Green veggies get a green light for eating local

The fresh collard dip from Michelle Ehret at Select Health of South Carolina is made with local veggies and has been a hit at the office.

Readers of both this column and Wednesday's Food section likely know that I am participating in Eat Local Month, having taken that challenge at the start of April from the organization Lowcountry Local First.

It is generating some interesting conversations and ideas.

Last week, for instance, I heard from Courtney Jenkins, media relations specialist with Select Health of South Carolina.

She wrote, “I've been following your quest this month to eat locally and thought you might be interested in a recipe that has been circling our organization the last several weeks.

“Select Health of South Carolina associates served 10 pounds of Fresh Collard Dip at the All Together Allendale Day Health Fair on March 17. Select Health associate Michelle Ehret developed the recipe, which can be served with crunchy vegetables, corn chips or crackers.

The recipe suggests using collards and green onions from a South Carolina grower, WP Rawl out of Pelion, which produces Nature's Greens products. The recipe also uses nonfat sour cream to help keep it healthy.

“We shared the recipe with our associates, and it has become quite a hit.”

Ingredients 1 pound bagged South Carolina collard greens

1 package Knorr Vegetable recipe mix

16 ounces nonfat sour cream 1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise, or of choice

5 ounces diced green onions, such as Versatile Veggies from WP Rawl

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce Directions

Finely chop collards and cook in small amount of water 10 minutes. Strain and pat dry 2 to 3 cups of the cooked collards.

In medium bowl, combine collards with remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Serve with crackers, corn scoops or fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery and sliced cucum- bers.

A reader needed a recipe for Greek green beans for an up-coming dinner party. “My lost recipe included green beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce (?) cinnamon and other spices.”

Most anything Greek will be found in Charleston's “Popular Greek Recipes,” of course. Thanks to Mary Larry of Charleston. This recipe does not have cinnamon, but draws flavor from parsley and mint.

Yields 6 to 8 servings Ingredients

2 onions, chopped 3/4 cup olive oil

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 2 teaspoons salt

Dash of pepper 2 pounds green beans

Chopped fresh parsley and mint to taste

2 potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 carrots, sliced (optional) 1 cup water

1/4 cup chopped celery (optional)

Directions Saute onions in oil. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add green beans, parsley and mint, potatoes, carrots, water and celery. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender.

We are red-faced and embarrassed when ingredients go missing in recipes, but it happens. We didn't catch the “missing” chicken last week in these stuffed peppers. Our sincere apologies. Here is the corrected recipe in full:

Ingredients 4 large peppers, green or red

31/2 cups cooked, diced chicken

1 (12-ounce) container of frozen Stouffer's corn souffle, thawed

1 cup fresh corn kernels 3/4 cup soft breadcrumbs

1 can chopped green chiles, drained

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno, divided use

Garnish: chopped cilantro Directions

Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Place, cut side down, on lightly greased baking sheet. Broil 6 inches below heating element for 4 to 5 minutes until peppers blister.

Combine chicken, corn souffle and next 6 ingredients, stirring in 1 cup cheese. Spoon into peppers. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. Garnish with cilantro.

Dell Garvin of West Ashley would like a recipe for a good fruit dip to use with strawberries or blackberries, similar to those found in the supermarkets to encourage sampling. She's thinking of a dip with sour cream or cream cheese or perhaps a combo.

Still looking: Harvetta Sineath of North Charleston would love to have the recipes for the potato salad served at S&S Cafeteria and the salsa at the former Cisco's Cafeteria.

Also, a colleague has a son who loves mangoes. She isn't well-stocked in recipes that include mango and would like to know of dishes that readers have tried and liked.

If there's a recipe you've lost, have memories of or a dish you are just wondering about, let us know. Email Food Editor Teresa Taylor at