Create your own good fortune for the New Year's by cooking collards, a sweet potato, and black-eyed peas all in one pot. Black-eyed peas surround a halved sweet potato at the bottom of a pot. After awhile, collards join in, kept above the bubbling in a steamer. See the recipe and tips below for this lucky vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat feast. Because it takes only 30 minutes of active time, it's perfect for a week-night dinner too.
Why lucky? Here in the South, we know that eating lots of greens on New Year's Day will bring us more folding money and eating black-eyed peas will mean more coins. (Tradition is mum on gift cards.) By skipping the fatback and cheese, you'll save money at the grocery store and minimize your risk of paying for medical care.
Active time: 30 minutes. Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serves 2 as a complete meal or 4 to 6 as side dishes.
2/3 cups dried black-eyed peas (125 grams)
1 2/3 cups water
1 medium sweet potato (360 grams)
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional salt for collards if desired
4 medium collard leaves (220 grams)
2 tablespoons salsa
1 tablespoon tahini
- Pick over and rinse black-eyed peas (video). Put peas in a bowl and cover with water, keeping the rest of water in the measuring cup if it won't fit in the bowl. (I use a small bowl that fits in the dishwasher.)
- Scrub sweet potato and cut it in half lengthwise. Test your pot size by putting the two sweet-potato halves in the pot, skin-side down, top with the steamer, fitting its legs between the sweet potatoes, and then covering the pot. If the pot lid doesn't meet the rim all the way around, use a bigger pot. When you've found a pot that fits, set sweet potato aside. If this seems like gibberish, scroll through the pictures below.
- Put olive oil in the pot, spread with your clean fingers, and heat oil over medium-low heat. Chop onion and add to the pot, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mince garlic and set aside.
- Pull or cut collard stems away from leaves. If stems are more than a 1/2-inch across, cut lengthwise, then cut stems crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- When onions are soft, add garlic, chipotle, and salt. Stir once or twice until fragrant. Use a spoon to clear two spots on the pot's bottom, then add sweet potato skin-side down. (Any onions trapped under the sweet potato will burn.)
- Add black-eyed peas and water, nudging around with a spoon so peas surround potatoes and are under water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Put steamer on top of sweet potatoes and add collard stems. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add collard leaves on top of stems. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until collards look limp and a bit olive-hued. Try a forkful to make sure they are tender. Sprinkle salt on collards if desired and stir.
- Remove the steamer and collards. Test sweet potatoes and black-eyed peas to make sure they are tender. A fork should slip easily into the center of the sweet potato and black-eyed peas should yield easily when you bite a few. If they are not done, cover and simmer until tender, adding a little water if black-eye peas are not covered and are still quite firm.
- Serve hot. Put collards on plates and top with salsa. Put sweet potato halves on plates and mash lightly with fork to reveal their brilliant orange interior. Stir tahini into black-eyed peas and spoon over sweet potato halves. For a more casual meal, serve your lucky feast in soup bowls.
- If you want a bigger feast, consider adding gluten-free Coconut Cornbread, light Tropical Cornbread, or festive Garlic Chia Crackers.
- For dessert, try fat-free Resolution Revelation Apple-Cinnamon Roll or the gluten-free Baked Pears from Wildly Affordable Organic with Cashew Cinnamon Cream.