Soul Food Sunday – Spicy Collard Greens with Tomatoes

What pops into your mind when you hear the words “soul food”? My mind conjures up visions of my favorite dinner growing up: fried pork chops with fried potatoes on the side and peach cobbler for dessert. It generates feelings of love, security, and nostalgia but notice the double use of the word “fried”.  Soul food has some seriously negative connotations – unhealthy, salty, and fattening and rightfully so. My favorite dinner probably had at least 50 fat grams and lord knows how many calories. Through out the rest of the year, I’m going to do some posts on the soul food from my childhood but lighter healthier versions – no fatback, ham hocks, or salt pork.

Collard greens cooked with a couple of ham hocks were a staple at my house. In this version I substituted half a smoked turkey wing for the ham hocks. You can find them in the grocery store and they’re usually already cut in half. It gives the same smokey flavor without the fat you get from the pork. Make sure you clean the hell out of our greens. I rinse mine before and after I cut them up. Remove the stems by taking a sharp knife and slicing down each side of the big stem in the middle. These stems never truly get tender so make sure you remove them.  I tend to like my greens with a little tooth but if you like them more tender, cook them until they get to your desired tenderness.


  1. Sheila Busby
    June 6, 2011

    I am gald that you are going to help us with recipes of good ole’ country style food and do it in a healthy manner. I cooked fresh squash from my garden yesterday with bacon fat and onion, so bad for us but so good! Also I am pleased to see you have a comment area.

    Thanks As Always!


  2. amy @ fearless homemaker
    June 6, 2011

    i love love love collard greens + i think they’re the perfect side with bbq or anything grilled. looking at that picture is making my mouth water! i usually don’t spice them up, even though i’m a huge fan of anything spicy. i think i’ll try this recipe next time i make ’em. thanks!

    • jfoster
      June 8, 2011

      Thanks Amy. They’ve definitely moved to the top of my list.

  3. Dyhana
    December 29, 2012

    Thank you! I had to go through so many sites to find the real southern collard recipe here!


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