I decided yesterday while writing at Three Friends Cafe that I will try at least three new recipes a week for dinner. I was going through my lovely new cookbook (from my dear friend Mandi) the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health and found some tasty dishes that I couldn’t wait to try.
Last night I was deciding between a stuffed portobella mushroom recipe and a black-eyed pea recipe. The first time I’d ever had black-eyed peas was this past year in Hawaii. They are traditionally a Southern food and Jess was nice enough to share that culture with Luke and I one night last spring and there is no better dish to pair it with than a sweet cornbread. Cornbread is always a favorite of mine especially in the winter months – pair it with chili, stew, soup or by itself for breakfast and it’s delicious. I’ve been trying a few different vegan/vegetarian recipes this past year and I have to say that this one might be a new favorite of mine! The ground up sesame and flax seeds give it a real nutty and even smokey taste and pairs well with some strawberry pepper jelly or my favorite butter/margarine re placer – coconut oil. Mm Mm Mmm!
DOWN-HOME BLACK-EYED PEAS
Serves 4 to 8 – Yields about 4 cups – Time: 35 minutes
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup celery
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas undrained or 1/2lb (or 1 1/4 cups) dried black-eyed peas*
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup diced green, red or yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup minced scallions or green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt & ground pepper to taste
1. In a saucepan on medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the black-eyed peas, reserving 1 cup of the liquid.
2. When the onions are soft, add the black-eyed peas and reserved liquid to the pan. Stir in the soy sauce and simmer on med-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the bell peppers, scallions, and cilantro, cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. To serve as a chilled salad, add 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
*To cook dried black-eyed peas for this recipe, sort and rinse 1 1/4 cups (1/2 lb) of black-eyed peas. Place them in a saucepan with 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. For more tender skins, presoak in water overnight or all day, or cover with boiling water and soak for several hours. I usually just presoak over night so they are ready for me either in the afternoon or early evening.
SESAME FLAXSEED CORNBREAD
Serves 9 – Hands on time: 15 minutes – Baking time: 20 minutes
3 tablespoons brown sesame seeds
3 tablespoons whole flaxseeds
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or spelt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole grain cornmeal
2 large eggs or egg replacer
1 cup plain yogurt or you could try coconut-soy-rice milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey, pure maple syrup, or agave syrup
1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil 9 inch square or 10 inch round baking pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds and shake the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
2. In coffee grinder or blender, whirl the remaining sesame seeds and the flaxseeds until they reach a consistency like cornmeal.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and stir in the ground seeds and the cornmeal. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, oil and sweetener. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until just blended; don’t overmix.
4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.