Happy 2016! I hope this year brings you lots of good health and happy times. I had never eaten black eyed peas and had never heard of them bringing good luck. My husband knew that they brought good luck but did not enjoy eating them. Black eyed peas out of the can tastes a lot different than cooking them fresh or frozen. Dried black eyed peas are also very tasty!
I never knew why black eyed peas were considered lucky so I read up a little about how this tradition started. I was reminded that they were brought to the United States from West Africa by black slaves. I also found that they have started being a staple for the Jewish New Year’s for centuries. I also read a story about during the Civil War, how they were one crop that the North did not eat or burn and may have been the food that fed Southerners during hard times. No matter how the tradition started, The greens are the are the color of money so most of us don’t want to start the new year without them!

I hope that you like my black eyed peas and greens recipe to help you start off 2016 right!
Black Eyed Pea Grit Bowls
You will have lots of luck this New Year with this layered grit bowl recipe that I adapted from a dish at the Tupelo Honey restaurant. And will want to make it throughout the year! If you don’t want to use the breaded okra, try using fresh or plain frozen and roast for a healthier option.

  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen black eyed peas (I got mine from Sunny Creek Farm from Tryon, NC)
  • 1 large bunch locally grown kale or other greens (this will cook down so you may even want two bunches)
  • 10 ounces frozen breaded okra
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Batch of goat cheese grits

To prepare black eyed peas, place in sauce pan and add about ½ cup water to the peas. Add 2 teaspoon of olive oil. Simmer peas for 30-45 minutes making sure that the pan does not go dry. Towards the end of the cooking time when peas begin to soften, make sure most of the water is gone. Add thyme, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
To prepare greens, stem and cut fine. Mince garlic fine. In an iron skillet, over medium heat add 1-2 teaspoon olive oil and add garlic. Quickly add the greens and stir well being careful to not burn the garlic. Cook until greens become soft.
To cook okra, you can follow the directions on the frozen back to pan fry or you could go a little healthier and toss with some oil and bake at about 425 degrees until brown and turn to brown the other side. Or if the breading is not your thing, you can use unbreaded or fresh and roast it also.
Goat Cheese Grits
I used some soft goat cheese locally made from Three Grace’s Dairy, Marshall, NC and stone ground grits from Barkley Mill, Weaverville, NC!

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup stone ground yellow grits
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese (about 1⁄2 cup)

In a saucepan, combine milk, water, butter, and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in the grits. Reduce heat to low; cook about 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. Stir in the goat cheese. Serve immediately.
To layer the bowl, start out with a layer of cheese grits, add a layer of greens, next include a layer of black eyed peas and top with a few pieces of okra.

Try this colorful and tasty hoppin john recipe in the Farm Fresh Nutrition book!

I love using as many foods as I can from local farmers. Purchasing close to home makes me feel very lucky! After trying this black eyed pea recipe, you may also want to give my Hoppin John recipe from my Farm Fresh Nutrition book. You can purchase my book on the Vine Ripe Nutrition website or locally in Asheville, NC.

Try this colorful and tasty hoppin john recipe in the Farm Fresh Nutrition book!
If you are looking to work with a Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist, I would love to partner with you on healthy you have a healthy 2016! Check out some of the ways that we can work together here !

 

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