Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Way with Black-eyed Peas for 2011

Here it is! Start the year off right with some good luck and a good bit-o-fiber. There's mention of eating black-eyed peas for luck in the new year dating back all the way to 500 CE/BC. I won't lie and tell you that forgetting to pick up a smoked pork product for flavoring was intentional but once I realized my slip I set out to make some smoky, gut-warming beans with items in my pantry. Here you have it, a bunch of smoky, flavorful and nutrient-dense ingredients--sans meat.

Long before there was such a term as superfood, turmeric has been valued by Eastern cultures for a plethora of health supporting qualities. Known as a digestive aid and gentle anti-inflammatory, turmeric is now being studied for it's applications in chronic disease prevention and overall longevity. Cocoa is full of free-radical fighting polyphenols which equates to antioxidant yumminess. I could go on and about each ingredient (heck, heart-healthy legumes alone are reason to eat this dish!) but, well, let's just say this is truly is a food that loves you back™.

I always crock beans (did you know your slow cooker was actually invented for this purpose?) and it eliminates the need to soak beans. Due to differing temperatures of slow cookers, you will need to play with yours to adjust time for bean cooking. Most beans cook in mine to a tender state in 5-7 hours on high or 8-10 hours on the lower setting.

Happy New Year from the Country Tart!

~ Lynn


1 lb bag dried Black-eyed peas
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, internal seeds removed, (to taste) plus
1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from peppers
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin
6 cloves garlic, skins still intact
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped


Shallow pan
Crock Pot

1 - Place beans in slow cooker and cover in 2 quarts of water.

2- Add the adobo, sauce, paprika, cocoa, salt, turmeric, coriander and cumin to the slow cooker. 

3 - Meantime, on stovetop, heat pan on high heat until it is very hot and throw unpealed garlic into pan.  Turn garlic several times over the next 3-5 minutes until all sides are bubbled and black. Set aside to cool. This method adds great smoky and warm flavor to garlic without scorching or burning the actual flesh.

4 - Reduce heat in pan to medium-low and add olive oil and chopped onions.  Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes more or until onion pieces are soft and brown. 

5 - Add caramelized onions to slow cooker. 

6 - When garlic has cooled so that you can it up in your bare hand, squeeze garlic clove out of bubbly and brown skins and directly into slow cooker.

7 - Cook for approximately 6 hours on high or 8-10 on low or until beans are tender.  You may need to adjust cooking time per your individual cooker's specifications.

8 - Just before serving, add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley and stir throughout so that it cooks into the recipe but stays bright and vibrant. 

Makes 12, 3/4 cup servings. Per serving:

nutrition facts

* Nutritional data calculated using ingredient compliation program for 2,000 calorie diet and is deemed close but not exact. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We MADE Marshmallows!

It snowed and we didn't have any marshmallows. We made homemade marshmallows. My favorite part was when they stuck together like a big pizza dough on a plate. My mom let us eat that part. She toasted some and some we just ate plain and in hot cocoa.