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!


  1. I'm making this right now, and thought I'd mention that you might have to add a little water (1/4-1/2 cup) before bringing it to a boil if your tomato cans didn't have much juice.

  2. I ate it! And it was pretty good...

  3. Baby girl, down here in the south (Alabama), w/a few variations on this recipe you can then call it 'red-neck caviar'!