I only recently learned that eating Black-eyed Peas is a New Year’s tradition – they are thought to bring good luck! From what I read, it might be more of a Southern thing. I’ve only ever eaten Blackeyed peas once (but they were canned, not dried).
The folks at Frieda’s asked if they could send me some of their dried black-eyed peas to give a whirl, and always up for an adventure, I said sure! Send ‘em! Live dangerously, I say!
Don’t let the name “peas” fool you: black-eyed peas are actually from the legume family. Meaning, they are beans. They are full of fiber and potassium and other good-for-you stuff. Plus, they are kind of cute looking, in my opinion.
Now I’ve not done much with soaking beans, but this was pretty easy. (Easy black-eyed peasy you could say). Rinse and sort them and let them boil for two minutes. Then, remove them from the heat and let them sit covered in the hot water for an hour. Drain and use them! That’s it.
Traditionally, they are cooked with ham or pork, but I wanted to opt for a vegetarian version. I adapted this Spicy Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas recipe to suit what I had on hand…
1 package Frieda’s black-eyed peas, soaked and prepped as above
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 whole jalapeno, seeded & diced (my substitution for 1 can chilis)
2 small bell peppers, diced (you could use whatever you have on hand)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp chili powder (my addition)
1 can tomatoes, UNDRAINED
splash of red wine vinegar
You could use any bell pepper(s) you have on hand. I used these mini red & yellow ones that I picked up from Grocery Outlet last week. I also had fresh jalapeno on hand, so I used that instead of the canned chilis that the recipe called for. Use what you got!
Cook the onion and peppers in a skillet. Here’s a tip: instead of using oil, just use a little bit of water once everything’s started cooking to keep the veggies from sticking. It works just as good and you’ll save yourself a lot of fat calories!
Here’s another tip: cook the other vegetables FIRST and then add the garlic after a few minutes. This will keep the flavor good and keep from burning.
Once the onions are translucent, add in your canned tomatoes and all the other ingredients (except the black-eyed peas). Bring to a boil.
Then, you’re going to work in the black-eyed peas, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half until the peas are cool. So what you’ve got is a pretty healthy, easy recipe, but one that takes a little bit of time management!
Here’s my completed dish:
If you’ve never had black-eyed peas, they have a distinctive taste. It’s kind of hard to describe the flavor – maybe nutty or earthy? I felt that they were excellent spiced up with the peppers and tomatoes. I would add even more heat next time with a little hot sauce or cayenne. I have a lot leftover so I’m thinking I’ll be eating these puppies for a few days to come. Maybe that will make me extra lucky in 2013!
For these and other unusual and specialty produce treats, visit Frieda’s!
Have you ever made black-eyed peas before? Do you make them for New Year’s? How else do you like to enjoy them?
Disclosure: Frieda’s sent me some black-eyed peas to review, but no other compensation or requirement was asked in exchange. For more information, see my Disclosure Policy.