Welcome to 2016! I wish that this be a great year for you, and that this blog be a guide to encourage you to try new foods.
What food is good to start the year with? I picked black eyed peas, since they are considered a "lucky" food in the new year. (They must be, since black eyed peas are the only dry legume (besides lentils) I have luck cooking successfully.)
Whether they bring you luck this year, black eyed peas are a nutritious and economical choice worth adding to your plate.
Nutritionally, 1 cup cooked black eyed peas contains around 200 calories, 35g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, 13g protein, and is a source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, and iron.
MyPlate guidelines suggest you count peas and other legumes as a source of protein, but for those who are monitoring blood sugar, be aware that they also contain carbohydrates.
- Buy: Look for dry black eyed peas in dry goods (such as with rice). Your store may also carry canned and frozen black eyed peas, which are a convenience. If available, choose canned varieties with less sodium, and frozen varieties without added sauces.
- Price: Dry peas are very economical and help complete a meal without much money. Canned and frozen varieties tend to be more expensive.
- Store: Keep dry peas away from light and moisture to extend their shelf life. Dry peas and beans take longer to cook the older they are, so use within a year for best quality.
- Prepare: Follow directions for cooking on the package, or try the Stew recipe in this post. Any leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten with 3-4 days.
- Eat: Try black eyed peas in soups and stews or as a side dish. There are even recipes for dips and hummus using the peas.
- University of Illinois Extension, Black-eyed Peas and the New Year, Tales from a Plant Addict, 2006
- Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, Cooking with Black-Eyed Peas, 2001
- University of Minnesota Extension, Legumes: Beans, Peas, and Lentils, 2011
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27
Black Eyed Pea-Chicken Stew (serves 8)
This savory dish with warm spices is great for a lazy day since it cooks a while. Pair with corn bread for a matching side. I suggest you start prepping the recipe about 2 hours before you want to eat.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
4 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
4 cups loosely packed kale, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
2. Sort through peas and discard any rocks, foreign pieces, or broken peas. Rinse peas briefly under water and drain.
3. Add peas, broth, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender.
4. Stir in vinegar, tomatoes, and kale. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-30 minutes or until kale is tender.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light (2007)