Category Archives: black-eye peas

Happy New Year

Are you a traditionalist about eating a new year’s day meal for good luck? Or are you superstitious? For me the tradition is an excuse to eat a bunch of favorite southern foods. This year’s menu will be pork chops cooked with collard greens, served with a side of Hoppin’ John. Here are the recipes:

RECIPES

Hoppin’ John

Ingredients:

1 cup dried black eye peas
1 cup uncooked brown rice
3 cups water
½ cup chopped onion
1 can tomatoes and green chilies
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Cajun spice seasoning

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a 4-6 quart/liter pressure cooker and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients, bring to pressure, lower heat, and cook under pressure for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow pressure to drop for 10 minutes, then quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions. Carefully open cooker, fluff rice mixture with a fork, and serve.

Serves 4-6

Pork Chops and Collard Greens

Ingredients:

4 boneless pork loin chops
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups water

16 oz. collard greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar or sweetener of choice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the pressure cooker pot (use at least a 6 quart size). Brown the pork chops in oil on each side. Remove the pork chops and add salt and pepper to the chops.

Add the water to the pot, bring to a boil, then add the collard greens in bunches, allowing each bunch to wilt down. Add the vinegar and sugar to the greens. Place the pork chops on top the greens.

Secure lid, and bring to pressure. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pressure cooker from heat and release pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove pork chops, toss the greens with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Secure lid and bring to pressure.

Secure lid and bring to pressure.

This menu won’t guarantee a prosperous, trouble-free 2013, but it will provide you with lots of fiber and nutrition. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under black-eye peas, cooking, Healthful Eating, Pork Chops, Recipes, Vegetables

Creative Leftovers

Those who know me, know I’m all about cooking ahead.  I have at least two meals (often three!) in mind when I cook one.  This is a great creative outlet for me, but it also saves money.  Times are as tight as they’ve been in years and years, so read on even if you don’t like to cook.

Leftovers don’t have to be last night’s dinner warmed in the microwave oven, or what I call cuisine deja vu. 😉 My favorite leftover recipes are burritos.  I don’t limit us to Mexican burritos, either.  (The difference between a burrito and a wrap–as I see it–is hot and cold.  A wrap is like a sandwich rolled in a tortilla; a burrito is like a hot casserole rolled in a tortilla.)  One of my favorite recipes is the Hoppin’ John Burrito.  It’s Cajun, and here’s the sequence.

Meal One: I make a Cajun dinner.  I cook lots of brown rice and black-eyed peas, about twice the number of servings I need for this meal, along with some greens, cornbread, and blackened catfish.  If you don’t mind a little spice, season the catfish with lots of Cajun spices.

Meal Two: I make dinner the next day with green beans, steamed kernel corn, grilled chicken breasts, and Hoppin’ John.  After dinner, stir the leftover corn into the Hoppin’ John and refrigerate.

Meal Three:  Two or three days later–you don’t want to wear out the Cajun cuisine’s welcome by having this meal on the heels of the first two–mix the Hoppin’ John and corn with a cup of salsa (or a can of green chilies and diced tomatoes) in a two-quart saucepan.  Add a cup of diced onion.  Bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium-low heat until heated through.  Meanwhile, warm eight whole wheat tortillas in the microwave oven.  Remove Hoppin’ John mixture from heat.   Divide the mixture into eight equal portions.  Spoon one portion into each of eight whole wheat tortillas, add 1 ounce of shredded Monterrey Jack (or any cheese you like) to each,  fold tortilla over, and serve.

I have many variations of the burrito theme, but let’s move on to another cuisine: Italian-American.

Meal One: Make veal Parmesan with breaded veal cutlets covered with your favorite recipe pasta sauce (I usually make my own) and serve over whole wheat spaghetti cooked al dente. Make at least a cup more of the pasta sauce than you’ll need and refrigerate.

Meal Two: Place four whole wheat tortillas on cookie sheets.  Brush on two ounces of the leftover pasta sauce.  Add toppings of your choice, including shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a 400° oven just until cheese melts, approximately ten minutes, depending on the type of pan used.  Voilá!  You have four individual pizzas.

You’ll notice I use whole grains, but that’s my choice. I like the taste of brown rice over white, and whole wheat pasta over semolina, but use whatever you like. Also, don’t forget the more obvious leftover dishes, like stir-fry, stew, and vegetable soup. My husband and I once brought back leftover steak from a restaurant dinner. The next night, I cubed the steak and made fajitas, another dish using the tortilla wraps.

Regardless of who does the “cooking ahead,” use your imagination and develop dishes for leftovers. Your family won’t know, or if they do, they won’t mind!

(originally appeared June 22, 2009, as a post for the Clever Divas)

Leave a comment

Filed under black-eye peas, Burritos, cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes, salsa, whole wheat

Anemic? Be an Iron Chef.

When I say “Iron Chef,” I’m not talking about the competition hosted by Mark Dacascos on Food Network (although that’s an entertaining show). I’m talking about cooking to add iron to your diet.

The common response to the person suffering anemia is “eat more liver.” Unfortunately, liver is high in cholesterol, too. What other strategies can you use in your kitchen to boost the iron in your diet?

First, don’t overlook cast iron cookware. It’s heavy and it isn’t dishwasher-safe, but it imparts iron into the food as it cooks it. Currently, only Lodge brand is made in the USA, so buy Lodge. Foreign-made cast iron isn’t made to USA standards and may contain impurities in the metal. Lodge is available online, at Cracker Barrels, at Wal-mart, and at their factory store in Tennessee. New cast iron cookware comes seasoned, so it’s ready to use.

Second, focus on foods that supply iron to your diet, which include: dried, unsweetened apricots; raisins; lima beans; spinach; broccoli; whole wheat breads; brown rice; cooked dried beans such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney, or white beans; pumpkin seeds; nuts (black walnuts, almonds, cashews); pine nuts (pignolias); clams; shrimp; trout; mackerel; fortified cereals;  lean beef.

Next, try to avoid iron blockers, like carbonated sodas or any foods containing oxylates and phosphates. Do eat food rich in vitamin C, as they help you absorb iron. Sneak wheat germ or brewer’s yeast in your smoothies.

Finally, remember some anemia isn’t caused by inadequate iron consumption. If your attempts as an iron chef don’t increase your blood iron levels, talk to your doctor.


RECIPE

Minestra (Beans & Greens)

Here’s a southern twist on an Italian favorite.

Ingredients:

1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas
1 14½ oz. can spinach or greens, any kind
1 packet beef bouillon (Herb Ox brand is sodium free)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Rinse and drain black-eyed peas.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir.

Immediately add the canned black-eyed peas and the canned greens. Stir to combine.

Sprinkle the beef bouillon over the greens/peas, cover, and simmer for ten minutes.

Taste test and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Variation: Grate nutmeg over the dish before serving.

From Recipes for Recovery ©2011 Cheryl Norman

Leave a comment

Filed under black-eye peas, Healthful Eating, Recipes

A New Year’s Day Soup

This recipe originally appeared in Hasty Tasty Meals in the RV (© 2006)

I created this recipe especially for my mom. She loved blackeye peas, and she loved this soup. It’s a great use-up of your turkey stock if you make it from your Christmas turkey bones. I prefer dried blackeye peas, but canned works, too.

You can make this recipe either in the pressure cooker in half an hour or slow-cook it half a day. Either way, there’s no need to presoak the blackeye peas. Make it up ahead and re-heat to serve. (Soup’s always tastier the next day!)

RECIPE

Blackeye Pea Soup

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot grated
1 potato, cut up into 1” pieces
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 can blackeye peas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups water and 1 cup dried blackeye peasadd cooking time)
1 can Rotel® tomatoes and green chiles

1 bay leaf

Directions:

Preheat the oil in a 4-quart sauce pan (I use either the Gourmet Slo-Cooker or the pressure cooker) on Medium and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot, potato. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add the carton of chicken broth, can of Rotel®, and can of blackeye peas (or dried peas and 2 cups water). Bring to a bubble then reduce heat.

Slow-cook method: Remove pan from burner, add bay leaf, and place on the electric base. (or pour into a Crock Pot® if you prefer) Slow-cook on a medium-low setting for 5 hours, or longer if using dried peas. Remove bayleaf, check and adjust seasonings, then serve.

~OR~

Pressure Cooker Method: Secure lid of your pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook 15 minutes for canned blackeye peas and 30 minutes for dried blackeye peas. Remove from heat, release pressure according to your manufacturer’s instructions, then carefully open the cooker.

Check the peas for doneness. If necessary, return pot uncovered to the burner and simmer until the blackeye peas are cooked. Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings, then serve.

Happy new year!

Slo-cooker soup

The slow cooker cooks all day while you are away

1 Comment

Filed under black-eye peas, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Soups & Stews