Happy New Year!
In my newsletter this week, I asked my subscribers what they would rather have, a new semi-healthy dessert recipe or a new black-eyed pea recipe. I received a handful of replies, and all but one of them voted for the black-eyed pea dish (the other wanted both!) Well, I didn’t have time for both, so I put all my energy into coming up with the black-eyed pea recipe, which turned out to be a bit of a challenge because I’ve made them so many different ways already. But I think I’ve come up with another winner. (Side note: If you don’t already, subscribe to NewsBites, so that you, too, can tell me what to cook.)
I’m a big believer in starting off the new year with a meal of black-eyed peas and greens. It’s one of the few holiday food traditions that is actually healthy and vegan, if you do it right. The legend behind this Southern tradition is that a meal of peas and greens will bring prosperity and luck in the coming year, but I like to think of it as a great way to get off on a good foot nutritionally, with basic, whole foods replacing the excesses of the holiday season. And besides, in the chill of January, few things are as comforting as a hot bowl of black-eyed peas.
This year, I decided to shake off the January chill with a bowl of black-eyed pea chili, and I added quinoa and corn to make it extra thick and hearty. Instead of using dried beans as I usually do, I used two packages of these “fresh” black-eyed peas my husband picked up at the grocery store. I say “fresh” in quotation marks because I believe these are really just dried peas that have been pre-soaked; I’ve seen fresh black-eyed peas, and they are green rather than tan. Anyway, they cook just like soaked, dried black-eyed peas, so I’ve included the measurements for both dried and fresh below.
This chili was a big success. Even my daughter E, who doesn’t like black-eyed peas since she grew into a picky teenager, liked the chili. Something about the chili powder and other seasonings balances out the normally strong flavor of the peas (I call it earthy), so I think this would be a great dish to serve to someone who isn’t a big fan of the pea.
- 2 large onions, chopped (I use a food processor)
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups (24 ounces) fresh black-eyed peas, or 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) dried peas, soaked overnight and drained
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, red pepper, or hot smoked paprika (adjust to taste)
- 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice (fire-roasted preferred)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: wedges of lime and slices of avocado, to serve
- Heat a large, non-stick Dutch oven or chili pot. [For the Instant Pot, press the Sauté button.] Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the black-eyed peas, broth, and everything up through the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender. The time will vary depending on the age of the peas, but count on at least 75 minutes, and add more broth if it looks like it’s getting dry. [In the Instant Pot, stop the sautéing by pressing the Off button. Lock the lid in place and make sure the vent is set to pressure. Press Manual and use the minus button to set the time to 10 minutes. When the time is up and the pot chimes, press Off. Carefully turn the pressure release knob to steam, making sure your fingers are not above it.]
- When the peas are tender, check the seasoning and add more to taste (this is a good time to increase the heat by adding more chipotle powder). Add the corn and quinoa and cook until the quinoa is tender, at least 20 minutes. (If the chili seems too “soupy,” uncover the pot; otherwise, keep it covered.) [In the IP, use the Sauté setting and adjust the heat to low by pressing the Adjust button. Keep the lid off.]
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice or slices of avocado, if desired.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!
This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to a product I actually use, Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, yum! These tomatoes give chili and other dishes a great flavor, and Amazon’s price for a case with Prime shipping makes them less expensive than what I would pay locally. When you buy something through my Amazon links, I receive a commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!