Southern Cooking done Healthier?
#1
I'm looking for ways to cook deep-south style without all the bacon, but still tasting like it should.  My husband loves southern food but I seem to have a sensitivity to nitrates.  I don't have a problem with meat or fat, but need some ideas to cut down on the nitrates in veggie dishes.  I don't have a good health food store in my area, there's one but it's a bit far and expensive.  Is there a way I can use pork and add sea salt or something?
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#2
cook fresh green beans with 1 or 2 tablespoons of lard in the water -

cook yellow squash the same way but use butter instead -

cook collards or any other greens with a piece of smoked turkey wing if you don't want to use a ham hock.

ask luvenalis where he orders lard.... I think it was him.... the good stuff that's not too bad for you, just high in calories...

simmer and cook them down to Southern mushiness ( I know it's not that nutritious, but maaaaaaan is it tasty) and add salt and pepper... use corn bread to sop up the pot likker


if you can get hold of fresh field corn (NOT sweet corn), scrape it off the cob and cook it with butter.

sweet potatoes microwaved and buttered are GREAT - so are sweet potato fries.
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#3
Yes!  I need to know where to get good lard.  I don't care about fat, just don't want the MSG and nitrates and crap.

The corner market usually has smoked turkey legs and wings in their meat section along with the smoked ham hocks, do they have nitrates in them?
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#4
you have to ask the butcher - they may have some that you would be able to use - our farmer's market carry the same, and some are organic, but I don't know about the nitrates -

I cook with a lot of pork, but I buy it fresh and process it myself, then use it for flavoring .

OR..... hambones.... they can do anything.

:laughin
g:
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#5
(06-28-2010, 07:52 PM)libby Wrote:
I cook with a lot of pork, but I buy it fresh and process it myself, then use it for flavoring .

How do you process fresh pork yourself?  I'd love to do that!
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#6
(06-28-2010, 07:08 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: My husband loves southern food but I seem to have a sensitivity to nitrates.

Do you have trouble with green leafy vegetables?  Most people don't realize they have more nitrates than processed meat.  (Nitrite, which may be carcinogenic, is produced from nitrate during processing.  There's no evidence that nitrates themselves are harmful, and some evidence that they're a plus.)  Nitrite-free bacon sometimes has even more nitrates than the regular kind, because they flavor it with celery juice, which produces lots of nitrates and nitrites during processing.  So all cured meats are going to have nitrates and nitrites.  If I were you, I'd be hoping something else in the bacon was bothering me. :)

Anyway, we make our own lard.  Take pig fat (the belly fat makes the best lard) and cook it over low heat until the temperature gets to 255.  Pour into containers and store in a cool, dry place.  Our butcher even runs it through the grinder for free, so it's easier than when we used to cut it into chunks by hand.
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#7
(06-28-2010, 08:18 PM)Mhoram Wrote:
(06-28-2010, 07:08 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: My husband loves southern food but I seem to have a sensitivity to nitrates.

Do you have trouble with green leafy vegetables?  Most people don't realize they have more nitrates than processed meat.  (Nitrite, which may be carcinogenic, is produced from nitrate during processing.  There's no evidence that nitrates themselves are harmful, and some evidence that they're a plus.)  Nitrite-free bacon sometimes has even more nitrates than the regular kind, because they flavor it with celery juice, which produces lots of nitrates and nitrites during processing.  So all cured meats are going to have nitrates and nitrites.  If I were you, I'd be hoping something else in the bacon was bothering me. :)

Anyway, we make our own lard.  Take pig fat (the belly fat makes the best lard) and cook it over low heat until the temperature gets to 255.  Pour into containers and store in a cool, dry place.  Our butcher even runs it through the grinder for free, so it's easier than when we used to cut it into chunks by hand.

I get hives pretty regularly.  I know that I'm allergic to peniscillan and a host of other antibiotics.  But I've been getting mild hive reactions periodically for the past few years and haven't been able to pinpoint what it is exactly.  I had a bad case of them last week when I made a big pot of mustard greens along with a big pot of butter beans, both cooked in a homemade broth made of smoked pork neck pieces and a generous portion of bacon.  We had sausage, boudain and pork steaks to go along with it and I had snacked on the sausages throughout the day.  Since my hives got really bad that night, I was thinking it was related to all the nitrates, but it could be sulfites or MSG maybe?  Whatever the case, natural is probably the way to go.
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#8
Lard - hot diggity!!  :eats:
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#9
miss_fluffy Wrote:... I made a big pot of mustard greens along with a big pot of butter beans, both cooked in a homemade broth made of smoked pork neck pieces and a generous portion of bacon.  We had sausage, boudain and pork steaks to go along with it and I had snacked on the sausages throughout the day. 

Good heavens!  :eats:

Sorry I can't add anything useful to help in your dilemma, but you certainly know how to make a mouth water.
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#10
I recently read that if you're eating bacon or some other nitrite-loaded food, you can protect yourself from the harmful effects by drinking a big glass of orange juice with your meal.
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