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Inside This Issue Volume #027

Welcome New Subscribers
Free Cooking E-Book
Feature Article: Healthy Soul Food Tips
Column: Spice Up Your Soul Food
Great Southern Recipes
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
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Soul Food Resource Center



Hey Soul Food Lovers! Thank you for joining us. We invite you to send comments, suggestions, and ideas on what you would like to see in this newsletter.

Please feel free to take our reader’s poll. This poll gives us insight into the kind of information you want to see in this newsletter. So please take some time from your busy schedule to let us know what you want us to cover. No need to include your name. Visit the new Soul Food Resource Center (in this newsletter) for the Reader’s Poll link.

Also, if you have recipes or cooking stories you want to share, please feel free to do so. Send them directly to me at Contact Us

Again, welcome, sit back, relax, and enjoy this newsletter.


What’s New on Site Update -
My Gift to You! Free E-Book

I just finished a cooking-E-book that I am offering to everyone for free. All you have to do is go to the webpage and download your free copy. I have not officially advertised this e-book because I wanted you to be the first to have an opportunity to download the e-book.

This e-book will help you prepare great southern recipes whether you’re a beginner or an advanced cook. It doesn’t matter. Anyone can learn to prepare great southern recipes regardless of what level of cooking you are. So download your free copy today, and please don't forget to tell everyone about this e-book. Free E-book

Also Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook is now available in E-Book form. You won’t have to wait for the book to be shipped to you. So, check out the new webpage at Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook


Healthy Soul Food Tips for Planning Great Meals

By Cassandra Harrell

If you‘re thinking about making your soul food healthier, but feel it won’t taste the same then, think about this. Certain foods are always considered soul food no matter how they’re prepared.

For example, collard greens were among the seeds brought over from native crops by African American slaves as a means for preparing meals for their families. So no matter how collard greens are cooked, they’re still a soul food staple. However, today, we have healthier alternatives for preparing these native foods.

You can practically take any soul food dish and reduce the fat and sodium, simply by making a few adjustments in the way your prepare it.

To trim fat from soul food recipes simply resort to lighter versions. For example, add smoked turkey to your cooking pots instead of pork, or use olive oil in place of shortening. When I make fries, I spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray and cook them in the oven. The cooking spray also keep them from sticking. The only thing you lose by preparing fries this way is the greasy taste. There are also great soul food recipes including oven-fried chicken, low calorie stew, salads with low fat dressing and many other low-fat recipes.

Stomp out sodium by adding herbs and spices to your cooking pots, salads, fresh vegetables, and potato dishes instead of salt. You can also use salt-free seasonings and seasoning blends. When you choose the right seasoning for your food, you’ll be surprise how well it will taste without salt. For a list of herbs and spices that go well with dishes, please use the Related Resources links below.

Also, consider low-fat or reduced fat butter or margarine. Salad dressing can be purchased in reduced fat versions and low-fat plain yogurt is excellent as a dressing base. These changes will not cause your dishes to lose any flavor in the process.

Today eating healthy does not mean giving up the home-cooked soul-food we’re used to. It’s a matter of rethinking our eating habits and developing a healthier lifestyle.


SOUL FOOD COLUMN - This month we focus on ONIONS

There are very few people who have not heard of the great onion. Onions have been grown since before recorded history. They were fed to workers building pyramids and were found in the tomb of King Tut.

Onions are noted in the Bible as one of the foods most longed for by the Israelites after leaving Egypt for the Promised Land. They have been enjoyed by most cultures throughout history. Christopher Columbus brought Onions with him to the Americas. Their popularity quickly spread among native American cultures.

Fresh onions are pungent and have a sharp bite. Cooked onions lose this heat and develop a rich sweetness.

Use Onions in almost anything except sweets! Dried Onion can be added straight to liquids, but should be rehydrated before being added to drier dishes such as casseroles and stirfries. Rehydrating them also increases potency. Onions make the perfect foundation for meats, poultry, soups, salads, and stews. Dried Onions release flavor more rapidly than freshly chopped Onions when added to a recipe.

Onions are popular everywhere and are used as both a condiment and a vegetable in almost any savory food. When a recipe call for onions, the recipe is not quite the same without them. Onions are enjoyed both cooked and raw.



Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
Southern-style Spaghetti & Ground Beef
Pork Chop Casserole
Seasoned Cabbage
Black-eyed Pea Salad
Pineapple Pound Cake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Want More Great Recipes?




• Purchase bananas that are slightly green and allow them to ripen at room temperature. The skin should be free of bruises or colored spots.

• Cantaloupes are ripe if the stem scar is smooth and the space between the netting is yellow or yellow-green. When fully ripe, they will carry a fruity odor.

• Watermelons are ripe if there is some yellow color on one side. If melons are white or pale green on one side, they are not fully ripe.

• When purchasing strawberries that are in containers, make sure you check the bottom to see the condition of the berries underneath. Usually the best berries are on top.

• Leafy vegetables such as greens should have healthy, green leaves that have not wilted or yellowed.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips next month!



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Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2009 Soul Food Advisor