This week, I decided to experiment with dry beans. I'd never done the whole soaking overnight, cooking for a couple hours method before. I basically just wanted to see if it was worth the extra effort to save a few bucks. And after this week...well, I'm still undecided... but I did get to try black-eyed peas for the first time!
Here's what I did with the black-eyed peas, adapted from an Allrecipes.com recipe I found. The original recipe had a really weird and awkward amount of spices that weren't really necessary. Anyway, here is what I came up with:
Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Black-Eyed Peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh, cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup sweet potato, cooked until tender and cut into chunks
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red pepper, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 pinch dried thyme
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic; cook until onion is soft and translucent.
Mix in broth, tomatoes (with juices), black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and chopped bell pepper. Add brown sugar and all the spices.
Bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes begin to get mushy, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and cracked pepper to taste. Serve with Jiffy corn bread muffins. Yummm.
In addition to the black-eyed peas, I also played with a bag of dry black beans. I used a cup and a half to make these brownies (yes, brownies), and the rest will be made into another batch of black bean burgers. The brownie recipe is from Rocco D's Now Eat This! cookbook, and they are really quite lovely.