Cookbook Index

These are the cookbook entries / final project of the IDS 336 Food and Culture class for Spring 2018 at California State University Dominguez Hills offered by the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Kind and respectful comments are welcome.

Starters and Sides
Ceviche by Nora
Collard Greens by Regina
Frijoles Puercos by Grace
Quinoa by Gilberto
Orzo Pasta Salad by Victoria
Rajas con crema by Elvira
Stuffed Mushrooms by Toinye

Blackened Catfish and Shrimp (Fish in Disguise) by Tammy
Chicken Biryani by Ritesh
Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas by Shauna
Chicken Florentine Gnocchi by Cindy
Chicken Mole Poblano and Rojo by Jenni
Chiles Reyenos by Genesis
Costillitas en Chile Verde by Rosie
Fajitas by Nadia
Ghormeh Sabzi by Naveed
Goulash by Dana
Grandma’s Smothered Pork Chops with Rice by Heather
Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken and Bok Choy by Alethia
Menudo Blanco by Gizel
Pepian by Estuardo
Pot Roast and More by Sinnetti
Ribs by Steve
Spaghetti and Albondigas by Gina
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup by Michele Pope
Ultimate Waffle Sandwich by John Henry

Apple Pie by Scott
Boston Cream Pie by Rochelle
Capirotada by Genesis (scroll down, it’s the second recipe)

Stuffed Mushrooms

The Fungi

Growing up in a somewhat “ghetto” style environment from the projects of Chicago, my mother, ever since her arrival to California as a teen she has wanted to do things she has never done. She spent a lot of time in Hollywood neighborhoods and even dated a person whose mother was a seventies actress, always wanting to experience different things in life. She would always come home talking about a weird new movie, make me wear strange clothing that she claimed was in style and have some random food to try. I lived in Compton most of my childhood, which in the eighties was not always the most peaceful neighborhoods. I witnessed things that I like my mother would hope to keep my children away from. I was not really allowed to go to other kids’ house or be anywhere my mother or grandmother was not present. What we did have was plenty of diverse people, which meant diverse food. My mother worked a diner so we would go for breakfast there on Saturdays and every other weekend we would go to Sizzlers as we both loved the salad bar. One thing I neighbor did not lack was food. You can go to many places and get Mexican and Chinese food in the same location; she loved to eat everything although she would always say, “This is nothing like it is in Chicago!” According to my mother, Chicago has the best of all foods.

I am eight years old. My mother is hosting a fight party as she always would. Usually these events were a potluck style or someone would barbecue, as my mother is not the family cook. I liked these events to see my aunts and cousins and since everyone in my family is a comedian, there was always laughs and good food. There is a dish everyone is known for making and my mother’s primary job was providing the meeting location and somewhat hosting. I remember my mother eating many things that were not appetizing to me at all! She would eat things such as the mojarra frita, which is a whole fish fried, and squid, chitterlings, and I refused to try anything that looked different than chicken.
As a child, I thought that mushrooms were strange looking and I wanted no part of them. I mean do you eat the whole thing. The stem and all? The inside is black! When I think of the color black nothing that I want to eat. I do not know about this, my mother is always concocting some strange meal or foods that absolutely do not complement each other so throw in an item that is strange alone I am not sure I want to eat it mixed up with other things. I will never forget the day that I was forced, yes forced to try my mother’s stuffed mushrooms. She asked if I had wanted to try one as she placed some on others plates, I declined. She told me I needed to try one, that they were very good. At that point, I knew I was not leaving the kitchen until I ate a mushroom. To my surprise, the mushrooms were great! I began to request them and gatherings and as an adult, I make them often for my siblings and myself. The recipe my mother uses is different than mine usually including shrimp and crushed croutons in place of the Italian bread crumbs.

My basic stuff mushroom recipe consists of the following:


one package of button mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup finely sliced artificial crap

1/4 cup red onion

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

2tbsp garlic salt

1 tbsp paprika

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup water

1/4 Colby Jack shredded cheese

1. Add bell pepper, onion, crab into mixing bowl

2. Add bread crumbs, melted butter, water, garlic salt, paprika, and mix together

3. Remove stems from mushrooms and rinse

4. Add mixed ingredients into mushrooms packed tightly

5. Place in baking pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

6. Turn off oven

7. Sprinkle cheese on top let sit in oven two minutes until cheese melts

****can you real crab or shrimp I’m place of artificial crap

Mushrooms are a part of my everyday world now. I eat them at least once a week. I love mushrooms in spaghetti, omelets, with chicken and gravy, and of course stuffed. There are multiple ways to make stuffed mushrooms and there are different ingredients that can be used but the artificial crab is one of my favorite stuffing. I will try to promote mushrooms to my sons, as they are a good immunostimulatory vegetable. Mushrooms are fairly heathy vegetable.
Mushrooms are reported to have a high vitamin count. Containing high amounts of vitamin D2, vitamin B and vitamin C. The protein levels in mushrooms are very high. Mushrooms can be used in many meals much like tofu, which is a good substitute for vegetarians that need additional protein. Mushroom protein can be has high as seventy-two to eighty-three percent. Mushroom distribution is different in different locations. There are many different types of mushrooms. The most common type are button mushrooms they are the cheapest most found in the supermarket. Portobellos are large and do not have as much flavor but have a meaty texture that people like and are used in recipes as a meat substitute. Shiitakes are well known mostly found in Japan, China and Korea. Creminis are small portobello looking in appearance. Chanterelles are golden in color looking like flowers and there are many more types of mushrooms that are eaten across the globe. Mushrooms to always avoid will have red coloring or spots on the top and or steam they are from the Amanita family and very much poisonous!
Fungi are natural antioxidants and are good for the immune system. They can be used in medicines such a penicillins. Fungi are decomposers and vital to the ecosystem. Without fungi the decomposition of plants and animal life would be a much slower process if even still in existence. When thinking of eating fungi it’s strange so I focus on the taste and now the new found information. I’ve shared apart of my world and I hope it’s enjoyed.

See end product below ****note: mushrooms are stuffed with ground pork, ground beef, shrimp, lobster or just vegetables so try out different stuffings

Barmon, B. K., Sharmin, I., Abbasi, P. K., & Mamun, A. (2012). Economics of mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) production in a selected Upazila of Bangladesh. The Agriculturists, 10(2), 77-89.
Dunbar, T. V. (1998). The Shiitake Mushroom.
Grabreil, S. Mushroom Turning A Profit for forest Farmers in the Northeast, (2015) Cornell University
Longeneeker, A. M., ( 1902), Mushrooms. The Plant World, Vol. 5, No. 11 pp.213-218
Mattila, P., Suonpää, K., & Piironen, V. (2000). Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutrition, 16(7), 694-696.
Wani, B. A., Bodha, R. H., & Wani, A. H. (2010). Nutritional and medicinal importance of mushrooms. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 4(24), 2598-2604.

Toinye Williams
IDS 336
Spring 2018

Goulash: A Dish of Our Own

Traditional Hungarian Gulyάs

Deriving from the Hungarian word “gulyάs” which means herdsman, Goulash originated in medieval Hungary and is a popular meal eaten in Central Europe and various other parts of the world. Goulash origins trace back to the 9th century and was dried, seasoned and stored in the lining of sheep stomach, not needing much more than water to complete. At that time animal meat was scare and all of the animal was consumed, given this it is understood how the recipe for Goulash is fluid and interchangeable in the preparation for this soup. Overtime gulyάs came to be known as gulyάshύs, which means the “the meat dish prepared by herdsmen.” Gulyάs can vary from being a soup or a stew, many ingredients included in today’s version of Goulash were unknown to the original recipe; such as tomatoes which did not get incorporated into the European food culture until the twentieth century. This thick Hungarian stew did not thicken from flour or roux, rather the heartiness comes from the collagen of the tough muscles of the animals cooked in the dish and reduces to a gelatin while cooking. Typically, Goulash is prepared with beef, veal, pork or lamb- but discussion on variation will commence later. Traditional Hungarian Gulyάs starts with meat of choice chopped into chunks, seasoned with salt and paprika and sautéed with sliced onion in lard or oil. Water or stock is then mixed in and covered and simmered. Other variations include chili pepper, thyme, garlic, caraway seed, bell pepper, potatoes and other soup vegetables (celery, carrots and parsley roots). At times potatoes can be substituted for small egg noodles called csipetke, which are small pinched portions of dough that are dropped into the boiling soup.

Because Goulash is a dish made from limited resources of meat, there are several variations of the Hungarian recipe with the original soup base. Gullies à la Székely is one goulash variation which adds sauerkraut and sour cream minimizing the amount of potatoes used. Mock Gulyάs, which is also called Hamusgulyάs or “fake Goulash,” substitutes the meat for beef bones and adds vegetables. Bean Gulyάs recipes replaces potatoes and caraway seeds with kidney beans. Csάngó Gulyάs substitutes pasta and potatoes for sauerkraut. Betyάr Gulyάs is prepared with smoked beef or pork. Likócsi Pork Gulyάs is prepared with pork and vermicelli in place of potatoes or pastas and flavored with lemon juice. Mutton Gulyάs (also known as Birkagulyάs) is made with mutton which is sheep meat and simmered in red wine. Székely Gulyάs is a richer and thicker Goulash consisting of three different meats and having been named after József Székely- Hungarian writer, journalist and archivist. Kartoffelgulasch (also known as potato Goulash) is a popular and inexpensive peasant stew in German speaking countries.

Thick stews resembling Goulash are popular amongst the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire, from Northeast Italy to the Carpathians. Ingredients, flavors, pairings and presentation varies from nation to nation. In Vienna which is formerly the center of the Austin-Hungarian Empire, a special kind of Goulash is presented- the Wiener Saftgulash which does not include tomatoes or any other vegetables besides onions. Instead of including potatoes or pasta, Wiener Saftgulash is served with only dark bread. A popular variation Wiener Saftgulash is the Fiakergulasch which adds fried egg, fried sausage and dumplings. In Croatia, Goulash is also known as gulaš and is served in many different forms. For starters there are various beef substitutions- boar, deer, Lika and Gorski Kotar to name a few, oftentimes more than one meat is featured and bacon- bacon is a very necessary ingredient in Gulas! Recipe variations are interchangeable between fuži (a Croatian strip pasta), njoki (a dumpling like Gnocchi), polenta (cornmeal grain) or pasta with staple ingredients such as red and green bell peppers and carrots. With so many regional varieties of Goulash, American Goulash also has very different and distinctive versions of the favored dish. Traceable as far back as 1914, American Goulash recipes are typically tomato based and feature seasoned beef varying from- cubed steak, ground beef to hamburger. Elbow macaroni is more prevalent in American Goulash than any other starch food. In Slovakia and the Czech Republic guláš is more of a free-spirited dish. Often referred to as “mushmash” (which translates to “the lack of understanding something”), it is usually made with beef (hovezi gulas s knedlikem) but there are also pork recipes that exists as well. Slovakia Republic goulash is typically served with bread and onions garnishing the finished dish. Beer is frequently incorporated into the broth of the stew and/or consumed on the side. Germany’s version Gulasch varies according to region- in the North the stew is red wine based and cooked with potatoes, dumplings are the favored gulasch ingredients in South Germany and spirelli noodles have been incorporated in gulasch made in the Canteens. Meat varieties range from Rindergulasch (beef), Schweinegulasch (pork), Hirschgulasch (venison) or Wildschweingulasch (wild boar) and is usually served with white bread. Italian goulash is intertwined culturally and linguistically with the Austrian-Hungarian Empire where goulash is a regular Sunday dish. The most favored regional rendition is originated in South Tyrol, the goulash recipe is made of beef, red wine and seasoned with rosemary, paprika, bay leaf, marjoram and lemon zest. The lemon zest gives the distinct flavor and is served with polenta.

American Goulash has another variation unlike anywhere else in the world, Louisiana Creole Goulash. Creole food in Louisiana is very cultured and is a lifestyle for Louisianans and an explosive experience for tourists. Heavily influenced by various regional traditions that dates back more than 300 years, African, European, Native American, Italian, Irish, German and Hungarian influences are prevalent throughout Louisiana cuisine contributing to the signature Creole style of cooking. Hungarians immigrated to Livingston Parish, Louisiana in the early 1900’s and occupied a small settlement called Arpadhad near Hammond, Louisiana. That settlement grew to become what we know today as Albany, Louisiana. While limited literature exists on the magnitude of Hungarian influence into Creole culture, but it can be assumed that this integration birthed the Louisiana Creole style Goulash and adapted the distinctive preparation differences. It is said that cooks from Louisiana are amongst the most sophisticated chefs in the world based upon their skills to perfect intricate dishes and produce decadent flavors. The beauty of Creole cuisine is the diversity of cultural influence and regional variants that make Creole dishes nearly impossible to prepare incorrectly. Dishes are prepared according to the cook’s tradition and taste preference. Creole Goulash starts with a stewed tomato base cooked with shrimp, sausage and ground beef, okra and corn, seasoned with bell peppers, garlic, onion, Cajun or Creole seasoning, black pepper and bay leaves. Cooked rice is then mixed into the sauce creating a hearty dish that resembles jambalaya more so than a soup or stew.

My family’s recipe varies drastically from traditional and popular varieties of Goulash. Rice is the stable in our Goulash as opposed to the elbow macaroni, egg noodles or potatoes that seems to be more frequently used in the American recipes. While researching hundreds of recipes, I have only seen two recipes that resemble our Creole style Goulash. As a child, I remember my mother’s Goulash not being common amongst other kitchens, but an exciting occurrence and anticipated meal in our household. While being exceptionally simple to make, I recall my mother’s Goulash being superb; always served with a fresh salad and garlic bread. Many people who visited our home may not have ever tasted Goulash, and possibly was taken back by its name, but once tasted Goulash instantly became a favorite dish.

While my childhood was decorated with colorful ingredients and flavorful cuisines it is sad to reflect on how many meals served in homes today are not as esthetic. In preparing for my cookbook entry I realized that my own daughter has never experienced Goulash for herself. This made me come to believe that Goulash has become a lost art along with many other decadent family traditions. It may be attributed to personal tastes, and/or the dislike of the specific ingredients that makes Goulash- Goulash. Or perhaps it could be the lack of time necessary to process and prepare the beautiful array of ingredients that equates the masterpiece. More fearfully so is the possibility of these recipes and traditions not having been taught and lost as generations expire. Lost forever. It is easy to adapt a recipe from a cookbook, but there is a beauty that accompanies a family recipe tailored to their own preference. After all this research and feeling of nostalgia, I decided to prepare a hefty pot of my beloved goulash for my family to enjoy- here is how I did it…

1 lb. medium to large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced thinly
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 1/2 cups of rice
3-12-ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup of frozen okra
1 ear sweet white corn, sliced off ear
1/2 cup of white onion, chopped
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
1/2 cup of orange bell pepper
1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons of black pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 Teaspoon of onion powder
1 Tablespoon of paprika
2 Bay leaves

In a large pot pour olive oil over medium high heat and sauté onions and half the mince garlic until translucent. Add ground beef with 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of Creole/Cajun seasoning and 1/4 tablespoon of onion powder- cook until brown. Drain grease from the beef and add sausage, shrimp and all bell peppers and cook until shrimp appear white. Pour in stew tomatoes, corn, okra, remaining seasonings and Bay leaves, reduce to low heat and cover. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups of rice, mix thoroughly. Serve with fresh salad and garlic bread.


Kolarsky, Radim and Lisa Kolarsky. “The Story of Goulash.”, 18 Feb. 2018

“One-Pot Recipes.”, 12 Feb. 2018.

Culbertson, Manie. Louisiana: The Land and It’s People. Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 1998. Google books. Web. 22 Feb. 2018.

“Goulash.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Jan. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2018 3 Mar. 2018.

Goulash prepared in “bogracs” style cauldron on a tripod.

Csángó Gulyas Soup.

Gross, Bernd. Traditionelles Wiener Fiakergulasch Restaurant 9er Brau, Wien. 13 Sep. 2014. Fiakergulasch_2.JPG

Szegediner Gulasch- Székelygulyás.

Hosford, Karry. Louisiana Goulash.

Rajas con crema

Rajas con crema is a Mexican dish that comes from the central and southern regions of Mexico.  The main ingredient is the poblano pepper, a mild to medium-hot variety of peppers that are said to hail from the state of Puebla, located in southeast Mexico.  Puebla is known for its many tasty dishes like mole poblano, pambazos, cemitas, molotes, tacos arabes, chiles rellenos and, of course, rajas con crema.  I first tried rajas con crema in high school, at my best friend’s house.  I often joke about the real reason I’ve stayed friends with her is because of her momma’s cooking.  My best friend and I have been friends since 2nd grade.  Her family is from Puebla, a place that is rich in culture and history.  My favorite part of Puebla, other than the food, is Popocatepetl & Iztaccihualt or “La mujer dormida,” the sleeping woman.  Popocatepetl, or El Popo, is an active volcano in Puebla that sits right next to Iztaccihualt, a dormant volcano that has permanent snow covered peaks.  I first heard of Popo and Iztaccihualt when I was a kid, while visiting my paternal great-grandparent in Mexico City.  My great-grandmother, a devote Catholic, who was originally from Jalisco, had moved to the big city to live with her oldest son, my great uncle, was the first to share the epic love story.  According to Aztec legend, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihualt were madly in love.  Popo was a strong and skilled warrior, known for his prowess in battle and Iztaccihualt was a beautiful princess.  Popo decided to ask the king for Iztaccihualt hand in marriage before he was set to go off to fight in a war with a rival tribe.  The king agreed, with the condition that Popo return victorious from the war.  Popo took off to war with a promise to return victorious, but, as time passed, and Popo did not return, another warrior, jealous of Popo and Iztaccihualt love, lied to the princess and told her Popo, her love, had died in battle.  Iztaccihualt sick with grief and sadness, died from the unbearable loss.  Soon after, Popo returned from war, victorious, only to discover that his love, Iztaccihualt, had died.  It is said that he carried her up the mountain and laid her down to rest on a green field, as if she was sleeping, and that he sits next to her, eternally in wake, with a torch to watch over her.  It is said that the gods, amazed at the power of their love for each other, covered their bodies in snow and eventually turned them into volcanoes.  Popo, to this day, is constantly active and erupting, as he watches over his love, la mujer dormida, the sleeping woman.  The story changes and depending on where in are in Mexico, and who retells it, but the love is always the same; powerful (mexicoenimagenes. web).  The fact that my great-grandmother told me this story first, even when she was of the Catholic faith, says a lot about her connection to the story, like most Mexican, makes the story so special.  And after visiting the area many times, once with my best friend, connects me to the place on a deeper level.  My best friend being from Puebla only makes it that that much sweeter.

Image by Alfonso Olvera


The state of Puebla is the halfway point between the port city of Veracruz and Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, and because of its central location, it has had a very active history.  Puebla is also known for La Batalla de Puebla, better known as Cinco de Mayo in the US, and for Cholula, no, not the sauce, but the city it was named after.  Cholula was an important Mesoamerican political center and considered the oldest continually inhabited city in America.  The city has been fought over, and populated, by many indigenous peoples, like the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec, to name a few.  Many of the indigenous peoples left their mark on the city, through many artifacts and impressive structures, such as the Great Pyramid of Cholula; one of the world largest pyramids (History. Web).  When the Spanish conquistadores arrived on the shores of the Mexico’s Gulf Coast, they too encountered the rich city of Cholula on their way to plunder Mexico’s many riches.  As the Spanish conquered Mexico, the Catholic Church built many churches throughout Mexico, mainly on top of many of the indigenous peoples sacred sites and structures.  For this reason, Cholula is also known for the many churches, at least 150, built by the Catholic Church, in an effort to eradicate the belief system of the native peoples.  Thus began the mestizaje, the mixing of people and cultures.  A strategy used by the Spaniards to conquer and control the indigenous peoples.

Image by William Wood – Flickr

Many of the ingredients and cooking techniques used in Mexican dishes can be traced back to Mesoamerica and chile poblano is one of them.  Chiles are a fundamental ingredient in many cuisines around the world, but according to researchers at UC Davis, chiles were first domesticated in Mexico (NPR. Web).  Chile was first cultivated from south Puebla to Oaxaca, from there, trade among the indigenous people help spread the plant all across the Mexico, the Caribbean, Central & South America (BBC. web).  One of the main triggers that started the European race westward was spice and silk trade with the Far East.  When the Ottoman Empire gain power and control of the Indian Ocean in the 15th & 16th century, they blocked the Asian trading routes east for the Europeans (Britannica. web).  European’s love for spices, particularly pepper, or peppercorns, a spice that originated in Southeast India, pushed European explorers to find new trading routes with the Far East.  Christopher Columbus acquired chiles in the New World and took them back to Europe.  It took a few years for chiles to make a hit is Europe, but one it did, the chile, ironically, spread east into Asia, changing cuisine in many countries.

Chile Rellenos is one of my favorite Mexican dishes, but, in my opinion, it is also one of the worst dishes to make.  So when I discovered Rajas con crema, they pretty much replaced chiles rellenos for me at home.  I’m not a fan of friend egg and I really don’t like the fried egg layer on the chile relleno.  Rajas con crema is a great substitute and the dish is way easier to make too.  The dish reminds me of when I was young.  It also reminds me of my roots and the many, many trips to Mexico I’ve made.  Although, I was born in the US, I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting many regions in Mexico, though land, air and sea, more than I’ve seen of my home country.  I want to my children to be proud of their Mexican Heritage.  I try to pass that on through the language, travel, food and generations of story-telling, that I hope one day they, too, will pass on to their children.

Recipe Rajas con crema:


List of ingredients:

8 chile poblanos Roasted and sliced in “rajas,” long slices.

½ a small to med onion, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 chile jalapeno, or serrano (for hotter flavor, add more serrano chiles)

½ a cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1 med size garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Mexican Sour cream

1 ½ cups of cheese, I use Oaxaca cheese & Monterrey Jack cheese, but you can substitute with your preferred blend of cheese

1 cup of crumbled Queso fresco,


1/8 tsp Pepper

1/8 tsp cumin

1 tbls of tomato bouillion (also known as consome Knorr)






Roasting chiles:


Image by Ryan Tow – Flickr

  • Roasting chiles is a technique used to char the tough outside peel of the poblano chiles. Roasting also gives the chiles a smoky taste.  There are a few ways to use the technique, but the most common, and traditional, way involves an open flame.  If an open flame is not an option, please see alternative roasting methods, for other ways to roast poblano chiles.
  • First, wash and dry the poblano chiles thoroughly.
  • Then, place the poblano chiles over the open flame, 2-3 at a time.
  • Use tongs to turn the poblano chiles continuously, and cautiously, to get the flame to char the peel evenly. Do not leave unattended, as the poblano chiles can burn easily.
  • Once, the chiles are evenly charred, place the roasted chile in a bag to “sweat” off the heat. Then, once the chiles have cooled enough to handle, remove from bag and peel the charred layer off with your hands and set aside.
  • Another way to remove the charred peel, is by running water over the chiles, however, this will removed some of the smoky flavor.
  • Once all the poblano chiles have been roasted and peeled, remove the seeds, veins and stem using gloves.
  • Cut the roasted chiles vertically in ¼ inch slices, or rajas, and set aside.


  • In a lightly oiled sauce pan sauté the minced garlic and chopped onion on med heat.
  • Then stir in the diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeno chile, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and tomato bullion and bring to a simmer.
  • Once the sauce begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes (Side note: this is a good base for a veggie broth, just add more tomato or chicken bouillion, salt and water).
  • Then add the poblano chile rajas (slices), and stir to incorporate with the tomato sauce.
  • Let it simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Then, stir in the sour cream and cheese till the sour cream and cheese are incorporated with the rajas and the tomato sauce.
  • Bring to a simmer for 2-4 minutes. Then remove from heat.

The dish goes great with Mexican Rice, recipe provided below.

Image by Kare_ralsu – Flickr


Alternative roasting methods: 

Electric Stove

The poblano chiles can be roasted on a hot ungreased skillet, or comal.

  • Let the skillet heat up for a few minutes, on med heat.
  • Then, place the poblano chiles on the skillet.
  • Turn the chiles around to get the poblano chiles roasted evenly.
  • Once roasted, place in a bag to “sweat” off the heat.
  • Once the chiles cool, remove from bag and peel
  • Set aside and continue with recipe



  • Place poblano chiles on an ungreased baking sheet
  • Place backing sheet in broiler and broil the chiles for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Then, remove the baking sheet from broiler
  • Then, place chiles in a bag to “sweat” off the heat
  • Once the chiles cool, remove from bag and peel
  • set aside and continue with the recipe



Recipe Mexican Red Rice – Arroz Rojo:



1 cup of Jasmine rice

2 Roma tomatoes, cut in quarter pieces

1 garlic clove

¼ of a med onion


½ Tbls of tomato bouillon

1 Tbls of chicken bouillon

¼ cup corn or canola oil

2 ¼ cup water


  • On a heated sauce pan, add oil and sauté rice on med heat till golden.
  • While the rice sautés, put the tomatoes pieces, onion, garlic, salt and both bouillons in a blender cup, add ¼ cup of water and blender the mixture, till liquid.
  • Pour the mixture to the sautéed golden rice
  • The, stir in the 2 cups of water and reduce heat to low.
  • Cover the sauce pan and let the rice cook till the water evaporates and the rice cooks fully.


Image by Jobayer Rahman – Flickr



BBC Mundo, @bbc_ciencia. (2014) ¿Dónde nació realmente el chile casero?  Retrieved on 03/08/2018 Staff. (2009) Puebla. Retrieved on 03/18/2018 (2017) Leyenda de la Mujer dormida. Retrieved on 03/09/2018


NPR News. (2014) Chili Say What? Linguistics Help Pinpoint Pepper’s Origins. Retrieved on 03/09/2018


Yapp, Edward Malcolm and Shaw, Stanford Jay. (2017). Ottoman Empire. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved on 03/09/2018



On a cold, windy and rainy Sunday night I look out the window and see the wind blowing the trees from right to left, I can hear the rain falling on the roof, the scene is broken by the soft and tender voice of my mothers broken english, “mijo ya casi esta ready el Pepian”. “My son, the pepian is almost ready”. All of a sudden I feel warmth in my heart.  I can smell the boiling sauce and meat, the white rice is steaming on the side, and I sit back and recount the day it took gathering the right ingredients, going through the right process and recounting of how this food unifies my family. Pepian is my favorite food because it connects me to my indigenous roots predating Columbus, brings my family together and it is not contained or restricted by borders. I Love all almost every kind of food-  from greasy, cheesy pizza to healthy, steamed broccoli, but my favorite food, by far, is Pepian.

Pepian is a traditional Guatemala stew that my family has been making for decades. It can be made with chicken or beef and includes cut up vegetables alongside chunks meat. My family, prefers adding potatoes, chayote, and string beans. The sauce is made with tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds, toasted squash seeds, tortillas, and Chile Guajillo – all blended together into a thick, rich, and hearty mixture. It’s kind of like a Mayan curry or a Guatemalan version of mole and is best served with rice.

Although I have been trying to learn how to make the dish, my mom is the real master chef in our household. In Guatemala it is a tradition that all women start cooking at an early age, however, because my mother was the youngest of seven children and four sisters, she never had to learn how to cook. But when she married my father, she asked my father’s oldest sister, Tia Maritza, to teach her his favorite dishes. My Tia Maritiza shared all of the recipes that she learned from her mother, Mama Mima. Mama Mima owned a stand at one of the oldest mercados in Guatemala City and was famous for her tamales. With Tia Maritza’s guidance, my mom learned to cook all the Guatemala dishes just like my Mama Mima – including Jocon, Kakiq, Chiles Rellenos, Rice, Black beans, Platanos, and of course, pepian.

In addition to my mother’s culinary teacher, my Tia Maritza also helped my mom and me cross the border into the United States when I was just two years old. During that long journey through Guatemala, Mexico and the American South West, Tita made sure that I was safe and fed and when my mom slept, she stayed awake to keep guard. When we finally made it to the United State and my mother, father and I were reunited, Tia Maritza noticed that I was only getting fed Americanized food. My young mother, then just 22, worked hard and didn’t have a lot of time to make complicated Guatemalan dishes. She also wanted me to fit in so she gave me grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and French toast, which is what the other kids in my apartment building ate. My Tia Maritza, however, did not approve. She insisted that she and my mama cook a meal together every Sunday so we could enjoy decent Guatemalan food and compartir, share.

I still remember the first Sunday that I tasted Pepian. It was cold outside (well, cold for Los Angeles), but inside, my mom and my Tia were hard at work toasting seeds and tortillas and  smashing ingredients in a molcajete. The different cuts of meat that went into the pepian looked delicious. Me and my cousin played in the living room, while our fathers watched a futbol game. After a couple of hours of peeling, dicing, smashing, toasting and boiling the Pepian was done. Our family sat down and started the meal by sharing stories of this magical yet mysterious food. My father and Tiia shared stories of their mama Mima cooking Pepian for her customers at the Mercado La Palmita on Thursdays and Sundays. My mom described how her cousins from a small town in rural Guatemala would tease her for not knowing how to cook Pepian. My Mexican uncle Tony said he had tried a version of pepian in Mexico, but did not learn how to appreciate Pepian until he married my Tia Maritza. As I dipped my rolled tortilla into the thick sauce I knew that I was about to eat something special, I was about to indulge myself in a culinary tradition that went back generations to a time before Columbus.

Although Guatemala Claimed Pepian as that countries national dish in 2007, Pepian originates in the Maya-Kaqchikel group[1], thus making it a Meso-American . The Maya Civilization peaked before the arrival of the Spanish. The Maya had a fully developed culture, which included a culinary tradition with dishes like the Kak’ik, a Q’eqchi Mayan turkey soup[2], Tamales, which unlike most tamales from Mexico, are wrapped in a banana leaf and have rice in the massa[3] and Pepian[4]. The original Pepian was a vegetarian dish which included pepitoria (roasted squash seeds)[5], tomatoes, and chilis. After the Spanish arrival, Mayan people and culture where threatened by aggressive, genocidal colonizers Like Pedro Alvarado[6]. During the colonial period many aspects of the Mayan culture were attacked and destroyed by the Spanish and European colonizers, but some of the traditions survived and adapted and changed overtime. Pepian was fused with newly introduced meets like chicken, pork, and beef, but it also retained it’s Mayan influence by maintaining the pepitoria as the main ingredient. The mostly working class Mayan population that had created the dish, started to only make Pepian only on special occasions like for religious ceremonies, family celebrations, weddings, and holidays because of the price of the ingredients, particularly the meat.

Because Guatemala is 39% indigenous and it is considered the biggest indigenous population in the Western hemisphere, Guatemala has claimed this dish as Guatemalan. but Pepian was cooked by Mayan chefs long before colonization and well before  the modern nation state of Guatemala. Because Pepian existed before modern day national boundaries, the dish can also be found in areas of central and southern Mexico. In Mexico, Pepian is often recognized as the forefather to Mole and it is also spelled differently by replacing the e for an I,

to make Pipian[1]. In southern and central Mexico Pipian is also cooked by ethnic Mayans, just like in Guatemala. The ability of Mayan cuisine to survive colonization and resist the pressure to assimilate into national Guatemalan and Mexican identities, makes Pepian a cultural victory for the Mayan people and their 500 year resistance. Every time I take my mother to the store to pick out the ingredients for Pepian, it feels like I am playing a small part in the Mayan resistance.

Last week when I took my mom to the store I watched as she merged our present lives in the United States with our family’s Guatemalan and Mayan past. In the grocery store, she made her way to the potato aisle first.  She passed by the red ones, the purple ones, and the ones shaped like fingers. She avoided the oversized, starchy Russets, and the various kinds of sweet potatoes, and she made a B-line to her potato of choice: the golden colored New Potatoes. She explains that the smaller sized, smooth New Potatoes are fresher than the others, which makes them more juicy and sweet. After carefully selecting half a dozen unblemished potatoes, she made her way to the chayote. Chayotes are a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America that taste a little like a cross between a potato and a cucumber. Their crunchy, yet tender texture and mild flavor perfectly absorb the flavor of the meat, spices, and seeds of the pepian stew. My mom chose four and put them in her cart near the potatoes.

As I watched my mom browse through Rancho Market’s gigantic isles-  serenaded by cumbia music and a voice on the  loudspeaker announcing the “descuentos”, “discounts”, I started to think about how much our lives have changed and yet, how much they’ve stayed the same. When my father first came to the United States in 1988, he said the most shocking thing was going to the supermarket and seeing so much food – isles after isles of every kind of food. At the time, Guatemala was in the midst of a civil war and food was harder to come by, but my mom says that even in height of the war, my abuela would make pepian at least once a month. Whereas in Guatemala we purchased most of the produce at open air farmers markets from mostly indigenous women wearing their trajes or traditional clothing, here our produce came from all over the world and we could use a self-checkout line if we were in a hurry or just didn’t want to talk to a human. In Guatemala, we made tortillas by hand, but here, except on the rare occasions, we purchased them from some company called Mission. Yet despite the logistical differences, the taste of the food carried our culture across time and space and across generations and borders. It linked us with our ancestors and told the story of our pre-columbian, post-colonial, post-US imperial, presently-proud immigrant lives.

After my mom finished cooking that night, she laid out the table cloth which she had purchased from ingenious weavers in Guatemala, lit the Virgin de Guadalupe candle, and called us all for dinner. As I sat next to her, my brother, and my Tia Maritza I thought about everything our family had endured for generations – colonization, civil war, border crossings, anti-immigrant sentiment. But as I rolled my tortilla and dipped it into the pepita-based sauce, I felt bien alimentado – well nourished – in body and soul.

[1] Dewitt, Dave.
“Pepian, An Ancient Heritage Recipe”. MexGrocer. Nov 22, 2009. Accessed Mar 10, 2018

[1] France-Presse, Agence. “Guatemala’s Mayan heritage lives on in spicy pepian”. Inquirer. Sep 25, 2015.

Accessed Mar 10, 2018

[2] Giron, Rudy. “Guatemalan Cuisine: The Kak’ik”. Antigua Daily Photo. Aug 2, 2008. Accessed Mar 10, 2018

[3] Watts, Amanda. “A Guatemalan Christmas: How to Make Tamales”. Mayan Families. Dec ne6, 2016. Accessed Mar 10, 2018

[4] Rose, Natalie. “From Guate, with Pepian”. Revue. Nov 5, 2012. Accessed Mar 10, 2018

[5] France-Presse 2018

[6] Minster, Christopher. “The Maya: Conquest of the K’iche by Pedro de Alvarado”. ThoughCo. May 12, 2017. Accessed Mar 10, 2018

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

By: Ritesh Charitra

Since I was little, food has always played an important role in my life. Coming from a big family there has always been gatherings at my house. When I was young, I remember everyone would come over and my mom and aunts would cook a variety of dishes while the men hung out and the kids played outside. The delicious smell of spices and curries roamed throughout the house. My mom is a great host, and always went far and beyond in making everyone feel at home. One of those delicious dishes that always reminds me fond childhood memories is Chicken Biryani. In simple terms “Chicken Biryani” is chicken with rice mixed together. The secret in making this dish is using fresh farmed chicken rather than the frozen ones you can find in your local grocery store.

Many people believe “biryani” is a dish indigenous to India. The name biryani is “derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. While there are multiple theories about how biryani made its way to India, it is generally accepted that it originated in West Asia.”  (Pal, 2016)The are many different legends of how biryani was created but the most “popular story traces the origins of the dish to Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s beautiful queen who inspired the Taj Mahal. It is said that Mumtaz once visited the army barracks and found the Mughal soldiers looking weak and undernourished. She asked the chef to prepare a special dish that combined meat and rice to provide balanced nutrition to the soldiers – and the result was biryani of course! At the time, rice was fried in ghee, without washing, to give it a nutty flavour and prevent it from clumping. Meat, aromatic spices, and saffron were added to it before cooking the mix over a wood fire.”  (Pal, 2016)

Many different cultures have some type of chicken and rice mixture. Colombians for instance have Arroz con Pollo. The mixture of chicken and rice is a classic combination which uses a mixture of carbs and protein.

In “biryani”, spices play a very important role in making it delicious and there are a variety of recipes which use either meat, chicken or only vegetables. Vegetarians and vegans can make Biryanis without any meat or animal products by substituting meat with veggies and potatoes. Many restaurants in India don’t serve meat and for religious reasons incorporate a vegan diet. “The evolution of biryani spans many centuries, many cultures, many ingredients and many cooking styles. From an army dish to a dish fit for royalty, the biryani today is a pan-India culinary favourite. Its many varieties reflect the local tastes, traditions and gastronomic histories of their regions of evolution. (Pal, 2016)

In my household, chicken biryani has been a staple food and we use a recipe that is quite easy to follow. Although we use the Shan’s Sindhi Biryani spices mix, we do not follow the directions on the back.

Let’s start with the ingredients you will need:

-2 lbs. of your choice of meat. (You may use boneless chicken breast or chicken thighs with bone-in, chopped in small pieces. Omit if you are vegetarian)

-3 cups of long grain brown rice or basmati rice

-2 medium onions

-3 medium tomatoes

-handful of garlic cloves

-3 one-inch pieces of fresh ginger

-1 Serrano chili pepper

-3 tbsp. olive oil

-Salt and black pepper to taste

– 1 box of Shan Sindhi Biryani

Photo by: Ritesh

-1 large pot

– 4 cups of water

-1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Step 1: Wash the chicken and prep it by chopping in small pieces. If you are using bone-in chicken cut in small pieces including the bones. Add light amount of salt and black pepper.

Photo by: Ritesh

Step 2: Mince the garlic, ginger and chili pepper. Once minced add to the chopped chicken pieces and mix well. Set aside.

Photo by: Ritesh

Step 3: Peel and chop the onions into small pieces. Set aside.

Step 4: Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

Photo by: Ritesh

Step 5: Rinse the rice three times and then put it in the rice cooker with enough water to cover the rice up to two inches. For 3 cups of rice, you would add approximately 3 cups of water as well. Sprinkle a tsp of Shah’s mixture and mix the rice. Place to cook.

Photo by: Ritesh

Step 6: Pour oil in hot pot and add the chopped onions

Step 7: Once the onions are golden brown, add the chopped chicken and chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle the package of Shah’s Sindhi Biryani and mix all ingredients in the pot well.

Step 8: Add 1 cup of water to the pot, cover and let cook over medium heat

Step 9: After 10 mins, uncover pot and mix chicken around to ensure it cooks evenly. Let the chicken cook until the water has dried out. Approximately 30 mins.

Step 9: Once the chicken is cooked and the water had dried move pot aside.

Step 10: Grab the cooked rice and throw on top of the cooked chicken. With a spoon mix the rice and chicken together until the ingredients have mixed together well.

Step 11: Serve your portion of Chicken biryani and garnish on top with chopped cilantro.

Photo by: Ritesh



Pal, S. (2016, July 6). The better India. Retrieved from The Story of Biryani: How This Exotic Dish Came, Saw and Conquered India!:

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas:


My happiest memories are associated with food and music. From as from as far back as I can remember, I knew some good food was being made when my parents had music playing from the kitchen. My mother is Mexican & Puerto Rican and my father is African American so, music was always rather different depending on who was cooking. My mother loved salsa music with a little Donna Summers. My father loved listening to Kool & The Gang with a mixture of Jazz and other various instrumentals. When my parents were not looking, my siblings and I would change the music to our favorite Michael Jackson song to make ourselves known and ready to help cook.

Chicken & Cheese enchiladas started off being my father’s favorite dish which later became my little immediate family’s favorite get  together dish. The story has it that my mother took my father to Arizona to meet the family and my father was hooked on the Flores family cooking. My father loved the rich, flavorful, and exotic taste of my tias enchiladas. My mother used to tell my siblings and I that my father did not want to leave Arizona until my mother had the recipe to those enchiladas. My mother ended up getting my great-grandma’s enchilada sauce recipe from scratch  from my tia Ernie for a promise. The actual promise is unknown yet, I believe that as long as my tia Ernie is alive no one in the second generation (meaning my generation) can have the enchiladas/mole sauce recipes. My tia Ernie is 77 years old with partial visual but still makes the best mexican food hands down.

Every time one of my family members makes enchiladas we always make some chicken and some cheese. I laugh when I think about it as it reminds me of a incident that occurred the summer of 1989.  We were living in Phoenix then when my little sister got dramaticastically sick and blamed the chicken in the enchiladas. Not to give you all the gory details but, we had chicken enchiladas and later that night my sister felt horrible pains in her stomach and lost all the chicken in her body. She was only four years of age but claimed never to eat chicken in her enchiladas again. My sister since 1989 makes a separate batch of only cheese enchiladas while we enjoy chicken and various meats in our enchiladas. She claims she has to make some only cheese to balance the dish out.


Our Assembly Line :

I have a sister and and brother whom have loved to cook since they were infants. I on the other hand cook out of need then desire. To keep my sibling and I occupied my mother would assign us tasks in helping her prepare the ingredients and assembly line in making enchiladas. We always had a block of cheddar cheese (sometimes jack), white onions, and the corn tortillas to prepare before my mother would start preparing the enchilada sauce. She only knows how to make the red sauce from scratch as she lost the recipe to the green sauce in the big move to Florida back in 1996. My first job was to shred the block of cheese with the old cheese grater. I hated that thing and would always cut my knuckles. In the assembly line one person grates the cheese, the next dices the onion and places the small pieces into a bowl. Once I got to ten years old I was able to help shred the chicken and assist with the hot oil in slightly cooking the tortillas. My mother would tell my siblings and I not to fight or bicker while cooking as it was make her enchilada sauce spicy. The tortillas and enchiladas sauces are most important parts of the dish.


History of the Tortilla :

In my family tortillas an essential items in majority of our meals. Every one of my latin family members have a pack of tortillas and or can make their own tortillas at any given time. Tortillas as so important in my family that I had to research where did the first tortilla come from. When looking into that place that pops up in my google search is Mexico and Central America. Wikipedia describes a tortilla as a type of thin, unleavened flatten bread made out of finely ground maize also known as corn more or less. In continuing to research I discovered the website ( which expressed that tortillas can be tracked back thousands of years where some anthropologists found remains of people whom harvested corn in the Sierra Madre mountains. In reading stories on the history of things website, it is a Mayan legend that tortillas were created by peasants who tried to appease the hunger of their king. In the book “Tortillas : A cultural history by Paula E. Morton, I learned that “corn was an inexpensive, easy to grow, and converting corn to tortillas was part of the education of every woman in rural Mexico” (Morton, 2014, p 11). The Aztecs took raw corn, dried it ground it out to be cornmeal, then later making into corn dough and masa as discussed on ancient mexican tortillas on the Mexcaligrill website. The spanish would call the flatten corn “little cakes” which  later they named tortillas. I became curious more on how is this corn so important.

In reviewing the history there are three colors of maize dough which is used for making tortillas. The three different colors are : white maize, yellow maize and blue or black maize which all of the maize arose from a single domestication in southern Mexico approximately about 10,000 years ago as stated by wikipedia. The oldest surviving maize type are the ones of the Mexican highlands as stated by Dommy Gonzalez in the LA Times article “ Choosing Sides :Flour or Corn Tortillas”. Once corn was able to be grounded and flatten into this circle it was then to be in varied of mexican dishes. Tortillas can now be processed with flour and wheat slightly changing the taste and nutritional values.


In looking into where tortillas come from I also wondered what the true definition of enchiladas really mean. On the website the history of things, the enchiladas is described as simply a corn tortilla that is rolled around meat and or cheese . Looking into different recipes of enchiladas many are topped with a spicy chile sauce and or onions and a light cream.

Quick Story of the Flores Family :

My great grandma Alma came from Mexico in 1922 shortly after the Mexican Revolution with my great grandfather Juan Flores. The two had thirteen children and grew their own fruits and vegetables to feed their large family. Alma Flores made everything from her garden especially corn. The entire house would smell which Alma Flores would make flour and corn tortillas. Tortillas were like bread to the Flores family and they ate it with every meal. One of Alma’s favorite dishes was enchiladas which she made the entire recipe from scratch. Alma taught each of her children how to cook but never wrote anything down. Each of her children make enchiladas a little different but the enchilada sauce always has that familiar taste.

My mother’s mother ( my grandma) died when my mother was very young so she did not get all of the same recipes.


Why Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas:

Truthfully I am not the best cook and enchiladas were the quickest and easiest thing I ever learned to make that brings be joy. My mother will not give out the recipe for the enchiladas so my sister and I have found that La Palmas enchiladas sauce is very close to mi nana (my great grandma) delicious sauce.

Ingredients :


1 Bag of Baked Rotisserie Chicken

2 Cans of Las Palmas Enchiladas Sauce (preferably Mild)

1 Pack of Corn Tortillas (approx. qty 30+)

2 Packs of Shredded Cheese (Preferably Mixed Blend)

About 1 cup of Vegetable Oil (depending on size of cooking pan)

Prefered Utensils :

1 pair of tongs

1 – Stir Spoon

1 – Non stick frying pan

1 – saucepan

1 – 13 x 9 baking pan

2 – medium bowls


Preparation Instructions (buliding the assembly line) :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place shredded cheese in bowl

Shred chicken and place in bowl

Warm up enchilada sauce on low heat to shimmer

Place vegetable oil in frying pan and warm on medium heat until oil starts to bubble (be careful)

Using the tongs place tortilla in hot oil for 15 – 20 seconds then flip tortilla over for another 15-20 seconds to slightly cooked the tortillas


Assembly Line :

Line up the following:

Bowl of cheese

Bowl of chicken

baking pan



Let it ROLL :


Using a ladle splash some enchiladas sauce in baking pan

Dip the cooked corn tortilla in the warmed saucepan soaking up the sauce

Place tortilla in baking pan carefully

Grab a pinch (or desired amount) of chicken and form straight a line down the middle of tortilla

Grab a pinch (or desired amount) of cheese and re-trace line down the middle of tortilla (as above step)

From the left middle part of tortilla begin to roll then tuck the enchilada then slide to the right side of baking pan (carefully)

Repeat until all tortillas have been rolled or reached desired amount


Add additional enchilada sauce and cheese on the top

Place in warm oven for 20 minutes (or until all cheese has melted)

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes


In researching cheese enchiladas I found a great recipe on “ Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen” (


Ingredients :

8 soft corn tortillas

4 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar or jack)

2 (10 ounces) cans of enchilada sauce

½ white onion (chopped)



I watch a lot of episodes FOOD 911 on the food network and found a great recipe for chicken enchiladas as well.

Recipe was by Tyler Florence and it was on the episode named : Fireman’s Rescue – Signal Hills, CA / Creme Brulee Craving – Golden Valley MN


( )



3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast

Salt & Pepper

2 teaspoons Cumin

2 teaspoons Garlic powder

1 Onion

2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)

1 cup of frozen corn (thawed)

5 cans of whole green chile

½ Teaspoon of All purpose flour

16 corn tortillas

1 ½ cup of enchilada sauce

2 cups of shredded cheese


Directions :

Coat large saute pan with oil

Season chicken with salt & pepper

Brown chicken in oven on Medium ( allow approx 7 mins on each side then flip over)

Make sure chicken is no longer pink


Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder, and other desired mexican spices

Warm up enchilada sauce in small saucepan for 10 mins

Dip corn tortillas in warmed enchiladas sauce using thongs

Place shredded chicken on dipped tortilla then slowly roll cheese and chicken

Sprinkle each sauce and extra cheese on rolled tortillas

Place pan of enchiladas in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly brown

Cool and serve after 10 minutes




Burleson, B., & B. (1970, January 01). Easy Cheese Enchiladas. Retrieved March 3rd, 2018, from www.


Corn tortilla. (2018, March 07). Retrieved March 10, 2018, from


History of Enchiladas. Retrieved March 3rd, 2018.


Florence, T. (2015, February 12). Chicken Enchiladas. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from


Las Palmas home page :


Morton, P., Tremaine, P., & Tremaine, Lisa. (2014). Tortillas: A cultural history.


Chicken Tortilla Soup


The crock pot is a life saver for busy moms like myself. My first crock pot, or slow cooker, was given to me as a gift. I didn’t realize just how much I would grow to love and appreciate it. A crock pot is a convenient appliance used for slow cooking meals without the worry of burning or over cooking your food. I like to toss food in, set it and forget it. As a child, we never owned a slow cooker. My mother worked full-time but she taught my sister and I how to prepare dinner so that it would be ready when she arrived home from work. Our meals consisted of a piece of roast or chicken quarters and a frozen vegetable. We would use the same seasonings: Lawry’s seasoned salt and pepper. We knew to put the meat in the roaster, cover and bake at 350 degrees. The vegetables would be seasoned the exact same way, covered and simmered low with a bit of water. I guess that you could say that we were my mother’s slow cookers. We were expected to put the meal on every day at around four o’clock. I saw just how much my mother appreciated having dinner ready when she arrived home from work.

I received my first slow cooker from my mother’s only brother—my uncle Milton. My uncle is the only boy out of five kids and I have never seen him cook a meal. I know that he believes that a woman’s place is in the kitchen because he is so old school. I won’t hold it against him, however, because he has good intentions. He bought each his nieces a slow cooker one year and a rice cooker the next. I was so impressed with my slow cooker because it was equipped with a timer. I am sure that he believes the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. For years, my uncle’s stay-at-home wife prepared his meals and served him as he sat at the dinner table. I never saw myself as a stay-at-home type of woman, but I wanted to be able to take care of my family the way that my aunt did. I watched my uncle sit at the table and quietly eat whatever my aunt placed in front of him. He would shower after a day’s work and sit down to the table and wait to be served. He would not say a word, but I knew that he enjoyed his food because he would wiggle his sockless feet under the table. I never told anyone that I noticed—but I did. It was the funniest and most beautiful thing to me.

Over the years, I had a collection of cook books that I gathered for when I had a family of my own to cook for. I stockpiled recipes that looked great in magazines and cookbooks that I found next to the chewing gum in the super market. The first time that I prepared a meal for the man that I would eventually marry, I decided to make an Asian-inspired lettuce wrap. I was in my early twenties and my spice cabinet was not nearly as stocked as it is now. I remember buying soy sauce, garlic powder and ground ginger among other things. I spent hours on preparation only to watch him slather the food with catsup and swallow with very little chewing. I believed that I was preparing a meal that he would savor and enjoy. I learned a valuable lesson that day, my man does not care for fancy cooking. It only needs to be good and if it goes well with catsup or barbeque sauce—even better. I turned my attention to casseroles after that experience. I found a simple recipe for a roast that is always a hit and I mastered a northern white beans and smoked turkey dish. No kidding!

Using the crock pot, initially, I feared that the food would end up burned or the house would burn down while I was asleep or away. I would put the food on and I could hardly sleep for constantly checking the pot. A slow cooker can usually be left unattended all day for many recipes. (Rattray) I tend to choose meals that I can cook for at least eight hours on a low setting. Slow cookers are designed to do their own thing. (Hire) I learned that you should not lift the lid to your crock pot very often because it adds to the cooking time. Every time that you take the lid off it will release some of the heat, so if you keep doing this you will have to increase the cooking time. Eventually, I learned to trust my appliance. I have swapped recipes, Googled recipes and pinned recipes on my Pinterest page. There are amazing pages on Pinterest solely for crock pot recipes. Some mornings, I would lie in bed wishing that I had breakfast but stuck on Tasty’s page gawking a food for hours. I have been known to share foods to my Facebook page until I exhaust myself and settle for a bowl of cereal.

One glorious day, I smelled something really delicious coming from the break room. I asked around to see who had used the microwave recently and what were they having. My co-worker shared that she’d just run home and grabbed a bowl of chicken tortilla soup that she had cooking at home in preparation for the evening’s dinner. I was instantly impressed with my less-than-impressive co-worker. I thought that she spent way too much money going out to lunch and supporting her Starbuck’s habit. I had recently bought into the K-cup craze and it was expensive enough for my taste. But on this particular day, my friend shared her soup with me and informed me that it was a crock pot recipe that she had found online. The very next weekend, I made sure to have all of the ingredients on hand so that I could try it out on my family. Cumin and coriander were two spices that I did not have in my arsenal of culinary weaponry. Unlike many recipes that you find, this one is absolutely perfect and does not need any modifications.

I am the type of person who likes to eat good food but does not necessarily enjoy the preparation.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 ½ cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
¾ cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic crusher
2 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups frozen corn
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For serving:
Tortilla strips or tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Diced avocado, diced Roma tomatoes, sour cream (optional)


Pour chicken broth and diced tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken. Cover with lid and cook on LOW heat for 6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and shred, then return to slow cooker along with black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice. Allow to cook until heated through. Serve warm with tortilla strips and cheese and other optional ingredients. You will surely enjoy this dish.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy (Cooking Classy)

It is important to arrange the foods carefully. Do not put frozen meat in your slow cooker. The frozen food will take longer to heat up, leaving your meal susceptible to bacteria growth. Put your vegetables in the slow cooker first because they cook slower than meat or poultry. Add the meat then add your water, broth or stock. Moist foods like soups, chili and stew are ideal for slow cookers because the steam that builds up makes for a very inhospitable environment for bacteria.

I like to prepare my ingredients the night before, if I am cooking the meal during the day while I am at work. Another benefit to preparing the meal in advance is that it gives the meal even more time to absorb the seasonings. Slow cooking allows your food to absorb the seasonings simply because of the length of time that you allow your meal to cook but pre-seasoning, I have found, just about guarantees that your dish will be flavorful. I prepare all of my ingredients by washing, measuring and chopping them. Then I add them to the slow cooker with the exception of the water or broth that the recipe calls for. Again, keeping the ingredients in the fridge helps deny bacteria a chance to multiply wildly in those critical first hours of cooking. (Alfaro)

This soup is absolutely amazing. Whenever I come across a recipe that is this good, I wonder who created it and what prompted them to share. I have grown up with women who have a specialty item and they literally take the recipe with them to their grave. For this reason, I absolutely appreciate when I am able to find a recipe that is great without any modifications.

This weekend, I checked the weather and learned that we were expecting chilly weather with a chance of showers. Perfect soup weather. I made a pot and my family ate about half. I could hear them going in and out of the crock pot after I left the room. That makes a mom’s heart proud when you know that your family enjoyed a meal that you prepared. What’s best is I know that that there was no barbeque sauce or catsup added to their bowls. My daughter added a few dashes of Tobasco sauce to hers but that is to be expected. That is simply good eating! What’s even better is that there are leftovers for me to take to work tomorrow and the soup will be even better after the seasons have had an extra day to work their magic.

Among others, a great benefit of slow cooking is the clean-up is so easy. I have seen many recipes that call for cheese to be added to the crock pot that is one thing that I have never done—prepared a cheesy dish in the crock pot. If you are so inclined to slow cook with cheese, you may want to use a crock pot liner. I used them once. That plastic line reignited my fears about the slow cookers starting a fire. So I will continue to wash my pot after every use. The crock pot is the greatest invention ever. When purchasing a crock pot consider the size of your family and what features you want and need. (Larsen) You can buy a slow cooker that serves 1-2 or you can go all the way up to 7-quart capacity. I have a fairly large one and I can feed my family of five and even have leftovers. If you think that the first night was yummy, you will flip over the leftovers. They are even more flavorful. Mine has a timer so I can set it for 8 or 10 hours and then it goes into keep warm mode. I really think that I have the best post around. I did not have any input in the selection of my appliance, but I see no reason to upgrade my slow cooker.

Alfaro, Danilo. The Spruce. 29 November 2017. 10 March 2018.
Cooking Classy. 02 December 2017. 10 March 2018.
Hire, Caroline. Good Food. n.d. 10 March 2018.
Larsen, Linda. The Spruce. 19 December 2017. 2018 10 March.
Rattray, Diana. The Spruce. 21 September 2017. 10 March 2017.



My family is composed of two kinds of people. My mother was raised on the Sierra Madre of Sinaloa and her foods where farm animals and wild such as deer. My mother’s family worked on agriculture, they cultivated all vegetables, therefore, any vegetable that they eat was planted and cared for by them. As for fruits, mangos, guavas, lemons, oranges, and many other trees would grow on their own, unless they planted them.  My father was raised in Nayarit closer to the ocean. Here, he was exposed to many types of foods one of his main delights was and is all seafood. He loves and enjoys.

I am going to introduce one of by father’s main entree and/or appetizer.

Seafood has been part of my family for generations. My fathers’ family is from Nayarit, Mexico. He grew up around seafood all his life. In the city there is restaurants called botaneras. In these places or centros a customer can order all seafood and the shrimp is prepared in many ways.  Here, a customer does not pay for the “botana” , only the drinks. There may be some exemptions, the last time we went to one was in the summer of 1999.

My father loves all seafood, especially shrimp. He enjoys shrimp cooked or raw. It includes soup, shrimp blended and turned into tortas, breaded shrimp, a la diabla, chile en mojo de ojo, shrimp cocktail and cooked with mixed vegetables. It reminds me of Bubba from Forest Gump. When it comes to shrimp, he does not discriminate he can eat a complete shrimp raw or cooked. That includes the head and the shell with veins. Ewe!

My father and I rarely see eye to eye, we have a broken relationship. But when I comes to food I can say that conversations develop as well as an appreciation for each others’ company. With no doubt food can unite friends and families. Like the old saying, “barriga llena y corazon contento” in other words love comes in through the stomach and into the heart. During our dating years, my husband  and I were young and wanted to know each other better. Therefore, the first time my husband ate at my parents house, my mother and I prepared ceviche; one was made of shrimp and the over one of canned baby clam. The ceviche was set with lemon for about 40 minutes. It was still a bit gray with a tint of pink when we began to dive in and serve. He was in disbelief as he had not eaten it so raw.  He was accustomed to let the shrimp sit in lemon for hours until it was completely red. That was odd to me, it did not taste as great as our home made ceviche. Currently, my husband and I make ceviche the same way my parents taught me, although we now add a small twist. We add mayonnaise to the tostada(a crunchy tortilla) this gives it a delicious flavor. My father does not live near, so when he visits he brings  a kilo of dry shrimp from Nayarit for us to eat. He and I try to be diplomatic for my boys. They are so young and happy. My father and I try to avoid topics we disagree with or may end a conversation agreing to disagree. My youngest son loves to eat shrimp. The ceviche has become one of his favorite meals. Both of my sons are picky eaters my oldest does not like meat nonetheless seafood but my youngest is not shy to ask for a plate of ceviche.

This is how we prepare our Ceviche. This picture is the end product. Let me show you how to make your own.

Ready to Serve Ceviche

Ceviche Recipe


1 pound of  medium size devein raw shrimp

1/2 pound of imitation crab

Clamato, Salt Pepper and Oregano

1 cup of Clamato

1 cup of lime juice

Salt and ground black pepper (to desired taste)

1 teaspoon finely crushed oregano

Optional: avocado





2 medium size cucumbers, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 a red onion, 1 bushel of cilantro




RAW Shrimp

1. Peel and devein 1 pound of raw shrimp.

2. When clean, cut each shrimp twice, this will give you three small pieces.

3. Let the shrimp set in 1 cup of lime juice to pickle for about 45 minutes.


CHOP! Dice all the vegetables into small pieces.

After 45 minutes, Mix shrimp with lime and vegetables

Shrimp, Crab and Vegetables mix together!

Once the shrimp is slightly red add imitation crab and let sit for 15 minutes then mix in all chopped vegetables.Add  1 cup of clamato.

Mix in salt, pepper and finely crushed oregano leaves according to your liking. You can top it with avocado. I did not in this case.

Ceviche with Mayo on a Tostada So delicious!

Enjoy with family and friends. This is a great appetizer and/or main entree. Recommended during lent or in the summer along with a Coca-Cola or agua fresca. Yum!

This is my version of ceviche with imitation crab. There are many other ways to prepare this dish. My father does not care for mayonnaise, it does not go together in his eyes. But I plea different. This is one disagreement we do not have to compromise with but respect and move forward.

Life is full of battles. As an adult I have learned that those who matter in my life are best kept close and if I must let go of little disagreements here and there than I let them be. This is not one to waste my breath on. Simply eat and enjoy each others company  along with our differences. My father and I are learning to love each other more despite our differences.


Ceviche is one of the dishes most popular during lent season in the Catholic Church. Also, in the hot summer days as it is a refreshing and light meal that does not generate heat while making but may generate heat in your mouth if you add chili.

Nutritional Facts

We all know that shrimp is a bottom feeder therefore it may intake mercury. High levels of mercury are not healthy for the human body. Therefore shrimp is not recommended for a pregnant woman to consume. In addition, shrimp has a history of causing a cholera infestation in the 90s.

Shrimp is low in calories, “One medium shrimp provides about 7 calories, which means a dozen add up to less than 85 calories—roughly 15 less than a 3-ounce chicken breast” in addition shrimp has protein,  “over 75% for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline, copper, and iodine. And while we don’t typically think of animal proteins as sources of antioxidants, shrimp contain two types. In addition to being a mineral that plays a role in immunity and thyroid function, selenium is an important antioxidant that helps fight damaging particles called free radicals, which damage cell membranes and DNA, leading to premature aging and disease. Another antioxidant, called astaxanthin, which provides the primary color pigment in shrimp, has been shown to help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease.”(health)

Ceviche is mixed with nutritional fruit and vegetables. The blend of onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and cucumber not only give it a great taste but a good nutritional value. Limon is  an acid that changes the raw shrimp into a form that cooks the meat.

ALERT! CAUTION! Some people may have an  ALLERGIC REACTION

There are many allergens egg, milk, nuts, dogs, grass, bees, and many more but in this case. Shrimp is a huge allergen to be weary and careful not to consume if allergic to shell fish.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to shrimp. Shell fish reactions may become serious and include swelling and blockage of the airway. My sister is extremely allergic to shell fish. Around that time that my husband met my family he was getting to now my sister. When he greeted her, her eyes and lips where swollen, and her throat was itchy. I was so scared for her. She was loosing her color. For the first time she was getting completely swollen, I rushed her to the ER. She was given an epi-pen shot this quickly stopped the allergic reaction. Needless to say as much as she likes shrimp she does not eat shrimp or shell fish. It is important to know if somebody has a history of allergies as something like this can lead to death.

History of Ceviche

I chose to to use shrimp in my ceviche as the source of protien. Ceviche can be made with any kind of protein from wild caught seafood to farm raised. It is even easily converted into a vegan dish by using tofu. Different kinds of fish like the very inexpensive talapia to very expensive bluefin tuna are used to make ceviche it is very versatile and can be attainable for many clases of people. The vegetables that I add to the ceviche are a few and very attainable. Some may chose to add nuts. Others add more spice and chili to it. It is truly a food that one can take to another level; making it as vibrant, colorful and as picante as the person making it.

Historically, Ceviche is made with fish in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Ceviche is made all over the world and in different ways. According to Wikipedia, it originated from northern Peru by a civilization called the Moche about 2,000 years ago. They prepared it with Every country prepares ceviche in different ways; Equador prepares it with tomato sauce and limon. Marlin Kilawin from the Philippines is made with vinegar “to denature the ingredients”. Here, this is eaten as finger food with alcoholic drinks.


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Marlin Kilawin from the Philippines

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Collard Greens

finished and ready to eat

My cookbook entry is a childhood favorite collard greens. Collard greens are a traditional Southern comfort food from my childhood. This dish brings up sentimental memories of watching my mother and grandmother cook greens. Both women prepared the dish in different ways depending on the ingredients in the kitchen and the season. The main ingredient is the large dark leafy green plant that was either grown in our backyard, the neighbor’s yard or sold at the grocery stores. The other ingredients included onions, garlic, and meat just to name a few. Other types of greens were mustard and turnips, but collard greens were cooked the most and in my mind taste the best. This large green leafy plant was a comfort food for our household and was cooked at least two to three times a week. What didn’t get consumed would be frozen within a day or two to eat at a later time.

Cooking Greens has been in my family for at least four generations. I originally ate it with my mother as a young child living in California, later with my grandmother when we moved to Georgia during grade school. Which gave me a greater appreciation for the plant; something so simple to my family actually started a long tradition. I cook them for my daughters, and they now cook them for my grandkids. I’ll focus on my childhood for easy reading.

I can remember sitting at the kitchen table watching my mom or grandmother wash the greens in salt to make sure they were clean and did not taste bitter, then cutting into pieces for easy cooking, and placing them in a large pot that was already heated with meat and seasoning. Simmer until done. The dish was then enjoyed with cornbread or a biscuit when you need to improvise and/or baked or fried chicken (not shown) when the money was right or alone during the more difficult times. Collard greens were a staple dish on our dinner table.

greens and biscuit

Collard greens is a dish for the poor and the rich. I say this because in good times when money flowed through the house greens were cooked and enjoyed differently than when times got bad and money was tight. I feel Roy Choi’s LA Son cookbook touched on this same subject as it talked about growing up with a family that was not necessarily poor but still struggled to make ends meet while living in a city that has helped to raise and shape us into who we are today. Money has a lot to do with food and its preparation and food have a lot to do with memories.

Reading Roy Choi’s cookbook and taking a food and culture class has helped me to understand food and memories. The book puts an emphasis on food and life experiences not just its ingredients. The class rang true in teaching “There are few things more basic and bonding between humans than making and sharing food together. To offer food and drink is a gesture of hospitality throughout the world” (Perez, 2018). Both the cookbook and class lessons help me to tell my story of collard greens and generations.

Collard greens can be a warming dish as my mother would add more water in the winter (she called the juice pot liquor which is more like soup) and less water in the summer. A dish that can be eaten during sad and joyous times. A childhood dish that was enjoyed at home and at my grandmother’s house. The first time I had this dish with my grandmother was at her home in Dublin, Georgia. It took us five days to reach her small home along a dirt road. This was during a sad time in my life as my siblings and I were sent to live with her in a one bedroom house as our mother dealt with a divorce. Needless to say, we were traumatized as we were taken away from our friends and driven across the county in a car to stay in what we consider a shack house. This was also the first time we ate so much fast food that we longed for a home-cooked meal. We can laugh about this now, we say we were hungry kids in a foreign land. It was on the second or third day in that tiny shack that we watched our mother interact with hers. We sat and watch our mother help our grandmother clean and cut up collard greens as they discussed how things were going back in California. It is during this time that we kids could see where my mother got her style of cooking and why dinner was made in the morning.

precut collard greens

Both my mom and grandmother prepared collard greens about the same and chose them because they were easily grown, cheap to buy, and easy to make.  When grocery store started cutting them things got even easier. This is a dish that can be prepared many different ways no matter race or class. During better times they would use fresh ingredients from the grocery store when times got rocky ingredients would come from what’s on hand or in the garden. The other items when cooking this dish is depended upon the number of people eating (small or large portions) and economic time, but are not limited to:

onion, red bell pepper, and garlic


Collard greens – picked from the garden or four to five bundles from the store depending on how many in the bundle

Meat – ham hooks, soft pork, old bacon grease, smoked neck bones, or smoked turkey butts depending on the package

Red and/or yellow bell peppers – one or two

Onion – one or two

Garlic – one or two

Seasoning salt or sea salt and pepper

Water – chicken broth in better times

store fresh collard greens

Please don’t ask for the measurements for the recipe above, it is a scope of this and a dash of that. No measuring spoons or cups used in their kitchen.

The ingredients are not necessarily cooked in the same setting nor are they the only ingredients used, they are just the main ingredients I remember. The recipe depends on who’s cooking, the size of the pot, the weather, and the financial state of the house. The sure-fire thing that happens when cooking this dish is good music and other items to complement the dish such as homemade cornbread, yellow peppers, and even vinegar. As a child you would only find this dish cooked at home, now you can find collard green in Soul Food restaurants across the states.

It is a joy to write about this tasty dish as a comfort food and associate it with music from my childhood. The songs that come to mind when I think of collard greens are song by Al Green (still played when I’m cooking today), Please Mr. Post Man and Don’t Mess With Bill by The Marvelettes (my dad’s name is Bill so I’m sure this got played until the record broke), and My Girl by the Temptations to name a few. I’m not the only one that associates good eating with music. Opie (2008) suggests, relationships between African American and Latin American during the great depression were forged through music and food. Latinos (Chileans, Puerto Ricans, Iberians, Mexicans, and Argentines) have been known to eat and live in the same neighborhoods as blacks during the Jim Crow era when whites refused to serve non-whites in restaurants. The article notes this may have happened, “perhaps as a result of de facto segregation, African Americans and Latinos in New York developed a vibrant nightlife, with amazing restaurants and jazz clubs where they could socialize” was established. The article goes on to talk about famous musicians and the traditional southern and Caribbean food and helps to blend the two styles of cooking. “Latino and African American artists developed relationships because they shared common interests: cutting-edge jazz and, to a lesser degree, good inexpensive food” (Opie, 2008, pp.82, 85, 86). Still today different nationalities have been known to engage in food and music as a way to communicate and get along with each other.

After reminiscing on the good and bad times associated with collard greens this writer has to get back to the task at hand and that is writing about collard greens at its origins, ingredients that go along with them, and explaining how they are made. It was difficult to locate peer-reviewed/scholarly articles about the origins of the dark green leafy vegetable. I tried quite a few search options and found that the majority of the articles focused on how to grow and cook them. Still more articles forces on their association with cabbage, kale, and broccoli. I was, however, able to find peer-reviewed/scholarly articles on how scholars have come to view them in the last decade, their nutritional benefits, and how different cultures enjoy preparing and eating them in different ways.

In the last few decades, scholars have come to view this dark green leafy vegetable as an excellent health benefit. Internet sites make reference of collard greens dating back to Ancient Greek and Roman days. Anderson (nd), notes that this vegetable is primitive and has been retained through thousands of years. It also has many names in many languages, as a result of their great antiquity and widespread use. If this is true then they are dated back to the classical era when Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.

Even though some articles speak of collard greens dating back to Ancient Greek and Roman the majority of them I found dated them to African slaves as they reached southern colonies and incorporate a Southern style of cooking. Still another internet article by Spooner (2015) states, “Though greens did not originate in Africa, the habit of eating greens that have been cooked down into a low gravy, and drinking the juices from the greens (known as “pot likker”) is of African origin,” the article goes on to talk about how slaves and their descendants shaped how Americans cook and eat.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia was very informative in showing other nationalities that enjoy eating collard greens, in the UK these leaves are sold as Spring Greens and used just like cabbage, in Portuguese and Brazilian collard greens (or couve) is a cuisine that is common accompaniment to fish and meat dishes, and in Kashmir Valley collard greens (haakh) are included in most of the meals and both the leaves and roots are consumed (Wikopedia, 2018). The site also touches on the cultivation and storage of a picture of the greens in a Pennsylvania field. An internet blog by a company who makes and cans collard greens (news to me), Glory Foods says that the greens are a hip history that begins way, way back in time. The blog goes on to say historians date the greens back to dinosaurs and that they rooted in prehistoric times. The site was an interesting read because it covers the nutrition of collard greens and how food brings everyone together.

When and how collard greens originated is still a question, vitamin and nutritional value is easier to find. Nutritional benefits and vitamins of collard greens are listed in many different ways, but not many list the vegetable as a standalone benefit. Most readings relate the dark green leafy vegetable to other common vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. This reader found internet site different, the site focus was solely on the health benefits of collard greens. It was easy to understand as the site was able to identify five amazing health benefits and the vitamins related to this vegetable. The article reads:

“Unlike broccoli and kale and cabbage, you won’t find many research studies devoted to the specific health benefits of collard greens. However, collard greens are sometimes included in a longer list of cruciferous vegetables that are lumped together and examined for the health benefits they provide. Based on a very small number of studies looking specifically at collard greens, and a larger number of studies looking at cruciferous vegetables as a group (and including collard greens on the list of vegetables studied), cancer prevention appears to be a standout area for collard greens with respect to their health benefits” (Jideonwo, 2017).


Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, and moderate sources of calcium and vitamin B6. A 100 gram serving of cooked collard greens provides 33 calories, is 90% water, 3% protein, 6% carbohydrates and less than 1% fat.

This statement rings true as I search different articles and websites to validate my readings. I found that listed five amazing health benefits of collard greens as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular support, digestive support, and other benefits that are still being researched.

To conclude collard greens is a favorite childhood dish of mine that has been around for centuries and still enjoyed today. This dark green leafy vegetable can be grown in large fields to harvest and sell in local grocery stores or at home in a yard for easy picking. Ingredients used in preparing this vegetable is depended upon the cook and their taste. Different cultures enjoy preparing and eating them in different ways. Its nutritional benefits and vitamins of collard greens ensure that this vegetable is here to stay.


Choi, R., Nguyen, T., Phan, N., & Fisher, B. (2013). L.A. son: My life, my city, my food  (First ed.).

Dominguez Hills College (2018). Class IDS 336 and Food and Culture. Carson, California. Dr. Perez.

Glory Foods, (2012, May 02) The Origin Of Collard Greens. Retrieved from

Jideonwo, P. (2017, September 12). 5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Collard Greens. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from

Martin Anderson, Texas AgriLife Extension Service. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from

Opie, F. (2008). Eating, Dancing, and Courting in New York Black and Latino Relations, 1930-1970. Journal of Social History, 42(1), 79-109.

Spooner, S. (2015, November 13). What the slaves brought: Africa’s great gift to American cuisine – and the remarkable history of some humble veggies. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from