Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lise's Healthy Black Eyed Peas & Collard Greens and Corn Bread

I made my healthy version of black eyed peas and collard greens, and corn bread according to the corn meal package to celebrate the first day of 2014 and give us the promise of good luck to us for the upcoming year.  It was delicious!  My approach is similar to most, but my own twist on ingredients.  We also prefer our greens to have their flavor speak for themselves and not be overshadowed by fats and seasonings, and we prefer them al dente...

I must admit, this approach is somewhat time consuming, but worth it!

Lise's Black Eyed Peas


1 slice center cut ham with bone, cubed
1 lb prepared ham hocks (described below)
2 lbs soaked black eyed peas
2 medium diced sweet onions
2 stalks diced celery with greens
1 grated carrot
1 diced and skinned roasted green pepper (I previously roasted several and froze for future use)
5 diced garlic cloves
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable bullion
2 cups ham hock broth (described below)
1 palmful herbs de Provence
3 palmfuls cumin
salt & pepper to taste
water as needed


Begin the night before with soaking the black eyed peas covered with water in a large pot.  It will look like this after soaking.  Drain, rinse and set aside.   

Prepare the ham hocks.  I love the flavor they add, but don't like all the fat, so I cook them first, creating a beautiful broth and chunks of ham while eliminating the fat.  Start by cutting the hocks into chunks.
Put 1 dried seeded chili pepper into a pot with oil.
Add and brown the ham hocks.
Add 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of water.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour.
Once cooled enough to handle, remove and save the chunks of ham and the bones, discarding the fat. Strain the remains, keeping the broth.
Skim some the fat off the top...
...leaving just a little.
Below you see the chunks of ham and the bones on the left...the right side is the cubed sliced ham and bone.

In a big pot, lightly saute the onions and celery in the butter, adding the carrots and peppers, and then add the herbs de Provence, cumin and pepper (wait to add salt until tasting after cooking for a while).
Add the vegetable and ham hock liquids.
Add the ham...
...and the black eyed peas and stir.
Add enough water to cover the peas.
Bring to a boil, cover and cook for at least 2 hours, stirring periodically...add additional salt and pepper at this point if needed...
...you will end up with an aromatic pot of black eyed peas!

Lise's Healthy Collard Greens

1 pkg fresh washed collard greens with the bottom stem removed
1 1 /2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
Mix all ingredients except the greens.  Place the collards in a pot and pour the liquid over them.
Cover the pot, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring the greens periodically.  These collards will taste beautifully fresh, light, will lack bitterness and al dente...so good! 

The corn bread recipe I use comes from this package, and I cook it in a cast iron pan...a perfect compliment to this meal (you can use your favorite corn meal, I'm not promoting this one, it's just what I use).

As I mentioned earlier, the preparation of this meal is time consuming but well worth it.  The thing I like best about it?  All the great taste of traditional black eyed peas and collards without all the fat!  And if our meal was any indication of all the luck in store for us, we have it made in 2014!

Did you make black eyed peas and collard greens for New Year's Day?

Visit Flour Me With Love, Homestead Barn Hop and A Bright and Beautiful Life for more interesting recipes

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Happy New Year my friend!

We love greens, but I usually put the country cured ham or bacon in mine, I know shame on me fat!

Do you add sugar to your cornbread? My family never did. But I have to for the blacksmith. As if he isn't sweet enough.

We had friends come for the night on New Years eve. I bought a shrimp ring, as I refer to them, shrimp and dip. Come to find out that is always on their New Years tradition!

Peace and good health to you and Johny in 2014

Vicki Lane said...

We had black eyed peas and collard greens -- both cooked with hog jowl (a family tradition.) Your recipe sounds good -- the Herbes de Provence are an interesting addition.

Dad/Pepere said...

The whole meal sounds/looks yummy! I like the way you cooked the greens...I will try that next time I get some from the weekly produce pickup. Hugs!

Lise said...

Patti, I know lots of people enjoy that tradition, I just happen to like the greens better without! The cornbread recipe I use does add 1/4 cup sugar, just enough:) Peace and good healthy to you and yours as well my friend, hugs to you!

Thanks Vicki, I think herbs de Provence make anything better:)

The greens were excellent dad, I love how they turned out...hugs back!!!