoli, and Bok Choy

A quick and filling vegan dish

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an annual herb that is generally harvested for its seeds. You can find it in different colors as well. It is high in protein and often used as a substitute for rice or other carbohydrates. Pairing it with greens and mushrooms are my favorite way to do it. 

For this dish I cooked the quinoa in my Instant Pot on the manual setting for one minute. One cup of water to one cup of quinoa. Make sure you follow the package directions of the quinoa you purchase. While the quinoa is cooking slice up the yellow onion and mushrooms. Chop the broccoli and bok choy. 

Saute the vegetables on high heat with your favorite oil (I used olive oil) until the vegetables are tender but not soggy. This may take about five minutes. I like a little heat so I always use red chili flakes. You can omit that if you want. Add the liquid aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper. 

After cooking the veggies toss in the quinoa and stir. This is tasty hot or cold. 

  • One cup of cooked quinoa
  • One cup of broccoli
  • One cup of mushrooms (any variety.. I used button)
  • Yellow onion...I LOVE onions so I am not going to give you an amount here. Just use how much you like. Or none at all. I also tend to top this with sliced green onions. 
  • Two cups of bok choy
  • Bragg's liquid aminos. This is where a lot of your flavor comes from. Start off with a small amount and taste before adding more. The flavor is similar to soy sauce. 

Other additions to this dish that I enjoy are fresh cilantro and hot sauce. Teriyaki sauce in place of the liquid aminos is also good. 

Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salsa

Fresh, light and easy to make ahead of an event

This is a dish that is great for a potluck or party. It is vegan which also makes it a winner for a mixed crowd. There is really no "recipe" for this one. Just add these ingredients in varying amounts. It is totally up to your interpretation. Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve with butter lettuce cups. 

  • Corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned(drained)
  • Cooked Black Beans 

  • Diced Mango

  • Diced Red and Green Peppers

  • Diced jalapeno(optional)

  • Cilantro(optional)

  • Sliced Green Onion

  • Splash of orange juice and white balsamic vinegar