I don’t make Black Eyed Peas and Rice nearly often enough. I tend to think of black eyed peas simply as the New Years Eve meal and forget about it throughout the year. But this meal is so much more than simply a way to start the year off with a little luck and the hope for extra spending money. This meatless version is hearty, healthy, and is a wonderful alternative during Lent if you want to skip out on the local fish fry.
Friday nights during Lent is the only time of year my wife can get me to go to church without kicking and screaming and tells me that I’m worse than our three kids. She doesn’t understand that I went to a private Catholic school from kindergarten to eighth grade and had to go to church services every Wednesday and Friday plus the daily religion class. Then on Sundays, we had to go to church with my parents. The only times I didn’t mind going with them was when the church offered a pancake breakfast after service or the occasional spaghetti dinner.
I guess now I’m realizing that I can be bribed into doing things with food…
As an adult, the only church I prefer to go to is a Church’s Chicken and the only time I get spiritual and pray is during New Orleans Saints football season. And I’m good with that. I’m happy. She goes to church occasionally and the kids usually go with her. My middle son loves the music and the singing and will not pass up the opportunity to be apart of that; the youngest, my daughter, loves to dress up and the attention that gets her (along with constantly raising and slamming down the kneeler and treating it like a tightrope); my oldest, who goes to catechism, is more like me when it comes to religion:
But I digress.
I found that this Black Eyed Peas and Rice meal was perfect for Lent; if you’re into Meatless Mondays and wanted to substitute this for a –cough cough– red beans and rice dinner, it’s the perfect alternative. I can’t vouch for it being a hardcore vegan recipe but it is vegetarian. There is a difference, right? I don’t strive to be either so I don’t know. If it falls into either category then bonus. Let me know in the comments below.
All I know, is when the black eyed peas are alongside a nice portion of hot rice (either white or brown work), there’s a side of collard greens, and a warm slice of cornbread is nearby, you have yourself quite the meal here. Plus, I know that with this hearty pot of peas, I’m getting a nice healthy meal. My wife loves this and wants this in the regular rotation to mix up the Monday dinner.
I stopped talking to her.
It’s good but come on…
…can’t we sub out a Taco Tuesday instead?
Black Eyed Peas in New Orleans
Black Eyed Peas and Rice is a really a great meal. However, like its counterpart red beans and rice, it’s mainly a home cooked meal. I did a quick search on different New Orleans restaurants and found not much on the dish as a regular menu item. Undoubtedly you’ll find it as a special around the New Year. But March? Not so much.
If you head into the Garden District, you can stop in at Commander’s Palace. They currently have a Pork Belly Hoppin’ John with Abita root beer braised pork belly over black eyed peas, chargrilled winter kale and crispy sweet potato ribbons dish on the menu.
Other spots have featured black eyed peas on their menu as well; Cochon at one point offered a gumbo that had black eyed peas and roasted pork and also a vegan salad with roasted cauliflower and a black eyed peas puree.
If you’re looking specifically for black eyed peas and rice, call ahead to the restaurant as ask. Menus are always changing and what they have today may not be there tomorrow.
Let me know in the comment section below if you have found a restaurant that has black eyed peas and rice on the menu. I’d love to feature it right here in this section.
Here’s how I put my Meatless Black Eyed Peas and Rice recipe together:
Pour the vegetable stock in a large pot or dutch oven along with the black eyed peas; bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
While the black eyed peas are simmering, in a large skillet, saute the onions, green bell peppers, and garlic until the onions become transparent and the peppers have softened. Then add the herbs and spices.
Add the celery and sliced carrots to the skillet and continue to saute.
Once the vegetables have softened and the flavors have combined, pour the mixture into the pot with the black eyed peas and cook until the peas, carrots, and celery are tender.
About 15 minutes before serving, add the Balsamic vinegar and hot sauce to the pot along with adjusting the flavoring with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper.
This is how my Meatless Black Eyed Peas and Rice came out. How do you make yours? How do these look? Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.
Black Eyed Peas and Rice
- 8 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1 lbs dried black eyed peas rinsed and soaked overnight
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 cups celery diced
- 2 cups carrots sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- salt and pepper to taste
- Creole seasoning to taste
- 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- green onions chopped, for garnishment
Rinse and sort peas; place them in a large bowl or pot, cover, and let soak overnight.
Drain and rinse off the peas. Pour the vegetable stock into a large pot along with the peas and bay leaf; bring the pot to a boil over MEDIUM heat then reduce the heat to allow the pot to simmer.
While the peas are simmering, in a large skillet, saute the onions, green bell peppers, cloves of garlic until the onions are transparent and the peppers have softened; about 10 minutes.
Add the celery and carrots to the skillet along with the thyme, sage, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and white pepper and continue to saute for an additional 5 minutes.
Carefully pour the contents of the skillet into the simmering pot of black eyed peas and continue to cook until the peas, carrots, and celery are tender; about 1 hour.
About 15 minutes before serving, add the Balsamic vinegar and hot sauce and adjust the seasoning with the Creole Seasoning and salt and pepper.
Serve over hot white rice and garnish with chopped green onions.
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Keep the red beans cookin’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.