Curried black-eyed peas are Victor’s favourite legume dish. However, I wanted to switch things up and serve them a little different as a side to some meatballs I had made. Rest assure, the recipe is vegan but I served it with an animal protein, which one can forgo.
Beans can be prepared several ways and this is a must have quick, easy and healthy recipe.
Health benefits of Legumes include:
- Good for the heart — the soluble fiber in legumes can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Assist with weigh loss — low in calories as they are naturally low in fat (at most 2-3% fat content). High in protein and fiber they are satisfying and keep hunger at bay.
- High in Protein — excellent option for vegans, vegetarians and anyone looking for a leaner protein option.
- Balance Blood Sugar — Complex carbs breakdown slowly and keep blood glucose levels stable.
- Antioxidant and Fiber power — reduced risk of chronic diseases, like cancer.
- Better digestive health — Insoluble fiber in beans promotes regularity by preventing constipation.
- Nutrient-rich, versatile and affordable to name a few more benefits!
Italian-style Black-eyed Peas Recipe
Makes 3-4 full servings
2.5 cups dry Black-Eyed Peas
1 small onion — diced small
2 cloves garlic — minced
3 medium tomatoes — diced small (or, substitute small can of tomatoes)
1 bell pepper — diced small
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of Thyme and Rosemary — Dry or fresh herbs
2 tbsp EVOO
Soak beans overnight
Sift through beans to remove any broken pieces or foreign debris. Wash the beans 2x to remove any dirt and grit that maybe present.
Soak beans in a large pot with enough cold water to cover the beans by at least 3 inches. The beans will expand as they soak so make sure there is enough room in the pot to expand without overflowing.
Cook the beans
Option 1, Pressure Cooker:
This is the fastest way to cook beans in general but you have to be carful not to overcook them so, timing is crucial here.
Always follow the instructions that come with your specific pressure cooker.
After overnight soak, add beans and the water they were soaking to pressure cooker and close lid.
Put on high heat to bring the cooker to high pressure — the whistle will start to blow.
At this time, turn heat to low , still maintaining high pressure, and allow the beans to cook for 3 minutes.
Turn off heat and let the pressure return to normal. So, it is safe to open lid.
Check the beans for tenderness. If they are not tender enough, no need to re-start the pressure cooker, just turn on the stove and let them cook a little more — as you would in a regular pot.
Drain the beans and add to the cooked tomato/onion mixture.
Option 2, Stove Top:
If you do not have a pressure cooker, no problem. The beans will still cook the same, it’ll just take a little longer.
Add beans and the water they were soaking into a pot on high heat.
Cover pot and bring to boil and then drop heat to a simmer.
Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until desired tenderness. The beans should be firm but easily mush in between your finger tips.
Make the tomato/onion base
As the beans are cooking, prepare the tomato/onion mixture.
Heat 2 tbsp of EVOO, add in the diced onion and bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add in salt, pepper, and herbs. Stir in the tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and sugar.
Stir for a 2-3 minutes until the mixture comes together.
Taste and adjust seasoning. It’s ok for it to be little over-seasoned here as addition of beans will tone down the flavours.
Once the beans are cooked, drain and add beans only to the above mixture. Mix and enjoy warm.
Serve as a side dish or, a main course with some toast or curst bread on the side.
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