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Monday, December 30, 2013

Blackeyed Peas = Happy New Year!

Traditions are an important part of holiday meals, and one Southern mainstay may be worth including in your own celebration.  On New Year's day (or thereabouts) it's the eating of the beans, more specifically blackeyed peas, that is a must-eat if you would like good fortune to shower you with coinage.

For an appetizer you could try a blackeyed pea salsa, and/or for a side dish you might want to go classic with Hoppin' John.  I went to my got-to-try-this-recipe-someday file and found a "burger" recipe, staring blackeyed peas, from the Chubby Vegetarian.  It almost looks to easy to be good, but don't let that fool you like it almost fooled me.  It's better than good.

Now I love my store-bought veggie burgers a lot, but I really enjoy (successfully) making recipes from scratch too.  You can see from the photo, these babies look like the real deal.  Note that whether you use Melissa's Steamed, Shelled, Ready-to-Eat BEP's like I did, or Melissa's Blackeyed Peas in a tub, or dried blackeyed peas, or canned blackeyed peas, the key is to mash them until they're the consistency of refried beans.  When combined with the oats this will result in the right texture for binding and cooking.

One recipe makes 4 quarter pounders, or you can divvy it up for more portion controlled patties, or even smaller for sliders.  Whichever way you go, select a suitably delicious bun and your favorite condiments - I went with a little Dijon, bbq sauce, mixed greens, red onion, Roma tomato, and Vegenaise (it makes everything even more delicious).  This way to a good burger, and good fortune:

Good Fortune Blackeyed Pea Burgers (a la
1 pkg. Melissa's Ready-to-Eat BEPs or 1 1/2 cups cooked BEPs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (the 3-5 minute kind)
2 Tbsp. shallots, minced
3/4 cup portobello mushrooms, cooked and diced (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. beet juice
2 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil for the pan
garnishes of your choice

In a medium sized bowl mash the peas until they're the consistency of refried beans.  Add in the dry oats and combine.  Add the shallots, mushrooms (optional), vegetable oil, beet juice, lite soy sauce, and liquid smoke, and stir together until you get a firm consistency.  Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.

With damp hands form the mixture into the size patties you desire.  Set them aside for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.

Add a tablespoon of oil to a saute pan on medium-high heat.  When the oil begins to sizzle, add a "burger" to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side.  Repeat.  Then garnish like a fool and enjoy!

Get your New Year's party started with this amazing flashmob performance by The Black Eyed Peas:


  1. These look and sound delicious! I especially like your "cooking lesson": "the key is to mash them until they're the consistency of refried beans. When combined with the oats this will result in the right texture for binding and cooking."

    Where do you get beet juice? Do you make it from raw beets? Juice bar? Bottled juices like Odwalla? Liquid from cooking beets or from a can? Bottled borscht (but it has other stuff)?

    Hope this is the first of frequent posts in the New Year! We need your inspiration!

  2. Thanks so much for your comments Faye. Any beet juice will work - it's for color. On another note, the next time I make these I'm going to add 1-2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten (the main ingredient for seitan) for more texture. Happy New Year to you both!

  3. Thanks, Nancy. Thanks for the tip; I need to learn how to use vital wheat gluten. Happy New Year to you too!