From the Land 10.10

food for thought
full share: black eyed peas, okra, leeks, beets, roma tomatoes, head lettuce, potatoes, and roasted chiles!

partial share: roma tomatoes, head lettuce, potatoes, and roasted chiles!

veg of the week

black eyed peasVigna unguiculata

This subspecies of the cowpea probably originated in Africa, but cultivated heavily throughout Asia. It reached the southern United States through Virginia in the 1700s, and became a common part of southern cuisine.

Uses: Fresh black-eyed peas do not have to be soaked before cooking, and cook faster than dried. Watch your cooking time – you want them soft to chew but not falling apart.

Great recipe ideas from Wikipedia:

  • Hoppin’ John,” made of black-eyed peas, rice, and pork, is a traditional dish of Southern United States.
  • Texas caviar, another traditional dish in the American South, is made from black-eyed peas marinated in Italian salad dressing and chopped garlic, and served cold.
  • In Portugal, black-eyed peas are served with boiled cod and potatoes, with tuna, and in salads.
  • In Vietnam, black-eyed peas are used in a sweet dessert called chè đậu trắng (black-eyed peas and sticky rice with coconut milk).
  • In Greece, Turkey (Börülce salatası), and Cyprus, black-eyed peas are eaten with vegetables, oil, salt, andlemon.[8] in Syria and Lebanon Lobya or green black-eyed-beans are cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, peeled and chopped, olive oil, salt and black pepper.
  • In the northern part of Colombia, they are used to prepare a fritter called buñuelo. The beans are immersed in water for a few hours to loosen their skins and soften them. The skins are then removed either by hand or with the help of a manual grinder. Once the skins are removed, the bean is ground or blended, and eggs are added, which produces a soft mix. The mix is fried in hot oil. It makes a nutritious breakfast meal.
  • In Pakistan and northern India, lobia is cooked as daal.
  • In West Africa and the Caribbean, a traditional dish called akkra is made of mashed black-eyed peas to which is added salt, onions and/or peppers. The mixture is then fried.
  • In Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, especially in the city of Salvador, black-eyed peas are used in a traditional street food of Nigerian origin called acarajé. The beans are peeled and mashed, and the resulting paste is made into balls and deep fried in dendêAcarajé is typically served split in half and stuffed with vatapácaruru, diced green and red tomatoes, fried sun-dried shrimp and homemade hot sauce.
  • In Indonesia, black-eyed peas are called kacang tunggak or kacang tolo in local language. They are commonly used in curry dishes like sambal goreng, a kind of hot and spicy red curry dish, sayur brongkos, or sayur lodeh.

Nutrition: As with other legumes, black eyed peas are a great source of protein, with three grams of protein in each half cup serving. Beans contain high amounts of soluble fiber, which can help decrease cholesterol levels and therefore prevent heart disease. Soluble fiber also helps diabetics maintain blood sugar levels because it slows the rate of carbohydrate absorption. Black eyed peas are rich in potassium (healthy functioning of cells, tissues and organs), naturally occurring sodium, zinc (cellular metabolism and function, immune system, and protein processing), iron, and vitamin C.

To store: Store fresh black-eyed peas in a bag in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them after boiling for 3 minutes, put into an ice bath, and pack into plastic freezer container or resealable plastic freezer bag.

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Agriculture in Prescott
by Alex Deck

Before today’s Prescott existed, there was a whole different scene on the backdrop of this land we call home. The Yavapai people occupied about 20,000 square miles from the San Francisco Mountains in the north to the Gila River in the south. The Yavapai subsisted mostly off of what they gathered or killed. Berries, saguaro fruits, nuts, acorns, sunflower seeds, agave, deer, rabbit, quail and woodrat were chief among their diet. Some tribes would engage in small scale agriculture to provide a supplement. They planted the “three sisters” (corn, beans, and squash) in streambeds. In the 1850s white immigrants and natives began warring, obviously with unfavorable outcomes for the natives. In 1935 the first Yavapai Indian reservation was created.

Today, Arizona’s leading agricultural product is beef, shortly followed by cotton, winter lettuce, broccoli, lemons, grapefruit, apples and dairy. To me all these things seem like regular agricultural products. I’m sure there are many reasons to grow and produce these things, however, a questions comes to mind. Isn’t Arizona just a little short on water and heavy on sun? For mass production it seems to me that crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cactus and herbs would be better suited. For the small scale gardener wishing to add native plants to his/her garden I have compiled a list. Walnuts, common sunflower, Lewis flax seed, chia seed, canyon grape, alfalfa, miners lettuce and of course all kinds of cactus all do well in this climate. Happy gardening!

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black eyed peas and potato curry
adapted from chef in you
serves 2

  • 1 C black eyed peas (cowpeas), soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 C tomato puree
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 2-3 small potatoes, chopped with skins on
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 T ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 t garam masala
  • 1 C mix of mint and cilantro (Grind this into paste along with 2-3 chillies. You can add 2-3 T of grated coconut too)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • curry leaves for garnish

Saute cumin seeds in 1/2 tsp oil. Add onions, ginger garlic, salt along with bay leaf and spices.

Add the potatoes, saute them for 2-3 minutes and then add drained black eyed peas.

Add the tomato puree and cook for another 1-2 min.

Add sufficient water to cover the mixture – about 1 to 1-1/2 cups, close the lid and let it cook for 15-20 min.

Once the black eyed peas have been cooked, add the ground paste – cook for another 5 min.

black eyed peas, cucumber, tomato, cilantro salad
adapted fromveg web
serves 6

  • 1 1/2 C black eyed peas
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 serrano chille, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon and/or lime
  • salt and pepper

Combine 1.5 cup black eyed peas and 3 cup water w/ pinch of salt. Cover & bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, simmer with lid cracked 15-20 min until tender but with a little bite. Drain and run under cold water.

Combine cucumber, tomato, serrano, cilantro. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add lemon/lime juice. Let sit for at least 20 minutes or longer

* add other veggies, seeds or nuts as desired: avocado, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds are just a couple ideas.

fresh black-eyed peas with bacon and fire-roasted tomatoes
adapted fromsouthern food

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained
  • 8 to 12 oz bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 1/2 C chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 C fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 C roasted chiles
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t dried leaf oregano

Put rinsed fresh black-eyed peas in a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until softened; add onions, peppers, and celery and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until peas are tender. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours longer.

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