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Black-Eyed Peas with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Do you ever walk around the kitchen.  Craving something.  Yet you just don't know what it is that you're craving.  You check the cupboards.  You check the fridge.  You check the freezer.  Then you check the cupboards again.  And you check the fridge again...and so on.  When this happens to me, it seems my body needs either citrus (think sweet, juicy orange or fat, puckery grapefruit) or dark, colorful food (like deep, orange sweet potatoes and bitter, peppery greens).

The past few days...maybe even a week now...I've felt this way.  I went for a tangelo (aka mineola) first.  Nothin'.  A few more days and a bit more wear to the linoleum (ssshhhh...I tell myself it's tile, but really it is linoleum) and I knew I had to hit the market in a bad way.  I miss being able to run over the the community garden and come home with a big basket of kale.  Hurry up summer!  Fortunately the market had some good looking kale and a decent bin of sweet potatoes.  I found a recipe that I could not get out of my head in one of my Moosewood books, so that was on the docket for today.  Although the original recipe calls for pigeon peas, I used black-eyed peas because that's what I had in the house.  And to be truthful, I've never seen pigeon peas around here.  So that is for another day.  Subbing in some deep purpley-red onions for regular and olive oil for vegetable oil, the meal came together in a quick and ultra-crave-satisfying manner!
Black-Eyed Peas w/ Kale & Sweet Potatoes
adapted from a recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
serves: ~4

1 large sweet potato (~2 c.), peeled & diced into ½" cubes
1 medium red onion (~1 c.), chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
~~
~1 lb. kale (a huge handful)
~3 c. black-eyed peas, drained if in liquid
salt
freshly ground black pepper
~~
tabasco, pepper vinegar, &/or cider vinegar, to serve
Bring a couple cups of water to boil in a pot, salt it and then add the sweet potato cubes.  Cook for ~10 minutes or until barely tender.  While potatoes cook, sauté red onion in olive oil in a large skillet until it is translucent.  

Remove the tough bottom parts of the stem from the kale, then slice lengthwise through the leaves and chop them pretty small.  Add kale to onions and sauté for a couple of minutes, or until the kale is bright green.  

Scoop about 3 Tbs. of sweet potato cooking water into the pan to help the kale steam and cook.  Drain the sweet potatoes and then add them to the skillet along with the black-eyed peas.  Toss everything and stir, cooking for a couple more minutes, or until everything is heated through.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  

Serve immediately, offering Tabasco or vinegars at the table...for a little somethin' extra.
I liked the combo of pepper vinegar and the green pepper Tabasco on mine.  Tangy with a slight, lingering heat.  And I don't feel like I'm lost anymore.  Craving officially satisfied.

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*MLLA is being hosted at Ammalu's Kitchen this month.