How to choose: Also called cowpeas, these legumes are traditionally eaten in the South for good fortune in the new year. Each pea sports a black "eye" at the inner curve. Available canned and dried; when bought fresh during the summer months, about 13/4 pounds of pods yield 2 cups shelled.
Preparation tips: Cover with water and simmer with onions, celery, and your favorite herbs until tender; traditional recipes add ham as well. Stir cooked peas into cornbread batter, or toss with diced sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing. For a simple snack, toast fresh or cooked peas in olive oil and dust with seasoned salt.
Health benefits: Loaded with protein and fiber, these lucky legumes also supply calcium, folate, and vitamin A.
Black-eyed Pea Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Creamy Basil Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
1. In a medium serving bowl, combine black-eyed peas, onion, celery, bell pepper, and salt.
2. For dressing, combine garlic and Dijon mustard in a blender or food processor. Add rice vinegar and pulse to blend. Add oils and blend again. Add basil and purée until smooth. Drizzle over bean mixture and toss.
|Nutrition Facts Per Serving:|
|Calories: 156 calories|
|% fat calories: 41|
|Saturated Fat: 1g|
Recipe provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, seen weekly on NBC's KUSA television news.