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Black Eyed Peas

The other day I was needing a dose of Black Eyed Peas.  No, I’m not referring to the multi-platinum hip-hop group, I’m talking about black-eyed peas (Cow peas) usually served with collard greens.   After spending time in Oklahoma, I was introduced to these peas which are often considered a staple in US Southern and Indian cuisine. 

Recently, I went to the bulk section of my local supermarket searching for the peas and noticed the bulk bins of the organic black beans, split peas, and chickpeas were empty.  However, the bin containing the black-eyed peas was completely full.  This made me wonder if their nutrient value is overlooked or not well known. 

We should all be familiar with these nutritious powerhouses.  Black-eyed peas are not actually peas but are part of the legume family like the black bean.  Therefore, they also contain “vital nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, and potassium”.   According to an article in Healthline, Black-eyed peas are incredibly nutrient-dense, packing plenty of fiber and protein into each serving. Regular intake of legumes was linked to lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, both of which can contribute to heart disease.

Benefits include: 

·         Aids indigestion.

·         Promote weight loss.  I cup yields 13grams of protein and soluble fiber.

·         Regular intake of legumes is good for your heart.

·         Lowers blood pressure.

·         Potassium supports muscle and bone health.

·         Iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body and aids in red blood cell production.

As I mentioned, black-eyed peas are generally paired with a side of collard greens and these leafy greens are also packed with nutrients.  So, combining both is a win-win situation regarding your health.   If you’ve had bariatric surgery, such as a sleeve gastrectomy, this is a nutritious meal that can be part of the stage III diet (6-8 weeks post-surgery).  Please refer to your “Clarity Surgical and Weight Loss Solutions Weight Loss Surgery Nutritional Guide.”

Many traditional recipes contain lard and a smoked ham hock.  I’ve created a healthier version of the Southern recipe to include kale, smoked turkey breast, and meatless bacon.

Recipe:  Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas with Leafy Greens and Smoked Turkey


1.       1 pound dried black-eyed peas (soak in 4 cups of water overnight.  Drain and rinse well)

2.       1 whole onion, chopped

3.       6 garlic cloves, minced

4.       2 bay leaves

5.       1 packet vegan smokey tempeh bacon

6.       7 cups cold water

7.       1 tbsp salt

8.       1 tsp ground black pepper

9.       1 large bunch of organic collard greens, washed and chopped

10.   1 large bunch of curly kale, washed, stems removed and chopped

11.   1 small smoked turkey breast, diced

12.   1 tsp vinegar

13.   1 tbsp hot sauce


Brown the vegan bacon and chop.  Place beans and first 8 ingredients in a crockpot or slow cooker.  Stir to blend, cover, and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Or cook on low 6-8 hours. 

Before the last hour of cooking is complete, add the diced smoked turkey and then the leafy greens.  Splash a little vinegar on top and replace the lid to cook the mixture for another hour or until preferred tenderness is established.

Once the dish is done, serve with hot sauce and cornbread.   This makes a delicious, nutritious packed winter stew for the entire family.