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Chef David Blackmon

David Blackmon's Healthy Easter Menu
Chef David Blackmon
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Black Eyed Pea and Greens Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced sweet bell pepper, red or green
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas or 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped turnip greens or spinach, thawed
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes, diced, with juice
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 dashes Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, to taste

In a large Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion and celery in vegetable oil until tender. Add the bell pepper, and garlic and sauté, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes longer.To the vegetable mixture add vegetable broth, black-eyed peas, greens, tomatoes, Creole seasoning, pepper, liquid smoke and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and add salt, as needed.

serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 1/2 lb chicken andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 teaspoon gumbo file powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (low sodium)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce (low sodium)
2 cups chicken stock (low sodium)
1 cup Kashi Pilaf, uncooked
1 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.

Add oil to a medium soup pot. Over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery until onion is translucent. Add andouille sausage, chicken. Cook another 10 minutes. Add parsley, bay leaf, gumbo file powder, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, and cups cold water. Gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour Kashi into the pot and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until Kashi is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid. Stir in shrimp and cook 5 minutes more. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and sprinkle on more Gumbo file if desired.

Black Bean and Vegetable Quesadillas
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, shredded
3 cups baby spinach, chopped 
½ cup southwestern style frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt & pepper to taste
10 whole wheat tortillas (10 inches)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Mix first seven ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; sprinkle with cheese. Fold tortilla over filling. Lightly spray outside of tortilla with cooking spray and place in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until cheese melts and outside is crispy. Cut quesadilla into wedges (like pizza) and serve on a plate. Spoon salsa over the wedges and garnish with yogurt sauce and cilantro.

Quick Salsa
8 Plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 Red Onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of one lime
Kosher salt to taste

Mix well in a bowl. Allow flavors to mellow together at least 4 hours.

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