Your Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter

April is National Pecan Month !

Volume #018


Welcome New Friends
What’s New!
Feature Article: Part 2 - Healthier Soul Food Alternatives -
Soul Food Column
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Soul Food Care Package
Soul Food Resource Center (New)
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking



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 from the kitchen you want to share, please feel free to do so. Send them directly to me at

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


Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook will be going into the second printing in April, 2008. Soul Food Cookbook

New article on EzineArticles-- Bake Sale Recipes

Soul Food was listed as one of the 5 Top Soul Food Recipe Websites by Associated Content. Recipe Center


Healthier Soul Food Alternatives - Part 2
By Cassandra Harrell

Many viewers tell me in the Reader’s Poll that they would love to see more reduced fat soul food recipes. Well, to be perfectly honest with you, that’s really not easy to find---simply because you basically have to learn how to reduce your own recipes down without sufficing flavor.

In the coming months, I will be taking a variety of soul food recipes and offering ideas and suggestions for making them lighter and healthier--This is the perfect opportunity for you to start a collection of low fat soul food recipes.

Healthier Soul Food Alternatives - Part 2

There are many soul foods out there that can be made healthier just be changing a few ingredients around. You can also substitute many items without eliminating taste

Today, I am going to take a few simple soul food recipes and lighten them up.

Let’s take a look at collard greens with smoked turkey. Instead of using ham hocks or salt pork, try using smoked turkey or smoked lean meat. This will certainly make your greens less fatty. A tablespoon of olive oil instead of grease is another healthy choice.

The turnips I added are only about 33 to 40 calories a cup and of course if you don’t add butter, you will eliminate extra calories. By substituting only a few ingredients, make this collard green recipe a healthy choice.

1 smoked turkey wing or 3 to 4 ounces smoked lean meat
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 pounds of fresh collard greens
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
Salt and pepper to taste

Place turkey wing or smoked meat in large pot; add water and pepper pods. Cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender. Remove from heat, but do not drain. Break stems off of greens. Wash leaves thoroughly. Slice leaves into bite-size pieces by rolling several leaves together and slicing in one fourth inch strips.

Add greens, sugar, oil, vinegar, onion, salt and pepper to smoked meat. Let greens cook down in pot, then cover over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Add turnips and continue cooking until greens and turnips are folk tender. Serve with a slotted spoon. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

The next recipe is Oven Barbecue Chicken. Chicken is normally a good choice prepared any way except fried. This recipe has a combination of seasonings and spices to add flavor to this dish. With only 125 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong.

2 1¼ pound boilers, quartered
¼ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon salt, (optional)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dry yellow mustard
½ teaspoon liquid sweetener
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 clove or garlic, minced

Removed skin from chicken; place quartered chicken in baking dish. Combine ¼ cup water and remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over chicken. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Yield: 4 servings. 125 calories per serving.

The next time you prepare a plain baked potato, try topping it with this tasty homemade dressing instead of butter or margarine. It’s light, delicious and taste great!

½ cup dry cottage cheese
¼ cup sour cream, light
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 teaspoon minced onions, (optional)
½ teaspoon minced garlic, (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of parsley
Dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend at high speed for 1 minute or until mixture is creamy. Serve on baked potatoes.

If you have a sweet tooth, this dessert is for you. This lemon reduced fat pie is refreshing and taste great. With only 175 calories per serving, all you’re really miss is the fat.

3 lemons, squeezed
2 egg yolks
1 ½ cans eagle brand milk, reduced fat
1 graham cracker crust, reduced fat

Mix lemon juice from squeezed lemons and egg yolks together (disregard seeds). Mix well. Gradually add milk. Mix until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust. Chill. Yield: 6 to 8 servings. 175 calories per slice.

Next month, watch for Part 3 of Healthier Soul Food Alternatives. Don’t miss it!


SOUL FOOD COLUMN - This month we focus on Tarragon


Tarragon is native to southern Russia and western Asia. Today, its primary producer is France.

Tarragon is commonly known as a flavoring for vinegar and is used in pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, and sauces. Tarragon also goes well with fish, meat, soups and stews, and is often used in tomato and egg dishes. Tarragon adds distinctive flavor to sauces.

Tarragon also adds flavor to egg and cheese dishes, light soups and fresh fruits. To baste chicken, fish or seafood, blend Tarragon with butter, chives, and lemon. Tarragon has a slightly bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise.

Below is a recipe with tarragon.

Tarragon Chicken Bake
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups half-and-half
4 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti, cooked and drained
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken meat
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the soup, half-and-half, tarragon and pepper. Stir in the spaghetti and the chicken.

Transfer all to an ungreased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until heated through.



· Learn to read the nutrition label on foods to determine the fat content.

· Try using turkey and leaner bacon, sausage and ham. Read the package for leaner cuts of your favorite cold cuts.

· Meats with the word “loin” or “round” carry less fat and calories.

· Bake or roast raw meat such as beef and chicken. Chicken can be baked in skin to maintain its moisture and taste. Remove skin after cooking.

· Try using sugar substitute instead of regular sugar.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips!



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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 2007 Soul Food Advisor