When I started this recipe I had every intention of including some smoked turkey in it. But when I took a look at the ingredients list of the smoked turkey I noticed three ingredients that I did not know much about. So I did a quick Google search and found out that these chemicals are commonly added to cured meats and can have some very unpleasant side effects when consumed in significant quantities. Since I planned to have this dish for a few days, I opted to omit the smoked turkey for now. I’m working on a post talking about the chemicals I noticed now that I’ve learned a bit more about them.
Anyway, let’s talk about these peas for a minute. Cultivated cowpeas (black-eyed peas) were domesticated in Africa and are one of the oldest crops to be farmed. Black-eyed peas and rice are an African tradition that spread throughout the Southern United States and the Caribbean.
Black-eyed Peas Nutrition
Black-eyed peas have an impressive nutrition profile and are significant sources of folate, magnesium, calcium and vitamin A. Here’s a quick look at the nutrition of these yummy peas. One cup of cooked black-eyed peas:
- 160 calories
- 36 grams carbohydrates
- 5.2 grams protein
- 0.6 gram fat
- 8.2 grams of fiber
- 210 micrograms folate (52.5 percent DV)
- 1305 international units vitamin A (26 percent DV)
- 86 milligrams magnesium (22 percent DV)
- 211 milligrams calcium (21 percent DV)
- 690 milligrams potassium (19.7 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram thiamine (13.3 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram riboflavin (11.8 percent DV)
- 2.3 milligram niacin (11.5 percent DV)
- 1.7 milligrams zinc (11.3 percent DV)
- 1.9 milligrams iron (10.6 percent DV)
- 84 milligrams phosphorus (8.4 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams vitamin B6 (5 percent DV)
Preparing Dried Black-eyed Peas
For this recipe I used dried black-eyed peas, but you can use canned peas. There are a few ways you can prepare dried peas to be cooked:
- Option 1: Soak them overnight in water. Discard the water and rinse the peas before cooking.
- Option 2: Boil the dried peas for about 2 minutes then let them soak for about 1 hour. Discard the water and rinse peas before cooking.
- Option 3: Use a pressure cooker which can cut the cooking time down to 20 to 30 minutes.
- Option 4: Use a slow cooker. Throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Benefits of Soaking Dried Peas
There are some benefits to soaking dried peas:
- Increased digestibility: Soaking softens the membranes covering of the peas allowing them release oligosaccharides (a type of sugar). Without soaking, these sugars can enter the large intestine where they are broken down by bacteria, resulting in intestinal gas.
- Cleaner Peas: Soaking peas helps the removal of dirt and other contaminants
- Reduced Impact of Phytic Acid: Phytic acid is a compound that can make it more difficult for our bodies to absorb nutrients by reducing the bioavailability of zinc and other minerals. Our bodies use zinc for immune system function, synthesis of DNA and protein, cell metabolism, wound healing, cell division, proper sense of smell and taste, and proper growth.
Inspired by Hoppin’ John
This recipe is inspired by Carolina peas and rice (Hoppin’ John), with the omission of smoked meat. For the smokey flavor, I added some liquid smoke but these peas are enjoyable without it. Try it and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 15 minutes . Cook Time: 30-40 minutes Yield: Serves 6
1/2 Lb Dried Black-eyed Peas
1/2 Lb Kale, coarsely chopped
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Bay Leaves
2-3 Sprig of Thyme
4-6 Cups water or Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
A few drops of liquid smoke (optional)
Salt, Black Pepper & Cayenne pepper to taste
1. Soak peas using overnight or quick soak method:
- Overnight soak: Place peas in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse.
- Quick soak: Place peas in a large pot covered by 2 inches of water, bring to a boil for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, cover and let sit for one hour. Drain the water and rinse.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and a bit brown;
3. Add soaked beans, water or vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until peas are soft (25-40 minutes). Add more hot water if necessary.
4. Add chopped kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes until kale is wilted. Season with salt, pepper and liquid smoke (optional). Serve warm.