Ending our Healthy Holiday Recipes series is a fresh twist to a Southern favorite dish served for the New Year. It would be wrong to say, we don’t enjoy traditionally stewed black-eyed peas with ham, smoked turkey or vegetables. In addition, if fresh ingredients are used, the traditional recipe is still a healthy dish.
In this version, black-eye peas are used as a salad with pearl barley for a light side dish to support a main dish, such as glazed hams, roast turkeys, seared duck breasts or tofu. Enjoy with breakfast with Sauté Collard Greens and a cheese omelet. The taste is similar to a rice pilaf, for pearl barley is cooked the same way as brown rice. Both black-eye peas and pearl barley’s origins are in West Africa.
Eating black-eye peas on New Year’s Day is a symbol of prosperity and good luck for the rest of the year. When paired with collard greens—the symbol of money—it’s the gastronomic rule of black-eye peas to bring in the New Year’s.
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