How To Make Soul Food Healthy

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A CGE Virtual Cooking Class

As you all know, one of the things I’m passionate about is bringing families back to the table, one healthy, delicious meal at a time. I love being able to instruct the community I’m in on how to prepare foods that their families will love and I do so through my cooking classes. I’ve always desired, however, to reach more people and the other night, I did just that. I held a virtual cooking class for a Facebook community that I’m a part of, in which I taught them how to make a healthy version of a soul food classic: collard greens.

I love soul food. It has a way of making me feel comforted and speaks right to the soul. I’m sure it has that same comforting effect on you too! Unfortunately, it’s not comforting to every part of our bodies. The traditional soul food that we have come to love chokes out our heart and many other organs as time goes on and we continue to eat like this.  So I thought to myself, “What better way to kick off a virtual cooking class than to make healthy soul food!”

With that being said, I decided to make what I like to call the CGE twist and shout collard greens. When I was younger, my grandmother would be in the kitchen making collard greens all day long! She’d throw some apple cider vinegar in there, some ham hocks, some seasonings, the works!  The problem was that by the time she finished cooking them, even though they tasted amazing, there probably wasn’t an ounce of nutrients left in them. So that’s one of my goals with this recipe: to show you how to prepare this soul food favorite in a way that tastes delicious and doesn’t deplete the collard greens of all their nutrients.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Avocado Oil
  • Red onion-The secret to cutting them without crying is to put the onion in the freezer for about ten minutes.
  • Black Garlic – It’s fermented garlic but it doesn’t taste how you think garlic tastes. It’s actually sweet and you can eat it straight if you want to but please be aware it’s messy. The wonderful thing about it is that it’s a natural antibiotic. You can buy black garlic at Whole Foods.
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Carrots – natural cancer fighters.
  • Block cottage cheese is what I usually use but today I’m using mozzarella from Whole Foods.
  • Cranberries
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
  • Shrimp

Coat the pan with avocado oil or avocado oil spray. I don’t use olive oil because once olive oil reaches a specific temperature, gets too hot, it becomes toxic.

Chop and sauté the red onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the pan.

Next, we put in the kale and collards.

Once the greens have cooked down a bit, add carrots. Carrots make them sweet. But if you don’t like sweet food, don’t add carrots or cranberries.

Lastly, toss in the shrimp.

This should only take 15 minutes to cook. See, it is very possible to cook collard greens that don’t require you to cook them all day!

We received such great feedback from this class that we’ve decided to make virtual cooking classes a staple here at CGE.  But first, we’re doing a five-day balance challenge that I would love for you to join us in! Just go to and sign up for the challenge which begins March 9th and ends 13th.

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