I’ll give you four good reasons to eat black eyed-peas on New Year’s Day — nutrition, versatility, tradition, and luck!
Let’s start with nutrition. If you’re determined to eat healthier in 2017, you can’t go wrong with the black-eyed pea. Also known as the cowpea, the black-eyed pea is an excellent source of iron, potassium and soluble fiber; it also provides a healthy dose of low fat, plant-based protein. A one-cup serving contains 12 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat.
The budget-friendly pea, which is named for its distinctive black spot, can be used in everything from soups to salads to party dips.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups beef stock or broth, low sodium or unsalted
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Brown the ground beef and onion in a large pot until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off any fat.
- Add the garlic and carrot and cook for one minute.
- Add the beef broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the kale, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, corn, and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Eating black-eyed peas on the first day of January is a Southern tradition that dates back to the Civil War era. Traditionalists serve Hoppin’ John, a spicy stew made with ham hocks, to promote luck and prosperity in the New Year.
Dried black-eyed peas need to be soaked overnight, so plan ahead, or use the canned variety and throw together this easy-to-make Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Hamburger and Kale instead.
Have you resolved to make 2017 your healthiest year yet? —Karen