Friday, January 4, 2019

A Bean by Another Name.....

Black eyed peas!  Yep, they are actually a bean, not a pea.  They have also been called cowpeas.  They are a type of shelling bean.
I had someone ask the other day "what do they taste like".  I was kind of stumped - then I got to thinking about it.  The are rather firm in texture and the have a slightly nutty, earthy and savory taste.
They are really good for you.

Most people think they have to be eaten as is, and just avoid them.  They are so many way to fix them that are just down right tasty.
When I fix them as a side dish, I add ham seasoning and cook until done.  If using canned - they don't take long at all to cook.  If using dry beans - I treat them the same as any other dry bean.  I soak over night, then cook with seasoning the next day.

1 can (15 oz.) drained black eyed peas
1 can (15 oz.) drained black beans
1 can (14 oz.) drained diced tomatoes
2 C corn kernels (recipe says frozen - I often use canned)
1/2 Medium onion diced
1/4 C finely copped green pepper
1/2 C chopped diced jalapeno
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 C Italian  dressing
Mix this all together and refrigerate for at least a half hour before serving.
Use like you would salsa with chips or just eat in a bowl!

1 1/2 C dry black eyed peas
1 lb. ham hock
1 onion chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 C water
salt & pepper
1 1/2 C long grained rice
1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Place the peas and ham hock, onion, pepper and any salt and pepper in water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat and cook for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove hock and remove meat - place meat back in pot.  Stir in rice  - cover and cook until rice is tender.
Top with cheese when serving.
*You can substitute with what you have.  I have added ham seasoning to initial cook, then added ham pieces I have on hand.  You could also add tangy ground sausage, smoked sausage..... whatever you have.

Black eyed peas can be used to make vegetarian burgers along with black beans or alone.  They are great added to soups and gumbo as well.

I keep both canned and dry beans on hand.  They are always in my pantry!  Canned are great if you need them in a hurry and just don't feel like soaking or cooking for a long period.  I usually buy canned when I see them marked down.  This can has a markdown sticker on the other side for .39. 
Dry are very cheap.  Both taste good - but I really love the flavor of dry beans best.

They are a New Years tradition in many areas of the U.S. as they are thought to bring luck in the new year.  Who doesn't need extra luck?
Just remember they aren't just for New Year's tradition any more!
They are yummy and can and should be eaten all year.

Step outside of your comfort zone and give them a try.
We love both of the recipes above, and they give you a special new dish to fix that isn't just plain old black eyed peas.
Add another nutritious and cheap food to your pantry!


  1. If this link works, we use this recipe. I exchange the cinnamon stick for 1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon. Freezes well.

  2. Sorry, here is the link for black eyed beans and mushrooms

    1. Thank you - will look that up. Love getting new recipes.

  3. Last year, I tried cooking a southern New Year's meal of pork, collard greens and black eyed peas and cornbread...unfortunately it didn't go over too well with my family. ;) Maybe they would have liked your recipes better.

    1. I guess collard greens and black eyed peas probably require a taste for them. There isn't much I don't like - so I am game to try new things.
      Your meal sounds delish to me!!!!!

  4. I love Hoppin John. Sluggy made me collards and I was not impressed. Must be an acquired taste:)

    1. It's all about the seasoning. I love them if properly seasoned (a lot).
      Hoppin John is quite yummy.

  5. We love collards; the trick, I think, is to not overcook them. If you stew them forty days and forty nights, as many southerners do, they are truly awful. I grew up not liking them, because my grandmother did this and I thought that was just the way the greens tasted. I wash the leaves, remove the large stems, stack the leaves, roll them up and cut in ribbons. Add a small amount of water and cook for about 20-30 minutes. Drain well, add bacon fat or olive oil to a skillet and stir fry briefly with salt and crushed red pepper flakes. We enjoy these at least a couple of times a month and I buy extra when fresh are in season and freeze.
    Carol in NC

    1. Thanks for the advice Carol. Got to be good with bacon grease!
      This most certainly gives everyone a way to try.

  6. Here in Aus we dont eat a lot of beans. In fact the only canned beans we tend to eat are baked beans in tomato sauce, or three bean mix which goes into salads. I am sure there are people who do eat lots of other varieties but no one that I know. I think I might have to start looking into ways to use beans more in cooking, to extend the meal in terms of amount and in protein and fibre.

    1. That is amazing to know. I love beans of all types. They are so good for you and great protein. In lean times they can actually take the place of meat.
      I love learning new facts about other regions!

  7. I have a similar recipe to your Cowboy Caviar and we like it a lot as it is so refreshing. And you're right, they are so good for you. :)

    1. It is refreshing. Just like a salsa. Yummy for sure.
      Nothing much in these dishes that is bad for you (maybe dressing).

  8. When my uncle passed, I cleaned out his pantry. He had several cans. I used them in chili and it tasted great.

    1. Ooohhhhh good idea. New ways for regular things. I love getting creative. Thanks.

  9. No black eyed peas for me, please. I enjoy most other kinds, even pidgeon peas, but not them. In the cowboy cavier, I substitute either canelini beans or navy beans. But, that is just my personal preference. Have a great day!

    1. Well at least you have tried them. I guess everyone has different tastes. I can't see what would be bad about them - by hey that's me!!!
      Have a good one.