Friday, January 22, 2010

Our Table: Ham, Collard Greens & Harvest Grains

We've had some great blog profiles and case studies over the last month or so but I'm taking a short break from work-related topics to introduce a new feature to help solve every parents daily drame: Our Table. I have really strict guidelines for what constitutes a great meal for us. It has to be healthy, prepared in less than half hour or made ahead in a crock pot, affordable (I aim for less than $12/meal for our family of five) and make my boys smile. Some meals work better than others, but as I roadtest new meals I'll share what works with you.

Ham, Collard Greens, Harvest Grains and Sliced Apples
Cured Ham (4lbs, $3.98 at Shoppers Food Warehouse, not organic, but it was on sale!)
Glory Fresh Collard Greens ($2.99 for 24 oz. at Shoppers Food Warehouse)
Trader Joe's Harvest Grains ($1.99 read a review here)
Organic Pink Lady Apples ($2.65 for 2 at Shoppers Food Warehouse)

Preheat oven to 350. Cube 2 pieces of bacon and dice half an onion, toss into the stock pot. In a smaller stock pot, cook Harvest Grains according to direction (basically bring water to a boil and let simmer for 7 minutes). Put ham in the oven to warm, it's fully cooked, drizzle a bit of orange juice on top for a "glaze." Add collard greens to stock pot with a half cup of water, close lid and watch them cook way, way down. Slice up pink lady apples while the greens cook and ham warms, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle cooked greens with red wine vinegar or hot sauce.

Review: The ham was universally liked, particularly when paired with a horseradish mustard our babysitter gave us for Christmas. While the adults loved the greens, the kids took a "thank you" bit to get dessert but moved onto the Harvest Grains (sort of a cross between couscous and rice) and apple slices. With moderate portion sizes, we had plenty of ham leftovers to pair with biscuits for breakfast and for lunches the rest of the week.

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