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Monday, February 20, 2012

Black-eyed Peas!

I am a lifelong Texan. I have a southern drawl that elicits surprise and snickers from most 'big city folks', that much Paula Deen and I have in common, but I don't cook like a traditional southerner, not anymore! However, the southern influence is present in many of my dishes, especially this one, and no pigs were harmed in the making of this food! A big ole' pot of Black-eyed Peas was one of the first vegetarian meals that I cooked after becoming vegetarian 1 year ago, (it took me a couple of more weeks to get the message and go vegan!)  and to tell the truth, I was afraid the Black-eyed Peas would turn out terrible! I had never in my life eaten any kind of bean unless it was cooked with meat; Pinto Beans, Green Beans, Red Beans; any bean required animal fat, or so we southerners think. That seems so very foreign to me now, and quite disgusting! 
Here is an easy, and foolproof, recipe for a great addition to your next meal. I try to eat only whole foods, avoiding all that unnecessary sodium and who-knows what else, but I am very frugal, and cooking my own dry legumes makes very good sense (or  should I say, 'cents'?) I usually have legumes soaking, cooking, or in the 'fridge all the time, but Black-eyed Peas are my favorite legume! Canned beans can't compare nutritionally to cooking your own, besides being money-wise, there are two more very good reasons you should cook dry beans at home. I have learned to soak legumes to promote sprouting; this releases large amounts of the protein required of the tiny seed to produce a full grown plant. When a seed germinates, a chemical reaction takes place. This process is thought to make it easier for a body to absorb vitamins including iron, zinc, and vitamin C, says Reem Jabr, MA, RD, LDN, a dietitian and clinical nutrition manager at Cambridge Health Alliance near Boston. The exponential release of protein and enzymes when the beans sprout is then yours when you eat it. The second reason to soak your beans is that the outer coatings of many varieties of beans contain sugars called oligosaccharides. When beans aren't soaked, these sugars can bypass your stomach and small intestine without being fully digested. When these sugars enter your large intestine, bacteria break them down, producing intestinal gas in the process. Soaking dried legumes dissolves the membranes that cover beans and releases their oligosaccharides. After soaking, discard water and rinse beans to remove sugars. When soaking, be sure to change the water of the beans and rinse every 8 -12 hours. The bubbles that appear on the top of the water are from breaking down of the oligosaccharide coating on the legume that causes gas, so rinse, rinse, rinse! In the Sept. 2000 issue of the "Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry," Gloria Urbano from the University of Granada and co-authors reported that soaking legumes may reduce the effects of phytic acid on mineral absorption. Phytic acid is a compound in many legumes and grains that is believed to reduce the bioavailability of zinc and other minerals, making it more difficult for your body to utilize these nutrients. Zinc is an essential element that supports cellular metabolism and promotes healthy neurological function, growth, immunity and wound healing.
So, here ya go, an easy savory recipe for a big ole' pot of Black-eyed Peas full of fiber, protein, folate, thiamin, potassium, iron, and many micro-nutrients. It's really easy, less than 10 minutes "hands-on" time, it takes longer to explain it!

Black-eyed Peas!

You will need:

  • 48-72 hours, or use Quick soak method*
  •  Two 1 pound bags of dry Black-eyed peas
  • Very large bowl, 6 quart or more
  • Colander or large sieve
  •  6 Quart Slow Cooker
  • 1 onion, peeled and divided (use your favorite method here, sliced, chopped, or quartered)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning
  • 1 cup  Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • Optional: add a little more heat if you like: some red pepper flakes, some sliced jalapenos, or some sun dried Pablano to taste. Black-eyed peas are a wonderful background for some spice.

  1. Rinse the black-eyed peas in the colander or sieve until water runs clear. 
  2. Place in large bowl, and cover with filtered water. The water should be a couple of inches higher that the beans to allow for them to expand. Every 8-12 hours, empty the water and thoroughly rinse the beans, and then fill the bowl again with beans and fresh filtered water. *Quick soak method: Bring the beans to a boil for one minute, cover, and let sit for one hour covered to keep heat in, then continue soaking (uncovered) and rinsing as described, but this takes about half the time.
  3. Once the beans begin to sprout ( between 48 and 72 hours) give them a final, thorough  rinse.
  4. Place your onion into the slow cooker, and cover with the beans. Add the Kirkland No-Salt seasoning (a blend of organic spices containing onion,garlic, carrot, black pepper, red bell pepper, tomato granules, orange peel, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, basil, celery, oregano, mustard, cumin, marjoram, coriander, cayenne pepper, and rosemary); DO NOT add the Bragg yet!
  5. Cook for 8+ hours until beans are tender. 
  6. Add 1 cup Bragg and serve!
 Yumm! Pass the gluten-free cornbread and the Earth Balance, ya'll!

1 comment:

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~ Shelley