Better Bites: Black Eyed Pea Salad

Black Eyed Pea Salad

There is a false assumption out there that if something is good for you then it tastes like cardboard, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Since we just rang in the New Year I thought it would be fun to take your basic black eyed pea and kick it up a bit. Black eyed peas are a great source of protein, not to mention various vitamins. They really are a great way to ring in your New Year!

Funnily enough I wasn’t always a fan of black eyed peas. If you told me before I got pregnant with Alexis that I would willingly eat them I would have laughed in your face. I was the same way with pinto beans…I just wasn’t a fan! But when I was pregnant with Alexis I craved beans and peas of all sorts and I’ve never gone back! Now Alexis and I eat beans and peas quite often. She’s a big fan and I must say that I now am too.

Traditionally (or at least in the south) black eyed peas are cooked with some sort of pork product or other type of fat, but really black eyed peas are quite flavorful in and of themselves and don’t need much more than a little salt and pepper. The way I like to cook them is simple…Soak them overnight and then drain and rinse. Place them in a pot, cover with water, cook until tender AND THEN add some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. You can eat them plain or you can use them in the salad below…You could even use the canned variety if you wanted. Go crazy why don’t you!??!? ;oP

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of cooked black eyed peas
1 cup of thawed frozen corn kernels (Note: Want to thaw them fast? Run them under a little warm water!)
1 cup of thawed frozen peas (Note: See tip for frozen corn above!)
1 small sweet onion, chopped (Note: I actually had one Vidalia left over from this summer, but any sweet onion will do.)
1 large carrot, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup of freshly squeeze lemon juice
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A generous pinch of cayenne pepper (Note: More if you like it spicy, less if you don’t.)

Black Eyed Pea Salad

In a large bowl toss together black eyed peas, corn, peas, onion and carrot until well mixed. Gently stir in lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper until just incorporated. Chill for at least and hour and serve.

Notes: You could add in any vegetables that you like. Mushrooms would be a good addition, or maybe some edamame and/or celery. This dish is also not only vegetarian, but vegan as well.