Black Eyed Peas and Greens

black eyed peas

Nothing else will do on a Mississippi New Year’s Day. This tradition is said to bring good luck for the rest of the year. Black eyed peas are simply salted and simmered with bacon fat. Greens can be cooked a number of ways, but recently this recipe for ale-braised collard greens with smoked ham hock was featured as one The New York Times’s Thanksgiving Recipes from across the United States.


Eggplant Napoleon From Chef Lynnie



As I prepare for an upcoming wedding feast, I thought I’d post a recipe for one of my favorite dishes just for you.


      2 teaspoon olive oil
      1 large onion, chopped
      8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
      3 small zucchini, chopped
      1 14.5-ounce can no salt added petite diced tomatoes
      1 14.5-ounce can no salt added crushed tomatoes
      1 teaspoon dried oregano
      1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
      1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      2 large eggplants, sliced 3/4″ thick
      2 egg whites, beaten
      1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole-wheat or panko)
      1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
      2 tablespoons low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded


When breading, think dry hand, wet hand. Use one hand to dip ingredients into the wet parts (eggs, milk, water, etc.) and gently transfer into the dry ingredients (flour, bread crumbs, etc.). Use the “dry hand” to transfer breaded items to the pan.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place a large saute pan over moderate heat. Heat the pan, then heat the oil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes (we’re sweating not sauteing them, so we don’t want them to get any color). Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the pan, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spices and tomatoes, stir again, and simmer for 8 minutes.

While the tomato sauce is simmering, prepare the eggplant. Place the egg whites in a flat-bottomed dish and the bread crumbs in a second dish. Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg whites using one hand, then coat in the bread crumbs using the other hand.

Place a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. When the pan is warm, remove from heat briefly to spritz with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pan back on the burner. Saute each slice for 30 seconds per side, just to brown the bread crumbs.

Layer half of the eggplant in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top each slice with 1/4 cup sauce. Layer the remaining eggplant on top of the first set of slices (you’re creating eggplant stacks). Top each stack with another 1/4 cup of sauce. Sprinkle on the cheese, and bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with an additional 1/4 cup sauce.

Makes 4 servings, each serving contains 3/4 cup of sauce

Inspire The Chef – The Side Dish !




  • 1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb. carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into sticks about 2 inches long and 3/8 inch wide
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 Tbs. lightly packed thinly sliced fresh mint


Combine the juice, vinegar, and honey in a liquid measuring cup and whisk. Cut 1 Tbs. of the butter into 4 pieces and refrigerate.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the carrots and 1-1/2 tsp. salt and toss well to coat. Cook without stirring until the bottom layer of carrots is lightly browned in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, stir and flip the carrots and then leave undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to brown. Continue cooking, occasionally stirring and flipping, until most of the carrots are a bit browned in places and are starting to feel tender, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium if the bottom of the pan begins to brown too much.

Carefully add the chicken broth, cover quickly, and cook until all but about 1 Tbs. of the broth has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low, and add the pomegranate mixture (re-whisk, if necessary) and the cayenne. Cook, stirring gently, until the mixture reduces and becomes slightly glazy, about 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat, add the chilled butter, and gently toss with a heatproof spatula until the butter has melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and stir in about two-thirds of the mint. Serve in a warm shallow bowl or on a platter, garnished with the remaining mint.

Inspire The Chef – Coming September 2, 2013

ImageToday is the final day to submit your main course item.  Tomorrow I will choose one of the submitted items, whether it be a meat, fish, chicken, pasta, etc., and will create an entire meal from appetizer to dessert around it.  On Monday the 2nd I will post pictures and recipes for the complete meal along with the name of the person who inspired me.   So here is your chance!  I look forward to hearing from you.

– Lynnie

Butternut Squash And Root Vegetable Slaw


Ingredients Slaw:

  • 1 1/2 cups each shredded raw butternut squash, rutabaga, and sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded raw celery root
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 peeled, quartered, cored apples cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup 1″ pieces chives
  • 3/4 cup  Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped  parsley
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

Preparation Vinaigrette:

Whisk the mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and chopped parsley together in a bowl.
Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until thickened.
Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Bring to room temperature before using.

Preparation Slaw:

Combine 1 1/2 cups each shredded raw  butternut squash, rutabaga, and sweet potato in a large resealable plastic bag. Place 1 1/2 cups shredded raw celery root in a large bowl of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning; cover. Chill shredded vegetables overnight. Drain celery root. Transfer shredded vegetables to a large bowl. Add 2 peeled, quartered, cored apples cut into matchstick-size pieces (we love crisp, balanced Fuji). Add 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and 1/2 cup 1″ pieces chives. Add 3/4 cup  Apple Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Add more vinaigrette, if desired. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime And Rosemary


A perfect vegan side dish featuring our spice of the week.


  • 41/2 cups butternut squash (cubes)
  • olive oil (t good quality, could probably use less)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 2 tsps fresh rosemary (finely minced, or use frozen rosemary)
  • sea salt (for seasoning cooked squash, I used rosemary salt)
  • black pepper (fresh ground, for seasoning cooked squash)


Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel squash and cut into cubes about 1 inch square. Put squash into plastic mixing bowl, add olive oil, lime juice, and minced rosemary and toss well so squash is all coated with oil.

Arrange squash on roasting pan in single layer. (I sprayed my pan with non-stick spray, but later I thought I didn’t really need to.) Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning several times, or until squash is quite softened and getting browned on the edges. (I switched my oven to convection for the last 15 minutes, which helped the squash get nicely browned.) Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve hot.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cinnamon Butter


For some crazy reason, I struggle sometimes with finding the perfect, yet different vegetable dish.  By different I mean different from corn, potatoes, peppers, etc.  I recently found this recipe that I have to pass on to all of you.  It’s easy to prepare, it’s delicious and it’s sure to get rave reviews from your guests.


  • 2 acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds each), unpeeled, quartered lengthwise, and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss squash with oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on sheet, cut side down, and roast until easily pierced with a paring knife, 35 to 45 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately pour into a small bowl; stir in cinnamon. Place squash on a serving platter; top with cinnamon butter.