Southern Inspired Collards With Cornmeal Dumplings

Southern Inspired Collards With Cornmeal Dumplings
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 90 min
Prep 30 min, Cook 60 min
Yield 6 servings (143 calories each)

Collard greens are a low calorie yet nutrient-dense food, however often times, especially in Southern style cooking, the greens are cooked with bacon or other salty, high fat meats. This recipe takes a southern comfort and slims it down by using smoked paprika and poultry seasoning to flavor the greens. The cornmeal dumplings on top are lightened up by using low fat milk instead of the more traditional whole milk, and only using one tablespoon of butter. 

Collard greens are a special part of this cancer-fighting recipe. They're part of a class of vegetables known as cruciferous vegetables (others in the family include broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, turnips and, radishes), which contain a group of sulfur containing substances known as glucosinolates, which give these vegetables their unique aroma and slightly bitter flavor.

During food preparation, chewing, and digestion, the glucosinolates get broken down to form biologically active compounds (indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates) which are being researched for their potential anticancer effects.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 medium garlic, minced
  • 1 pound collard greens, stems removed and leaves chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (no added salt)
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 cups water or low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, and saute for 5 minutes until translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

2. Add the collards, paprika, poultry seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt and saute for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the water/broth.

3.Simmer the collard mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.While the collards simmer, prepare the cornmeal dumplings: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and a dash of the salt.

5. Blend in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the milk and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Let the dough stand for 5 minutes.

6.Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls. You may need to wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking.

7.Scatter the dumplings on top of the greens. Cook, covered and undisturbed, over low heat until the dumplings are puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

8.Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and serve.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Collards not your favorite? Try a kale and thinly sliced Brussels sprout combination in place of the collards for a cruciferous vegetable variation. This duo will provide a Vitamin A and Vitamin C abundance.

Don't have poultry seasoning? Mix together a quarter teaspoon each of ground sage, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper and use in place of poultry seasoning for a similar taste and nutrition profile.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Pair this collard dumpling mix with 4 ounces of baked chicken or cooked beans to increase protein.

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