Friday, May 1, 2009

Field Greens with Mississippi Caviar

No, Mississippi caviar does not contain any fish eggs - it's made with black-eyed peas and vegetables. These delicious little beans are full of great things like calcium, folate and vitamin A.

I was a bit perplexed though, seeing that the recipe called for fresh or frozen black-eyed peas. I've seen them canned or dried, in supermarkets, but never fresh, and certainly not in the freezer aisle! Perhaps this is a Southern thing? I decided canned black-eyed peas would be equivalent to fresh ones, only then it seemed to negate the first step of the recipe, which was to simmer them for 30 minutes until tender. However, I wanted to simmer them at least a little bit, to infuse with the flavors of garlic and pepper. So here was my compromise:

Combine 3/4 cup water, 1 minced garlic clove and a dash of black pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add 4 cups canned black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained). Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.

To the bowl, add: 1 cup julienne-cut yellow bell pepper, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, and 1/2 cup Italian dressing. I omitted the 1/4 tsp. of salt, since canned beans already have some salt added.

For the Italian dressing, I used the Tuscany Italian Dressing from Annie's Naturals - not all of the company's dressings are vegan, but many are, including this one. I didn't realize, though, that I only had 1/4 cup left in my bottle (I use this a lot to dress salads at lunchtime). I decided 1/4 cup was enough though, but if you want to add the full 1/2 cup, by all means...

Cover and chill the mixture for at least 3 hours, and up to overnight. When you're ready to serve, 1 cup of mixed salad greens topped with 1 cup of the 'caviar' is 200 calories. Make the portion bigger if this is your entree!

black-eyed peas $3.65
yellow bell pepper $0.67
parsley $1.69
mixed greens $2.50

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance