Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spicy Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's

Holiday meals tend to be a landmine of foods that I shouldn't eat - all those yummy comfort food carbs like stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dessert...

Here's a recipe I always make for New Year's: Spicy Black-Eyed Peas. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's is a Southern tradition - the peas ensure that you have good luck in the coming year, so be sure to eat at least a bite, even if you don't like beans/peas like my husband. This is a twist on the traditional dish, and it will not disturb your blood sugar balance. Watch out for Hopping John, though - I believe it usually is made with black-eyed peas and white rice.

P.S. Don't forget to have some greens, too. Those are for $$.


1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas (drained)
[2-3 slices bacon, optional - It's vegan if you skip the bacon.]
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. pepper

If you're using bacon, cook that first and crumble it up. Add your black-eyed peas (drained), your tomatoes (undrained), onion, bell pepper, and garlic to a large enough pot. Stir in the bacon crumbles. If it was summer, I might try using fresh tomatoes, but this is New Year's, so they're not ripe and canned will have to do. By the way, if you can't find canned black-eyed peas, dried ones would work, but you'd have to follow the instructions on the bag about pre-soaking them.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, add the spices. Feel free to play with the quantities of these. Don't add too much curry, or it will take over. Stir occasionally. It should turn out nice and mushy like a bean soup. You can serve it as soup, but it was originally intended as a side dish. This probably came from a Southern Living cookbook, but I copied it onto notebook paper at my Mom's house years ago and didn't write down the source. Enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Filthy Sucre = I don't eat sugar or refined carbs. Weird, I know.

I love food. A lot. And I'm almost always hungry. And, I know there are lots of good food blogs out there, but I have a problem:

Doughnut at Starbucks for breakfast? Can't do it.

Spaghetti at that cute Italian place? Nope.

Big burrito with flour tortilla and Mexican rice? No, thanks. Not unless I want a blinding, nauseating headache with a side of blurry vision and fluttery heartbeat.

Unfortunately, I like all these foods. And most people seem to be fine eating them, even if a doughnut isn't exactly health food. But, I'm a hypoglycemic, so I'm always explaining what I can and can't eat.

My intention for this blog is not to convert you, the reader, into giving up sugar to the degree that I have. Actually, I already know a couple of other people who don't eat sugar or refined carbs, and I wanted to be able to share recipes with them. Also, as a hypoglycemic, I have learned over the years, through painful trial and error, what not to eat – if your body works like mine, maybe I can help you with some things I've learned. And, it's fun to complain (humorously, I hope).

I hope writing about food will also drive me to learn more about organic food and sustainability, which are topics of interest to me. Fresh, local, sumptuous food inspires me, and takes the focus off of the treats (and basics) I've given up, putting the spotlight back where it belongs: on gorgeous, mouthwatering, uncellophaned, unrefined food with pronouncable ingredients that make me feel good. That's more wholesome than apple pie.