January 1, 2015

Eat up for Luck and Prosperity in the New Year!

Southerners have many traditions tied to food but one that is probably most popular has to do with ringing in the New Year. Black-eyed peas and greens are two foods that are traditionally eaten, but who says you can't try a new twist on an old favorite?

I'm sharing three new ways to try black-eyed peas and greens to usher in health & good fortune in 2015. I hope you enjoy! 

1) Crunchy Baked Beans & Greens

This is a variation on black-eyed peas and collard greens that would make a great healthy snack.

Drain and rinse two cans of black-eyed peas. Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and arrange on a baking stone or cookie sheet. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning mix. Roast at 250 degrees for a couple of hours until the peas are crunchy.

Rinse and dry collard greens. Tear a few leaves of collard greens into smaller pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a baking stone or cookie sheet. Spritz or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 300 degrees until the greens get crispy and dry (approx. 15 minutes). Serve immediately with crunchy peas and enjoy!

2) Tennessee Caviar Cocktails

This is a beloved appetizer that always gets eaten up at parties and gatherings whenever I make it. A variation on another recipe (called Georgia Caviar), it's simple to make and so delicious!

Mix 2 cans of black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed) with two cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes. Stir in a cup of raw, chopped collard greens (sliced in strips). Add 2 cups of Zesty Italian salad dressing and stir everything together. Chill before serving and let the flavors mingle for maximum impact.

Serve in individual cocktail glasses with a pickled okra garnish.

3) Black-eyed Pea Burgers

For a great main dish to enjoy on New Year's Day, try my black-eyed pea burgers.

To make them, you'll need two cans of black-eyed peas, 2 cups of bread crumbs and an egg.

Drain the peas, but reserve the liquid. Mash peas with a fork until they are thick and crumbly. Stir in the egg and gradually add bread crumbs until you get the consistency to make patties. Add some of the pea liquid as needed.

Pan fry each patty in a skillet over medium heat until the outside is seared. Then bake at 350 degrees for an additional 10 minutes until centers are cooked throughout. 

Serve on a bun with raw collards instead of lettuce. Another variation is to serve without a bun atop a bed of sautéed greens.

Eat up and enjoy good luck and prosperity in the New Year!