You've probably hear about the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Apparently even in ancient times it was common to eat black-eyed peas for New Year's luck, and in America, the practice spread across Southern states after the civil war, when "cowpeas" became a sign of luck because they were considered animal food by Northerners, and were one of the few crops that weren't burned by Union troops.
Nowdays black-eyed peas are actually becoming a bit trendy, so it's hard to tell whether people eat them just because they're tasty and nutritious, or whether it's for superstitious reasons. Whatever the reason, good recipes for black-eyed peas are showing up everywhere.
Photo of Vegan Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas
from Cheap Healthy Good
Many traditional recipes combine black-eyed peas with collard greens, also considered a lucky food, since the green leaves symbolize money. There's a fantastic looking version of Vegan Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas at Cheap Healthy Good, where a special ingredient replaces the smokiness you might get from ham.
Photo of Spicy Collards and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
I also like the sound of Spicy Collards and Black-Eyed Pea Soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Susan is from Mississippi, so it's not surprising that she cooks with black-eyed-peas a lot, and her Creole Black-Eyed Peas served with rice also sound like a nice way to start the year.
Photo of Cajun Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Ribbons
from I Am Gluten Free
At I Am Gluten Free, a pressure cooker was used to make Cajun Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Ribbons, a slightly different vegan soup that was inspired by the soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen above. You can make this soup with or without tempeh sausage links (or even use regular sausage, if you're not cooking vegan.)
Photo of Good Fortune Soup for the New Year
from Homesick Texan
At Homesick Texan, Lisa also has a lot of great ideas for black-eyed peas, considered a *must* for New Year's where she comes from. I love the sound of her Good Fortune Soup for the New Year, which has the lucky combination of black-eyed peas, collard green, and ham, plus some spicy Ro-Tel tomatoes to kick it up a notch. Lisa also has Black-Eyed Pea Dip for a New Year, and a few more ideas for cooking Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Day.
Photo of Indian Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Tomato and Curry Leaves
from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black-Eyed Peas originally came from India, so if you're not interested in soup, I can recommend the recipe for Indian Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Tomato and Curry Leaves that I made last January. My version was inspired by Curried Black-Eyed Peas from Lisa's Kitchen, which also sound great.
More Ideas for Black-Eyed Peas:
~There's an intriguing Portugese Salad of Black-Eyed Peas with Tuna at Leite's Culinaria
~Happy Herbivore has Black-Eyed Peas in Creole Roasted Red Pepper Gravy
~The Fresh Black-Eyed Peas Kurma at Cooking 4 All Seasons sound spicy and flavorful.
~I also love the sound of Fenugreek Perfumed Black-Eyed Peas at My Kitchen Treasures.
~What We're Eating has two different takes on traditional Hopping John.
~They were made as a barbecue side, but Ed Mitchell's Black-Eyed Peas from The Paupered Chef would also be great for New Year's Day.
More About Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Luck:
From BlogHer ~ Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Day or Kwanzaa
From BlogHer ~ Eat Some Lucky Foods for a Prosperous New Year
From Louisburg Herald ~ Enjoy Black-Eyed Peas for a Lucky New Year
From About.com ~ Black-Eyed Peas: Start the New Year with a Dish of Good Luck
Even Non-Cooks Can Get Some Black-Eyed Pea Luck:
~If you aren't particularly into cooking, Naughty Secretaries Club has ideas for Crafting with Black-Eyed Peas.
Now let's hear from the BlogHer readers. Do you usually cook black-eyed peas for New Years? If so, hit us with your best recipe ideas or links in the comments. And if you've never tried these lucky and healthful legumes, maybe 2010 should be the start of a new tradition at your house?
Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen where she's focused on creating low-glycemic recipes using fresh ingredients. Kalyn has been making Hopping John Soup for her annual soup party for the last few years, and doesn't know for sure whether eating the black-eyed peas is bringing her luck, but it sure hasn't hurt!
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