A Southern Classic - Remixed

Heartfelt Catering Braised Greens and Cabbage Chicago Woman.jpg

Chef Cecelia of Heartfelt Catering reflects her family’s southern food traditions and shares her passion for making those classic dishes healthier.

As a child, Chef Cecelia Hamilton grew up eating traditional southern dishes such as greens and other vegetables cooked in animal fat, like salt pork and ham hocks.  Like many across the country, Chef Cecelia’s family has a history of food-related diseases and she takes the risks of eating an unhealthy diet that is high in fat and sodium seriously.

Chef Cecelia decided to recreate classic southern dishes so that they are low in fat, low in sodium and low in sugar, but still full of flavor.  Taking advantage of the fact that many staple ingredients in southern cuisine are whole foods that are nutritious (e.g., greens, collards, sweet potatoes, peas and beans), Chef Cecelia naturally gravitated toward recreating vegetable-focused dishes by making them completely vegetarian or even vegan.

One dish that Chef Cecelia ate regularly while growing up was greens — usually a combination of collard greens and turnip greens. At Heartfelt Catering, she recreated the dish for both vegetarian eaters and those whom are used to the traditionally prepared method. Her braised collards and cabbage has a mild kick of spice with a bit of sweetness brought on by the caramelized onions and jalapeño pepper, that make for a delightful vegan dish.

This dish pairs well with other vegetarian or vegan side dishes such as Heartfelt Catering’s black-eyed pea salad, roasted spiced sweet potatoes and house made cornbread for the perfect meatless meal that’s heart healthy and delicious. And if you eat meat, pair this dish with lean cuts such as tenderloin, chicken breast or blackened catfish.

Get the full recipe here.

Cecelia Hamilton