Oven Roasted Asparagus

This thin asparagus is a wonderful spring side dish.  The nutritional yeast adds a fun, nutty flavor and compliments the asparagus well.


2 bunches of thin asparagus, bottoms trimmed
zest of 1 lemon
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbls nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 375

Trim the ends off of the asparagus and set aside. Stir zest, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a bowl, add asparagus, and toss together.

Arrange asparagus on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Roast the asparagus on the middle oven rack for 20 minutes.

Squirt the lemon juice over the asparagus and serve.


Creamy Smashed Peas

These smashed peas are wonderful with grilled foods. Sometimes I will add a little mint if the dish is gamier. This is the straight-forward recipe. Add any herbs and spices that you see fit for a different variation.

12 oz package of frozen peas
2 tbls good quality butter
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a small, heavy saucepan, add stock, peas, butter and salt. Cover and cook over very low heat until peas become bright and are no longer frozen. Remove the lid and add the cream. Turn up the heat to a simmer until peas are cooked and soft. Add a generous amount of ground black pepper and turn off heat.


Mash the peas until 80% of the peas are mashed. Add cream cheese and put the lid back on the saucepan. Let rest for 10 minutes.


Remove lid and blend cream cheese into the peas.

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Creamed Collard Greens

This is the recipe that I am most often asked about.  Everyone loves it – young and old.  There are NEVER leftovers. This is not a quick recipe and you will need to be prepared to let them cook for at least an hour and a half, but it is totally worth it.  I have already had a few friends ask when and if I would be posting this recipe. My secret is now out.  Enjoy.

What you will need:


3 bunches of collard greens
6 slices bacon – diced
1 sweet onion – sliced
1/4 cup hot sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

Prepare the greens by thoroughly rinsing in cold water, cutting out the tough center stems and finely slicing into even strips.

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Cook down the bacon in a large cast iron dutch oven.  When it just begins to brown and crisp, add the onions.

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Cook the onions and bacon down until they look like this:


Then add the chicken stock and scrape all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Next add the sugar, hot sauce, vinegar and salt and pepper and stir until bubbling.


Add the greens a little at a time while stirring to coat with the liquid.  Put the lid on and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  You want it to be continually bubbling but not a violent boil.  If you notice the pan getting dry, add a little bit more stock.  You do NOT want too much liquid in the pot.  After an hour, your greens should look like this:


Remove the lid and add the heavy cream to the greens.  Stir in and let cook with no lid for an additional 20-30 minutes on medium.


When the greens are creamy and the liquid has transformed into a creamy sauce coating the greens, you’re there.

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These are a great side to any country dish from meatloaf to fried chicken.  If you are looking for a great meatloaf, try my recipe for bacon wrapped meatloaf found here:



Apple Fennel Salad

This salad is truly special.  The farmers markets in West Virginia are always bursting with apples this time of year.  This is a fun way to incorporate the sweetness from the apple with the surprising licorice flavor in the fennel.

This is what you will need:


2 Apples (I have used all types but today there were beautiful Ambrosia Apples in my market)
1 Fennel bulb
1 c Mache
1 tbls spicy-sweet mustard
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
3 tbls olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 c feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

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Slice the apples and the fennel into thin, uniform slices.


Whisk mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until creamy and emulsified.  Pour over the apples and fennel and toss gently to make sure everything is coated.


Cover and refrigerate for an hour.


When you are ready to serve, add the Mache and feta cheese and toss.  Do not add greens until ready to serve as they wilt quickly.  Enjoy!