2013 has come and gone in a flash and for some the last year may have been a rough one (we’re looking at you Miley…) Start the new year off with a spoonful of luck with this tasty and super-simple black eyed peas recipe. If you aren’t already in the habit of gobbling up these lucky legumes on New Year’s Day, join your superstitious Southern United States neighbors in this tradition, which is thought to bring prosperity and health throughout the new year. We can’t guarantee prosperity, but these little beans are packed with calcium, Vitamin A and fiber so your health will definitely get a jump start on the year. Not superstitious? Just consider this an opportunity to eat a big bowl of Southern cooked yum.
Vegan Southern Black Eyed Peas
3 cups black eyed peas
5 cups water
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
2 tsp liquid smoke
Begin by soaking 3 cups of black eyed peas overnight in cool water, rinsing and draining them in the morning. If you don’t have time to soak the peas, this step can be skipped as it only helps to shorten the cooking time a little bit the next day. Add your drained and rinsed peas to a pot with 5 cups of water, 2 smashed garlic cloves (just pop the peels off with the the side of your knife and drop them in the pot), salt and pepper to taste and 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke. If you aren’t familiar with liquid smoke, it is the condensed liquid captured from burning wood and can be found in the grilling/marinades section of most food stores. The liquid smoke gives the peas a smoky, savory taste without the ham used in old-school recipes. Bring the peas to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat until the peas are tender but firm, usually about an hour. This recipe would also be great cooked overnight on low in a slow-cooker. For extra flavor, vegetable broth can be substituted for the water and more or less could be added depending on how much broth you would like.
Serve your black eyed peas with a big ole slice of bread (preferably vegan cornbread for a true Southern taste) and a big helping of garlicky greens. Lightly saute your favorite greens with a clove of chopped garlic, salt and pepper and top everything off with your favorite hot sauce. Did we mention that this hearty dish is also the perfect cure for a post New Year’s Eve champagne headache? Get your pot going today and you will be on your way to a healthy new year on January 1st. Happy 2014!
More seasonal recipes: Vegan Blini and Olani
Photo: Claire-Marie Harris