The legume family is vast and made up of nutritious and flavourful morsels of goodness – legumes come in various colours and shapes – with spots and stripes – dried and fresh. Black-eyed beans, black eyed peas or cowpeas – call it by any name – is one of the most nutritious and tastiest of all the legumes available. Its name tells you exactly what it looks like – a kidney shaped – off white bean with a very visible black spot.
The black-eyed bean/pea is widely grown and consumed in many Asian countries, and was introduced to the Southern United States during the 17th Century. Black-eyed beans/peas is still a widely used ingredient in “soul food” and various types of Southern U. S cuisine and the planting of these crops was promoted because of the nitrogen it adds to the soil and its high nutritional value – vitamin A and B, fibre, potassium, protein and even calcium – all of this in just a one cup serving with less than 200 calories – now that is a healthy bargain for vegetarians and vegans.
I was brought up eating this with hot whole wheat roti or freshly steamed basmati rice – and it was always prepared as a curry in a thick tomato and onion gravy – however as always with my sons in my home – I had to take the “Indian Curry” bit out and serve it to them in some other way – (the dilemma of my life – changing what I knew to something different altogether nine out of ten times), but this change has now proved to be my all-time best occupation.
These black-eyed beans with added flavours and whizzed in a food processor becomes a tasty humus that can be served with a piece of toast, a cracker or as a dip with some vegetable crudités, and it is a perfect dish – packed with nutrients, flavour, texture – for us vegetarians or vegans. Or toss the black-eyed beans/peas, into some leafy greens – add some vegetables and seeds and you have a perfect salad for lunch or dinner – and it is just what the doctor ordered – nutritious, flavourful, tasty and light. However you choose to use them – make sure you add it to your diet as it is jam packed with health benefits
Black-Eyed Bean/Peas Salad
20ml vegetable oil
7ml crushed cumin seeds
65ml mange tout
65ml fine green beans chopped into 2
125ml cooked blacked eyed beans
10ml lemon juice
20ml vegetable oil
5ml crushed cumin seeds
65ml sliced coloured peppers
125ml roughly chopped crisp lettuce
10ml dry roasted sunflower seeds (garnish)
10ml dry roasted sesame seeds (garnish)