Vegetable Jambalaya with Black Eyed Peas


Happy New Year!!

I’m not feeling too hopeful as 2017 starts. I am trying to counteract my bleak outlook with a New Year’s tradition for good luck, eating black eyed peas. This Vegetable Jambalaya is a delicious delivery system for black eyed peas. This recipe makes a big batch so there will be plenty to share with family and friends or to have for leftovers. I don’t recommend freezing leftovers, though. Upon reheating, the rice gets really mushy.

Serve the Vegetable Jambalaya with Blacked Eyed Peas with crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal.

Vegetable Jambalaya with Black Eyed Peas

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 14.5 ounce can black-eyed peas, drained
1 15.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
3 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 bay leaf
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots.  Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer.

Add the bell peppers, black-eyed peas, tomatoes with juices, vegetable broth, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes for flavors to blend.

Add the zucchini, turn heat back up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil again. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid or stir the jambalaya. After 20 minutes, check to make sure all of the liquid has cooked out. If some liquid remains, replace lid and cook a few more minutes or until all the liquid is gone. Be careful not to burn the bottom of the jambalaya. Remove bay leaf, fluff jambalaya with a fork, and mix in the chopped parsley, if using. 

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin' John 2
I have eaten black eyed peas on New Year’s day for good luck for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if they have helped, but I don’t want to jinx 2014. I am facing some serious challenges this year and need all the help I can get. Hoppin’ John is a delicious delivery system for black eyed peas. Served with fresh cornbread, it was a good start to the New Year.

Hoppin' John

Hoppin’ John

4 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green (or red) bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white rice
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes and juices
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 15.5 ounce cans black eyed peas

In a Dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium-high heat, cook the diced bacon until just crispy. Add the diced onion, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the rice, diced tomatoes and their juices, broth, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, Old Bay, thyme, and basil. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Place the lid on the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the black eyed peas and cook 5 minutes more until rice is tender. I like my Hoppin’ John to have just a little bit of liquid remaining, but you can add more if you like.

New Year’s Day Soup (Black-eyed Peas with Rice and Spinach Soup)

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3 out of 4 of us are starting 2013 with a yucky cold. I had planned on cooking a pot of black-eyed peas today, but soup sounded better.  Black-eyed peas for good luck and greens for good fortune are traditional and a must for January 1st, so I had to use those ingredients in my soup.  I’m not sure if the type of greens matter. I happend to have spinach in the fridge so I used it. Collard greens (or cabbage) would be good in this soup too, just add it earlier (along with the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, rice and broth). I served the soup with cornbread hot out of the oven. The soup hit the spot. New Year’s Day tradition and comfort rolled into one.

New Year’s Day Soup (Black-eyed Peas with Rice and Spinach Soup)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
1 package long grain and wild rice (Uncle Ben’s Original Recipe recommended) with seasoning packet
6 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers and saute until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the drained black-eyed peas, tomatoes with their juices, the rice and its seasoning packet, and the vegetable broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add the spinach and cook 5 more minutes Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Bundgobhi Lobhiyewali (Cabbage with Black-Eyed Peas) & Masoor Masala (Spicy Lentils)

From September 28, 2004:  I made this incredibly delicious Indian meal last week.  I made bundgobhi lobhiyewali (cabbage and black-eyed peas) and masoor masala (spicy lentils).  I served these dishes with basmati rice, potato and green pea samosas ( I cheated and got some premade frozen samosas and fried them at home…. I do make my own most of the time, but they are time-consuming),  popadoms (fried Indian crackers imbedded with spices), and tamarind chutney (from a jar….Sashi Indian Magic brand).  Check out the recipes below.  

Bundgobhi Lobhiyewali (Cabbage with Black-Eyed Peas)

I liked this dish. The cabbage was sweet and its flavor melded well with the black-eyed peas. It was great reheated because the flavors had time to intensify, which is good because this recipe made a rather large batch.

Bundgobhi Lobhiyewali (Cabbage with Black-Eyed Peas)

1 medium cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, sliced in thin half rounds
½ -inch piece fresh ginger, grated
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas, drained (Iused 1 can)
½ teaspoon garam masala

In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. add the cumin. When it darkens (1 to 2 seconds), add the grated ginger. Cook for 1 minute, then add the sliced onions and sauté until lightly browned (about 8 minutes). Add the cabbage, salt, cayenne, and turmeric. Stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the cabbage is just done (about 20 minutes). Add the black-eyed peas, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix in the garam masala and serve.

Recipe source: From Bengal to Punjab: The Cuisines of India by Smita Chandra (The Crossing Press, 1991).

Masoor Masala (Spicy Lentils)

Masoor masala was the star of our Indian meal.  The addition of the spinach really made it incredible.  I’m assuming you could add other kinds of vegetables with good results….zucchini or cauliflower would probably be good additions to the lentils.  This dish is nutritious and incredibly inexpensive to prepare.  It is also awesome the next day because the flavors have had time to intensify. 

Masoor Masala (Spicy Lentils)

1 cup whole brown lentils
4 cups water
salt, to taste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 medium onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
tiny pinch crushed asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large tomato, chopped
5 to 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)

Wash the lentils, removing any broken pieces and debris. Place the lentils and the water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and let soak for 1 hour. Add the salt and turmeric, and cook covered over low heat until tender (about 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a small heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the asafetida (if used) and cumin. when the spices darken (1 to 2 seconds), add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until browned (8 to 10 minutes). add the coriander, cayenne, and tomato; cook until the tomato is soft (about 5 minutes).

When the lentils are cooked, add the onion-tomato mixture and frozen spinach, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes (or until spinach is warm through).

Recipe adapted from: From Bengal toPunjab: The Cuisines of India by Smita Chandra (The Crossing Press, 1991).



My dad concocted tor-pea-does many years ago.  Hot black-eyed peas topped with shredded cheese and salsa, wrapped up in warm corn tortillas.  In addition to the cheese and salsa, I like to add pickled jalapenos and sour cream to mine.  Tor-pea-does are such a comforting dish.  Simple, quick, inexpensive, and a delightful mesh of flavors.

Tor-pea-does bring back good memories from my childhood….my family sitting around the table playfully boasting about how many tor-pea-does we could eat.  I can eat 4!  Well, I can eat 5!  Oh yeah, I can eat 6!  Fun times.  Tor-pea-does are an all-time favorite and a dish that I hold dear.

I make sure to keep a few cans of black eyed peas and fresh corn tortillas in the pantry for this quick meal.

You don’t really need a recipe for tor-pea-does…just heat up some black eyed peas, throw them in a warmed corn tortilla (you can zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds or toast in a hot pan), and then top with cheese and salsa (add sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos, or anything else you would like).  Don’t overfill or the whole thing will fall apart (if that happens, just bust out the fork).