This is truly comforting, delicious, hearty, healthy, cheap, down-home cooking.
This is the cooking of my people, especially on my father’s side. The Tannehill’s grew up near the Lake of the Ozarks, before it was the touristy place it is now, in an area called Kaiser, Missouri.
The major key factors I know about my father’s side of the family is this: they drink coffee like it’s their job, they’ve never known a stranger and can talk a tree stump’s leg off, and they are comfort foodies all the way.
Pies, cobblers, beans, cornbread, fried chicken ~ it sounds like southern cookin’, and I guess it is.
I have coasters from my friend Jennifer Rosenblatt (Hi Jennifer!) that read, “Missouri, the south of the north.” And I think there are ones that also say, “Missouri, the north of the south.” So true!
But it’s really so much more about making do with very little money, cooking what’s in season, and in this case, flavoring vegetables with small amounts of meat.
This is how I really prefer to eat meat ~ just as a flavor base for a huge pot of hearty beans and veggies.
And just like my ancestors, today I made do with what I had. Covid has really helped me learn that. I have a freezer FULL of food, and I’m determined to use it before I mindlessly go to the grocery store for more and more.
When we ate this lunch, we were mmmm-ing and nom nom nomming the entire time. And even though we had sausage and cornbread, I still feel really great about what I just ate.
COLLARDS FOR THE WIN, Y’ALL!!!! COLLARDS FOR THE WIN.
There are two recipes you need for this dish: the cornbread mug cake (adapted from this one…https://myvega.com/blogs/recipes/simple-cornbread…and tweaked by yours truly), and the collards and beans recipe. Both are below!
Cornbread Mug Cake
- 3 tbsp cornmeal
- 2 tbsp regular or gluten-free flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey, or sugar
- 1/4 cup nut milk or regular milk
- pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup frozen corn thawed or heated up in the microwave
- cooking spray
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the maple syrup or honey and stir.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Spray a microwave safe coffee mug with cooking spray.
- Spoon in the cornbread and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Run a knife along the edge, and pop the cornbread cake out, if you want to serve it separately from the mug.
Collards & Beans
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1-2 sausage links of your choice sliced
- 1 bunch fresh collard greens stems removed, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1-2 cups veggie broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- optional: crushed red pepper flakes
- optional: onions and garlic as your base of flavors
- This dish could contain any veggies, like artichoke hearts, carrots, celery, etc. I kept it simple this time, because I'm almost out of produce right now. Get creative!
- While you are browning the sausage in coconut oil, de-stem the collard greens, roll them up, and slice or chiffonade the collards into little strips.
- Drop the collards into the pot, and season with the apple cider vinegar, onion powder, mustard powder, and salt and pepper. Let cook with the sausage for a few minutes, then add the veggie stock.
- Let cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low, adding more veggie stock if you need. You want lots of yummy "pot liquor" at the end, so add more stock as you go.
- Add the diced red pepper and the beans, and cook on low for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with cornbread and HOT SAUCE!!! It's a must!