“Those black eyed peas are so good!”– live testament from a grocery store clerk. I’ll admit I chuckled a bit due to the ironic magazine with Fergie sitting on the cover in front of us. She was talking about a different kind of Fergie. One that’s small, round, and nutritionally vital to our every day lives.
Black Eyed Peas are just one member of the pea/legume family. It seems every time I venture down that aisle to grab a jar of chickpeas, another exotic pea pops up. How does Tarzan Jane find her Tarzan in the midst of all this pea madness?
Two jeopardy keywords I look for on labels are: 100%. Organic. I’m not an organic fanatic, but with fruits and veggies, it is a must…even if canned or bagged from the freezer section. Most peas and legumes contain high amounts of dietary fiber. (the nutrient responsible for keeping you fuller for longer) They also contain carbohydrates which is why many people shun green peas, chickpeas, black beans, etc. We are not living by the Atkins diet still, are we? You know you need carbs for energy. These would be a prime example of a good carb.
The current state of peas goes like this…The head honchos of a staple meal are usually the meatheads– albeit chicken, pork, or beef patties. We always choose these first because of how they look and how appeasing they can be. Then comes the second place which is usually the vehicle in which the meatheads arrive in (bread, pasta…) We like second place additions because they provide personality and a level of comfort to the meatheads…and lastly, we have the nice guys finish last…”the peas family”. Peas are just not that good looking, so cans upon cans or bags upon bags of them remain on overlooked shelves or freezers. Sure they have tried to win over the general public by enlisting Green Giant, but even then we all know “Broccoli & Cheese” won over America’s hearts years ago and continues to dominate the market.
Since I am an underdog myself, I’m rooting for these peas. They may be shriveled and tiny in nature, but pack a big nutritional punch in your body. (blushing as we speak) Food is the world’s best aphrodisiac after all.
Let’s give peas a chance and raise their self-esteem. With a little T.L.C., these guys will move to the front of the line in your salads, side dishes, and hearts. Here are a few ways in which I like to give my peas some lovin’:
1. Add some green peas into your rice pilaf.
2. Throw some black eyed peas, chickpeas, and green peas in a blender with lemon, olive oil, non-fat greek yogurt, sea salt, and some agave syrup for an exotic dip.
3. This may sound non-appetizing to some of you…but throw any kind of pea in a bowl with some cheddar cheese over top. Pop into the microwave and insert into taco shells, dip chips, or just eat plain raw! The fusion of the sweet with salty is similar to a chocolate covered pretzel taste.
4. Peas and guacamole. I know you’re thinking but guac is already heaven on earth, but trust me, adding some peas (I recommend more of the green variety), will make it seem like a fashion show in your mouth.
5. Veggie Pea Quiche– Kick ham to the curb and add some peas, tofu, seitan, tofurky, cheese, and any other veggie you’d like to fulfill your daily veggie value. This makes for a perfect main course, side dish, or breakfast.
Peace, love, and underdogs!