Saturday, January 20, 2018


I make this soup once a month during the cooler months. This soup is low on the glycemic scale and high in fiber. Collards are added because I love them. . .but also because they are a super green food and they lower LDL cholesterol. If you prefer kale or mustard greens, they are also known as a super green food. Rutabagas are added for their high levels of manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. They are also a member of the cruciferous vegetables and have high antioxidant compounds that reduce the growth of cancerous tumors on the body. Mushrooms are added for its immune supporting ingredients and helps fight against breast cancer. Turmeric is added for its anti inflammatory benefits and gives your skin a healthy glow. Ginger is added for its natural cold fighting properties. Cayenne pepper is added to speed up your metabolism and helps with congestion. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
If you want to enhance the flavor of your soup and add additional health benefits, I posted my recipe for Bone Broth below.

6 cups water
3 bunches collard greens, stems removed and chopped

1 T avocado oil or coconut oil
20 cremini or white button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt chicken stock or vegetable broth
1 large rutabaga, peeled and chopped
2 cups of frozen green beans, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 28-oz can Italian tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1 t dry or grated fresh turmeric
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 T freeze-dried basil
1 T freeze-dried oregano
1 T freeze-dried thyme
¼ t cayenne pepper   
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper

In a large soup pot, add the water and collards.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden.
Add the celery, leek, and onion and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.

Spoon skillet ingredients into soup pot and add the rest of the ingredients and the 4 cups of the Bone Broth.
Simmer, partially covered for 1 hour.

Bone Broth
If you want to further the health benefits of your vegetable soup and you are not a vegetarian, the addition of bone broth not only makes this soup even more delicious, but helps boost your immune system to heal disorders like asthma, arthritis, and allergies. Just get a few packs of bones from grass fed animals. Start this bone broth the day before you want to add it to your Detox Vegetable Soup.

5 to 6 lbs of mixed bones, such as oxtail and marrow
1 gallon cold water
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 onion, washed and unpeeled, roughly chopped
2 carrots, washed and unpeeled, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, with leaves, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim off any excess fat from bones and rinse with cold water.
Pat bones dry and place them on a large baking sheet or roasting pan.
Bake in a 400 degree F oven for one hour, or until bones are browned.
When bones are browned, drain off any fat and discard.

Transfer bones to a soup pot and add the cold water and apple cider vinegar.
Let sit on stove top for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, bring to a boil, Add onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaves.
Reduce heat to a very slow simmer. Partially cover and let simmer for 14 hours. 
During the first few hours of simmering, you will need to remove the impurities that float to the top. 
Use a big spoon and discard these impurities. 
Check every 30 minutes during the first two hours of simmering.

When broth is done, let cool and then remove bones and vegetables with a large slotted spoon. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large glass jar or two glass jars and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Monday, January 15, 2018


I had this salad at a restaurant several years ago and decided to make it at home with my favorite citrus dressing. If you prefer, roast the beets a day or two before serving. After dicing the beets, place them in a covered container and refrigerate. You will have extra salad dressing for another time.

4 medium red beets 
Extra-light olive oil or avocado oil
4 small seedless oranges and some of the juice
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 T lemon juice
¼ cup champagne or white wine vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
1 T honey
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mixed salad greens
½ cup candied pecans or other nuts
8 oz goat cheese, cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut off ends of each beet. Using a potato peeler, peel skin off of beets and cut in half.
Place beets in an ovenproof container, drizzle with a little oil, and cover with aluminum foil. 

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Let cool and chop the beets into bite-size pieces. 
Place in a bowl and set aside.

Peel oranges and cut out sections between membranes and place in a another bowl.  
Squeeze the juice from the membranes of 2 oranges into a medium bowl.  
Add the lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, and honey.
Whisk in the olive oil. 

In a large bowl, add washed and dried salad greens.
Drizzle on some of the vinaigrette and toss.

Divide among 4 salad plates and spoon on the beets and oranges.  
Scatter on the goat cheese, nuts, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with a little more of the salad dressing and serve. 

Serves 4

Saturday, January 13, 2018


The best bloody mary I ever had was at a brunch in Virginia at the Kilmarnock Inn. I made my daughter's recipe for her Bloody Mary mix and add all of these delicious acroutiments.

4 cups tomato juice
Juice of 2 lemons
2 limes, divided
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T celery salt, divided
2 t prepared horseradish
1 t coarsely ground black pepper
1 t hot sauce, such as Crystal or Louisiana

Celery sticks, lime wedges, stuffed green olives, pepperoncini, pickles cauliflower, pickles carrot slices, and cornichons.

In a large pitcher, add the tomato juice, lemon juice, juice of 1 lime, Worcestershire sauce, 1 t celery salt, horseradish, black pepper, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.

In tall glasses, run a wedge of lime around the rim of the glasses. 
In a small saucer, add some coarse salt and some Tajin (chile peppers & lime) or Sriracha & Lime, dry spice.
Place rim of glasses in salt mix to coat.
Add ice to tall glasses and pour in 2 ounces of vodka in each.
Fill the rest of the glasses with Bloody Mary Mix.
Add a stick of celery, a small lime wedge, and a cocktail pick fill with above garnishes.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Arroz con pollo is a traditional Spanish and Latin American one-pot dish. I use a paella pan when I make it, but a heavy pot with a lid will work just fine. If you don't have saffron threads or powdered saffron, add a little more turmeric.

2 T avocado oil
2 T unsalted butter
8 oz Spanish or Portuguese chorizo sausage links, thinly sliced
10 bone-in chicken pieces, of your choice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 T sweet or hot paprika
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1 t freeze-dried or fresh oregano
½ t saffron threads (optional)
2 t ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
½ cups Arborio, Valencia, or short grain white rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1 qt chicken stock
2 bay leaves

3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup small pimento-stuffed green olives, cut in half
1 cup frozen peas
Sliced roasted red bell peppers, for garnish
Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish
Hot sauce, for serving

Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or paella pan.
Add the chorizo and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until slightly crisp.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika
Brown chicken on both sides then remove and set aside on the same plate.  

Add onion and bell pepper; sauté for 10 minutes.  
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add cumin, turmeric, coriander, oregano, and saffron. 
Stir in rice and add wine. 
Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon.
Add chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Return the chicken and chorizo to the pot and add the bay leaves.
Cover and simmer very slowly for 40 minutes.

After 45 minutes, remove and discard the bay leaves.
Add the green onions, olives, peas, and roasted bell pepper slices.
Cover again and simmer another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hot sauce and black beans, if desired. 

Serves 4 to 6

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


I love a good bowl of French onion soup, especially on a cold winter's night. Serve this with a green salad. This is a truly romantic dinner for two while you listen to the music of French cabaret singer and songwriter, Èdith Piaf. Je suis Paris!

2 T avocado oil
4 T unsalted butter
6 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry sherry 
2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with butcher’s twine
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
6 cups beef broth or stock
4 cups chicken broth or stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
8 oz shredded Gruyère cheese
4 oz shredded Emmentaler Swiss cheese
1 baguette, sliced

Heat oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat.  
Add onions and cook over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
Remove lid and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, until golden, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
Add sherry and cook another 2 minutes, to reduce.
Add thyme sprigs, bay leaves, beef broth, and chicken broth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer another 20 minutes.
Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

While soup is simmering, arrange slices of bread on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until toasted, then set aside.

Ladle broth and onions in ovenproof soup bowls set on a baking sheet.  
Add the toasted bread, two per bowl and sprinkle with cheeses. 

Heat broiler with rack 6 inches from element.  
Place baking sheet with bowls of soup under broiler and broil until cheeses are browned and bubbly, about 4 to 5 minutes.

6 servings


Tuesday, January 2, 2018


When you cook your black-eyed peas with rice, it is known as Hoppin' John. The southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas for luck on New Year's day is believe to have started after the Civil War. It was first planted as food for livestock and the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as General Sherman's Union troops destroyed other crops. It became a nourishing food source for the surviving Confederates who considered themselves lucky. For the complete tradition, serve them with either, collards, mustard greens, or turnip greens, which represents paper money, and cornbread, which represents gold. Flavor them with ham and bacon and the tradition is complete. These legumes are a good source of calcium, folate, fiber, and vitamin A. 

½ cups dried black-eyed peas
2 slices bacon, diced
1 T unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
½ red or green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t red pepper flakes
5 cups chicken stock
1 t dried thyme or 1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 cup white rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup diced ham (preferably Virginia ham)
Minced parsley, for garnish
Hot sauce, at the table

Pour black-eyed peas into a bowl and sort through them to make sure there aren’t any small pebbles.

In a saucepan, add the dried peas and cover with water to 2 inches above peas.
Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let sit 3 to 4 hours.
Drain the peas and set aside.

In the same saucepan, cook bacon pieces until crisp. 
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour out most of the bacon grease and add the butter and sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper for 10 minutes.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes.
Sauté another 2 minutes.
Add chicken stock, thyme, and black-eyed peas.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
Cover and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
Add rice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer slowly for 15 minutes, add a little more chicken stock or water, if too dry.

Stir in the diced ham and spoon into a warm serving bowl.
Garnish with bacon and parsley and take hot sauce to the table.

Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Margaritas are generally associated with summer but with cranberry juice and fresh cranberries, it is a perfect winter or holiday cocktail.

Course sea salt
2 limes, cut in half
6 oz silver tequila
3 oz triple sec or Contreau
12 oz cranberry juice
Fresh cranberries, for garnish

Pour the salt into a small saucer and set aside.
Cut one half of the lime into circles and then cut circles in half.
Run a cut lime over the rim of 3 glasses and dip into the salt.
Squeeze the juice of 1 ½ limes into a pitcher.
Add the tequila, triple sec or Contreau, and cranberry juice.
Stir to combine.
Fill glasses half way with ice.
Pour margarita mix into the glasses. 
Garnish with some fresh cranberries and lime wedges.

Serves 3