Lucky Greens and Vegan Blackeyed Peas
Long associated with luck and prosperity, no New Year’s celebration is complete without the mighty blackeyed pea! Sadly, though, this Southern custom rarely brings good fortune to the porcine folk whose hocks often wind up in traditional cuisine. This recipe offers savory holiday deliciousness, but without chopping off anyone’s ankles — and your slow cooker does most of the work, while you celebrate with family and friends. What great way to kick off the New Year!
- 2 cups dried blackeyed peas (about 2-1/2 to 3 cups after soaking)
- 1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large or 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (not ground thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan butter or refined coconut oil, melted
- 3 cups seasoned vegetable broth (such as Better Than Boullion No-Chicken Base)
- 1 bunch mustard greens (or turnip greens or kale), washed well, ribs removed, and chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring, to taste
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or organic soy sauce (amount varies, depending on the broth you use)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce
Soak blackeyed peas overnight, or quick-soak according to package directions.
Drain and rinse the soaked blackeyes. Combine blackeyed peas, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning, and black pepper in your slow cooker. Stir in the melted vegan butter or coconut oil and broth; the liquid should cover the blackeyes by about 1″ to 1-1/2″. Splash in a bit more broth if needed (depending on the size of your slow cooker).
Cook on high heat for 1-1/2 hours.
After 1-1/2 hours, stir in greens a handful at a time, giving each bunch a moment to wilt before adding more. Cook for another 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours on high, until blackeyes are as done as you like them. To me, this dish works best when the blackeyes and greens are both well past al dente — pretty soft, but not overshooting into mushy.
When you’re happy with the texture of the blackeyes and greens, stir in the liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, red wine vinegar, Bragg’s or organic soy sauce, and hot sauce. I personally recommend fairly generous sprinklings of the hot sauce, Old Bay, and smoke flavoring!
Turn the slow cooker heat to low, to keep the greens and blackeyes warm for second helpings. Remove bay leaves, serve with sweet cornbread, and enjoy!
Makes about 6 large servings; preparation time: soak time plus 30 minutes; cooking time: 4 to 5 hrs.
This recipe works well as a make-ahead dish: prep your greens, soak the peas, and chop your garlic and onion the day before. Add the spices and such on cooking day; and then just sit back and enjoy spending time with friends and family, while your slow cooker whips up a delicious dinner to start the year off right!
Happy New Year!
Image credit: Creative Commons photo by giffconstable.