Good Health and Good Luck in 2021!

Thankfully 2021 is almost here – we’re all ready to “run away” from 2020 and leap into 2021!  There’s an old tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck in the New Year….and most of us could sure use it!  I’m not superstitious, but then again, why take chances?  So I’m sharing my two favorite black-eyed pea recipes below that are good all year round.

And not only “might” these little guys bring you good luck, but also good health.  Beans, in general, are healthy and high in fiber.  Black-eyed peas are no exception.  Black-eyed peas are legumes and a variety of cowpeas.  They are part of the family of peas and beans.

Chocked full of zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, folate, iron and magnesium, they also pack a potassium punch.  Potassium promotes good heart health.  These tiny beans can help improve blood pressure, reduce inflammation and decrease blood lipid levels.

They are also low in saturated fat and are packed with soluble fiber to aid in digestion.  They are a perfect side dish (but be aware they do contain carbs).

The chilled Black Eyed Pea salad recipe below makes an E-Z cold side dish (no cooking needed) and can be doubled or tripled to take to picnics, potluck or serve on a buffet. I always make the chilled salad below to have on New Year’s Eve AND New Year’s Day (I’m thinking “double the luck”).   The black-eyed pea warm dip recipe is also perfect for get-togethers like ringing in the New Year or Super Bowl munching:

 

BLACK-EYED PEA CHILLED SALAD-Base Recipe:

15.5 OZ. can of black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed)

½ cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of sugar

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons of chopped red onion

1 teaspoon of dill weed

1 teaspoon of basil

½ teaspoon of black pepper

3 to 5 tablespoons of diced green pepper (or a mix of diced red and green pepper)

3 to 5 tablespoons of diced tomatoes OR red Salsa OR both

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional:  3 to 5 tablespoons of shredded carrots.

Optional:  instead of doing the mix of vinegar, sugar and water, add your own favorite vinaigrette dressing such as balsamic or champagne.

Put the rinsed black-eyed peas in a bowl.  In a separate cup or small bowl, stir the sugar into the warm water and until it dissolves, then pour it over the black-eyed peas.  Add all the remaining ingredients.  Mix thoroughly, cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator (stirring at least once or twice).

NOTE:  This is a base recipe.  If it’s too tart for your taste buds, add a little more sugar. If you want more zip, add more vinegar or dressing.  If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, try a tablespoon or 2 of tomato salsa instead.  Depending on the type of salsa, you can add more or less.  This recipe is all about making it to your own “liking”.

 

WARM BLACK-EYED PEA DIP:

2-3 tbsp. red salsa

8 oz. light or regular cream cheese (soften)

2 cans (15 oz.) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1-1/2 tsp. lime juice

¼ cup finely chopped scallions or red onion

¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup of diced fresh tomatoes

¼ cup of milk or buttermilk

Mash the black eyed peas and then thoroughly blend them with the cream cheese.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Cover with foil and bake approx. 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until dip is hot and bubbly.  Serve warm with tortilla chips or round slices of crusty bread.

OPTIONAL:  Top baked dip with additional diced tomatoes before serving.

KICK 2020 TO THE CURB — BRING ON 2021!

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