Collard greens smothered in bacon aren't the best if you're trying to lose weight. Good thing this Greek take on the veggie goes easy on your waistline.
Credit: Courtesy Vassilis Stenos

Everyone is familiar with stewed collard greens smothered in bacon. But if you’re watching your weight, this Southern specialty can easily mean saying goodbye to your beloved jeans.

Fortunately, there's a new way to savor this veggie without compromising on taste. Just look to the Greeks for inspiration.

Award-winning author Diane Kochilas, who is also the collaborating chef at New York City based-Molyvos, has discovered a unique way to enjoy collard greens without the guilt. She reveals that in the Greek island of Ikaria, the residents prepare collard greens similar to how one would make stuffed cabbage. The secret? It’s all about the stuffing.

“Back in the day when [my 95-year-old aunt Mary] was a girl, only well-to-do families in Greece could afford rice,” explains Kochilas on making stuffed collard greens. “On Ikaria, in its place, people used dried corn, which they grew and dried in the sun, reserving the amberlike little kernels for use in dishes that went hand-in-hand with the cold, damp months of winter.”

According to Kochilas, collard greens taste even better when they’re loaded with dried sweet corn, fragrant herbs, and even fennel to keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Sure, greasy bacon in your collard greens is pretty irresistible, but your taste buds (and favorite jeans) will thank you after enjoying one or three of these.

Reprinted with permission from "Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life and Longevity From the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die" by Diane Kochilas.

Check out the recipe for Collard Greens at Fox News Magazine.

This article originally appeared on Fox News Magazine