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Good morning, GUSangels.  Our own racheltracks and her family need some loving.  Food for healing and a quilt for warmth.  Sara R and winglion, our community angels, already have a quilt diary up:  Community Quilt for racheltracks.  The paypal info is in there -- $10 for a message block -- or $0 for words of love and solace.  

Our very loved citizenx has donated on behalf of GUS.  Can we have more reasons to love the guy?

All I can do with this diary is offer some healthy soul food for our buddy.  Offer your own recipes as well.  I know all of you have either a recipe, scent or stretch to send racheltrack's way with your love attached with a ribbon.

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

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Citrus Collards with Raisins


    1 tablespoon(s) sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, combined with above sea salt
    2 bunch(es) (about 12 cups) collard greens, ribs removed, cut into strips, rinsed and drained
    1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
    2 clove(s) garlic, minced
    2/3 cup(s) raisins
    1/3 cup(s) fresh-squeezed orange juice


    In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts (12 cups) water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water.

    Remove the collards from heat, drain, and plunge into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color. Drain, gently pressing the greens against the colander.

    In a medium-size sauté pan, combine olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should remain bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately.

Greens and Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch mustard greens (leafy parts only), leaves halved vertically, cut across into 1/2-inch strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 cups vegetable broth, plus 1 cup water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the sweet potato pieces on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to mix. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the outsides are light golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a thick-bottomed soup pot over medium high heat.  Toss in the onion, garlic and mustard seeds. Cook, stirring, until the onion wilt and become tender.  Toss in the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, mustard greens and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Cook, stirring, five minutes more. Add the soup stock. Heat to a boil; lower heat to a simmer. Cook until flavors come together, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, reserving 1/2 cup. Add the remaining sweet potatoes to the pot.  Puree the reserved yams with one cup water in a blender until smooth. Add pureed mixture to the pot. Season with vinegar, salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.  

Cook  five to ten minutes more  or until the mustard greens reach the degree of tenderness you prefer. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings


Baked catfish with green onion and butter sauce


    4 small whole catfish (2 pounds), dressed and rinsed
    1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    8 green onions, green parts only (reserve white parts for sauce)
    1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
    1 large bunch rosemary
    4 cloves garlic, smashed
    1 large lemon, cut into 8 slices
    1/2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
    Green onion and butter sauce (recipe follows)
    Green onion and butter sauce
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    8 green onions, white parts only, diced
    1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth or water
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon whipped butter


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place the fish in the baking dish. Pour the olive oil over the fish and rub it inside and out to coat. Sprinkle the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper inside and outside of the fish.

Stuff each fish with an equal amount of the green onion tops, yellow onion slices, and rosemary sprigs, plus a quarter of the smashed garlic and 1 lemon slice. Sprinkle the paprika on the fish. Place one of the remaining slices of lemon on top of each fish. Pour the green onion and butter sauce around the fish.

Place the fish, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Green onion and butter sauce In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the flour, poultry seasoning,, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, stirring for a minute to combine the spices and cook the flour. Add the onions and stir for another minute. Increase the heat to high. Add the vegetable broth or water and lemon juice. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Stir in the butter.

Dirty Rice Collard Bundles


    1 large onion, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    One 28-ounce can plain tomato sauce
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 large bunch collard greens (about 18 leaves), stalks discarded


    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1/2 pound pork sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To start the sauce: Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple-cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes, so all the flavors can build.

Set a large pot of water to boil. Lay each collard leaf out on your work surface, and remove the tough large stem and center vein. Don't cut the whole leaf in half; just cut the toughest part of the stem out in a V-shape. Once the water is boiling, slip the collard leaves in and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain into a colander, and rinse with cold water to help stop the cooking.

While the sauce is simmering, begin the dirty rice filling: Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once the sausage is browned, add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the chicken broth, cayenne, cooked rice, and parsley, mixing thoroughly and letting the broth reduce until there is no moisture left in the pan. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Lay out each cooked collard leaf and put 1/4 cup of the dirty rice in the center. Fold both the sides into the center, and the top and bottom over the center. Roll up into a cylinder—tightly, like a cigar or a small burrito—and repeat with the remaining leaves. If there happen to be any remaining leaves, you can chop them up and add to the sauce.

Pour a 1/2-inch layer of the sauce into a 13- by-9-inch casserole dish. Arrange the collard rolls, seam sides down, on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the stuff ed collards, and cover the pan with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve

For recovery from just about everything, the Mayo Clinic has the perfect recipes -- for heart and soul.  Every one of them looks yummy so I'm providing the Mayo Clinic Heart Healthy Recipes for you all to peruse and choose.  I have one of their cookbooks and it is really amazing -- the food tastes GOOD!!!!  And you can add and subtract herbs or other ingredients (other than pork lard and a pound of salt).

Much love to our racheltracks and her family.  Remember, all of you, we are here for comfort, joy and ridiculous advice when you need a laugh.

If I missed any newcomers, please let me know.  
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