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SW-Friendly American Soul Food Recipes

S: 16st6lb C: 16st4lb G: 14st3lb BMI: 36.8 Loss: 0st2lb(0.87%)
Part of my family is African American from the US South and I was raised on heavy, fatty soul food (think fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pies). Obviously eating like this brought me to a weight loss program but I find it hard to give up my favorites completely. So instead, I've revised a few over the years and now that I'm on SW, I've tweaked them again.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Donna's Spicy Shrimp Chili (syn free on Extra Easy)
Note: You need a Dutch Oven Pan with a Lid to Prepare This Dish

1 pound medium shrimp peeled and cleaned (tails removed)
1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz can; Rotel brand or similar)
1 can Spicy Chili Beans (14.5 oz can; not chili with meat; use any generic brand)
1 can Diced Green Chiles (4-5oz can; Ortega brand or similar)
1 tbsp chili powder
Cooking Spray (Pam or Similar)


1. Heat cooking spray (spray generously to make prevent sticking) in Dutch Oven Pan over medium heat.
2. Add chili powder to heated pan stirring constantly (Note: the chili powder may splatter so have a wet towel nearby). Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute until aroma releases.
3. Add tomatoes, beans and chiles to pan. Heat to boil over low heat.
4. Add shrimp to mixture. Stir well. Simmer with lid for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp shrink.
5. Meal is finished when the shrimp has a flavorful but non-fishy taste.
6. Serve over cup of rice.

Smothered Chicken (1-1.5 syns per serving on Extra Easy)
Note: You will need a large skillet with a lid to prepare this dish.

1-2 pounds (about 8-10 pieces)skinless chicken (I use skinless thighs because I prefer dark meat)
1 green bell pepper (cut into long strips)
1 yellow onion (cut into long strips)
Cooking Spray
1 pkg. brown gravy mix (approx 10 syns for entire package; check your brands. 1 syn per 2 level tsp)
Pepper, Cajun Seasoning or Salt (to season chicken to taste).

1. Heat cooking sprayed skillet over medium high heat while seasoning chicken on both sides.
2. Add chicken to skillet and place pepper and onion strips over chicken. Cover with lid. Cook until brown on one side (approx. 3 to 5 minutes).
3. Turn over chicken and brown with covered lid (approximately 3 minutes).
4. Remove both chicken and vegetables from pan. Set aside.
5. Prepare gravy mix in the same pan (with the drippings and some extra water - doesn't contain alot of fat because you are using skinless chicken).
6. Add chicken and vegetables to the gravy (making sure both are covered well with the gravy).
7. Place the lid back on the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until meat is cooked all the way through).

1 serving: approx 1 piece plus 1 tbsp extra gravy
Normally, traditional soul food smothered chicken uses chicken with skin and fatty pan drippings using white flour to make the gravy. You save lots of fat and calories using skinless chicken and the evaporated water from the onions and peppers.

Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas with Smoked Meat - We Eat Black Eyed Peas every New Year's for prosperity. Regular version made with smoked ham hocks)

Makes 4 1-cup servings (about 2 syns per serving on Extra Easy)

1 medium onion, chopped
2 oz smoked turkey breast, chopped (skin removed)
16oz frozen black eyed peas
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
Cooking Spray

1. In stock pot, saute onions and smoked turkey heated with cooking until onions are clear.
2. Add black eyed peas and water to the saute.
3. Cook uncovered with bay leaf for 45 minutes at medium heat. Add water if necessary (to prevent drying out). When peas are done, add salt and pepper.
4. To thicken (highly recommended): Mix 2 tbsp of all purpose flour (7 syns total) and 2 tbsp water to make a paste. Add paste to peas after they have cooked for 45 minutes. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice.

Collard Greens and Smoked Turkey
Collard greens are a very sturdy leafy green often confused with spinach. But the flavor and texture are very different with collards being very high in fiber but also bitter if not seasoned well. You can usually find a bag of collards around major US holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving) and Christmas.

Makes 4 1-cup servings (1 syn per serving on Extra Easy)

4 pounds collard greens (you can use green beans instead)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (approximately 4 syns total)
1/4 pound smoked turkey legs** (I cut the meat from the bone and remove the skin before cooking; chop into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

1. Wash and clean greens thoroughly. Stack and roll leaves, then cut crosswise into strips.
2. Place chicken broth in large pot. Add smoked turkey, onions and garlic. Boil for 10 minutes
3. Add greens, red pepper and back pepper. Reduce heat to slow boil and cook until greens are tender (approximately 1 hour)
**If you can't locate smoked turkey legs/wings, you can pan fry 8 slices of turkey bacon. Pat dry with paper towel to remove excess oil. Chop into mini pieces and follow the directions as written.
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S: 12st1lb C: 11st9lb G: 8st13lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 0st6lb(3.55%)
Miss soul food so much.. .it's the damn cornbread I kill myself on
S: 16st6lb C: 16st4lb G: 14st3lb BMI: 36.8 Loss: 0st2lb(0.87%)
I'll try to add more recipes as I tweak them. Glad you like them thus far. Please let me know how they turn out if you try them. :D

Macaroni and Cheese (My grams' version is made with sour cream, cottage cheese, 3 cheese blends and will give you gas/wind like you wouldn't believe...LOL!)

2 cups elbow macaroni
2 tbsp light margarine (7 syns total)
2 tbsp all purpose flour (7 syns total)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups skim milk (9 syns total)
8 oz low fat cheese (15 syns total if using the first 2oz as a HEa)

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and place in large casserole dish.
2. Melt margarine and stir in flour and salt to make a roux, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk and stir until the mixture is thick.
3. Add grated cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for top of casserole) and stir until melted.
4. Mix cheese sauce with macaroni. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake for 35 minutes at 350F.

Makes 6 1/2 cup servings (about 6.5 syns per serving)


Better to Drink your Syns
S: 12st10.5lb C: 11st12lb G: 11st6.5lb BMI: 26.8 Loss: 0st12.5lb(7%)
Love the sound of your recipes, particularly the shrimp chilli :)
S: 15st0lb C: 12st4.4lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 2st9.6lb(17.9%)
These sound fantastic, can't wait to give 'em a go!!
Thanks for posting ^-^
S: 16st6lb C: 16st4lb G: 14st3lb BMI: 36.8 Loss: 0st2lb(0.87%)
BTW, when I was in England for Christmas, I found collard greens in Brixton (at an produce stand around the corner from Brixton station) and in Manchester at the ASDA in Longsight. So I am guessing, you can find them in areas with a sizable African/Caribbean community.

I am working on a lower syn tweak for my Sweet Potato Pie recipe....Once I have it worked out, I will post it.
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