Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello, 2012: Kale & Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Raw Kale with Black-Eyed Peas & Sweet Potato in a Citrus Vinaigrette

It's finally here: 2012.  It still feels a little strange to say that.  I don't often identify with a year, but 2011 marked a real turning point for me.  I reached so many milestones, personally, professionally, and creatively, and looking back on it all, my heart is filled to the brim with gratitude and awe.  And looking ahead, my eyes, my ears, and my heart, are open to embrace what's in store.

They say that eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the new year brings luck and prosperity.  So with that in mind, I offer you this simple recipe to help you start the new year right. Inspired by a salad from the Royal Blue Grocery, it features the fortuitous legumes paired with sweet potatoes, raw kale, and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette.  Crisp, clean, delicious flavors.

Kale & Black-Eyed Pea Salad
(GF, DF, V, rSF, SF)

2 1/2 c cooked black-eyed peas
1 1/2 c sweet potato, diced
2 1/2 c kale, destemmed and shredded

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
(GF, DF, V, rSF, SF)

1/4 c Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 c shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/3 c canola oil

1.  During this time of year, many groceries will carry pre-soaked black-eyed peas.  I was lucky to find some from a local farm.  If those are not available, feel free to start with dry beans (~1 cup yields the 2 1/2 cups needed) or use canned beans.  If cooking them yourself, avoid overcooking so the peas hold their shape.
2.  Peel the sweet potato and dice into 1/4" cubes.  Cover with 3 cups cold, filtered water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, or until just fork tender.
3.  Thoroughly wash the kale leaves, destem, and then thinly slice or tear into bite-size pieces to make approximately 2 1/2 cups.  
4.  To make the vinaigrette, start by zesting the lemon and then squeezing the juice from it.  One Meyer lemon will yield approximately 1/4 cup.
5.  Combine all ingredients except for oil.
6.  Using a whisk, slowly incorporate the canola oil to emulsify.  If your lemon is less acidic, you may need less oil, and vice versa.  Makes approximately 2/3 cup.
7.  Combine the black-eyed peas, sweet potato, and kale in a large, non-reactive bowl.  Toss them in the vinaigrette.
8.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.  Make sure to give it another good toss before serving.
9.  Makes 8-12 servings.

Slow cooked with kombu.

Sweet potatoes rock.

Who knew making a vinaigrette was so easy?

A delicious and uber-healthy way to enjoy black-eyed peas.

May 2012 be filled with opportunities to Laugh, to Learn, to Live, and to Love.

Happy New Year, everyone.


  1. Well you know I like all of this as usual. Did you use the kombu that I gave you a few weeks ago? I made fresh rolls for lunch and made an green tea almond milk latte to have with them. I also made sure to cook a pot of beans for the new year and I'm going to be working them into dinner later. I have collard greens and portabella mushroom caps waiting in the green room for me to call them out on stage. ;p Meyer Lemon dressing... heheheh yes! Good eating! Thanks Kuya

  2. Thanks, Jess! Yep, I used the kombu you gave me. It worked like a charm. Keep me posted on dinner for tonight - send me a Playbill? ;) Happy New Year, ading!

  3. I love black eyed peas! One of my favorite meals is a baked sweet potato served alongside black eyed peas, raw collard green salad, and skillet-sizzled homemade vegan cornbread. I’d love to share the cornbread recipe if you’d like! Thanks for this quick and easy recipe. I always appreciate the time you take to post on your blog, no matter what you post. :)

    ronan of Renton Auto Repair


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