Today’s recipe begins with an adventure.
Michael and I try to zip down to Bellingham once every few months or so. We have Nexus cards, so crossing the border is pretty painless. Our first stop is always Jack in the Box (for him) and our last stop is always Trader Joe’s (for both of us). In between, we hit up the places we don’t have here in Canada; Target, Fred Meyer, The Half Price Bookstore, and other places to eat, like Sonic (again, a favourite of the boy).
As it turns out, there is a place right by Sonic (pre-border-crossing milkshake) called The Grocery Outlet. We’d driven by it a few times, but never had time to go in.
Well, the last time we made the time, driven my curiosity and hunger for a good deal.
I don’t think we have anything in Canada that I can compare it to. It’s basically the place where groceries go when they are out-of-date, and they are super, super cheap. For example, we were there around Christmas, and still found boxes of cereal that were “pumpkin spiced” and even “fourth of july.” So yeah, it had been sitting around a while.
But there are bargains to be had!
One such bargain were the bags of black eyed peas for just a quarter. Twenty-five cents! I mean, it was $.25 American, which makes it about $.27 Canadian, BUT still a smokin’ deal.
So, I bought them, not really knowing what I was going to make with them, but unable to pass up such a great deal. Plus, they will never go bad. Fantastic pantry item.
And then I got an Instant Pot for Christmas, and everything was awesome.
I am making lots of stuff in it, but the thing I am enjoying the most is making beans. In an hour, I can make beans from dried, with zero soaking. It’s changed my life.
Now, while you might argue I am the queen of chickpeas (or at least chickpea juice), I can’t actually ever remember cooking black eyed peas… ever. In fact, my favourite frame of reference for black eyed peas is more along the lines of this:
They’re great, though. Not terribly different than any other dried beans; about the same size as a pinto bean, but with the characteristic “black eye” in the centre.
They are pretty popular in the South, and in fact, are often served at New Year’s as a symbol of prosperity for the year ahead (the recipe includes greens, which of course symbolize money).
The whole point of this recipe was that it needed to be a cheap as possible. I had a bit of Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo left over in the freezer, and I had kale and pretty much everything else I needed to make these. I would estimate that the entire recipe cost me about a buck from start to finish. Delicious, filling, and affordable?? Sweet.
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- 2 tbsp neutral oil like canola
- 1/2 cup soy chorizo (out of the casing)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 6 drops liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 & 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 4-6 ribs kale, leaves torn off the stalk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on the saute function on your Instant Pot, and allow to heat. Add the oil to the bottom of the pot, then add the chorizo and the onions. Stir and allow to saute until the edges of the onions are getting brown and the chorizo is getting crispy.
- Add the garlic, stir well and allow to become fragrant.
- Add a little of the vegetable stock, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, and then add in the tomato paste, the liquid smoke, and the smoked paprika. Stir everything together well to make a kind of a sauce.
- Add in the beans, then top with the remaining vegetable stock.
- Cook on manual (pressure cooking) for 40 minutes. After the cook time is over, either allow pressure to come down naturally, or open the valve to vent pressure manually.
- Remove the lid and test for seasoning and to make sure that the beans are cooked and there is not too much liquid. Stir the kale into the mixture, and then place the lid back on for a few minutes to allow them to wilt.
- Serve over rice or plain.