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 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.
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