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A Jamaican twist on a Southern US tradition. This jerk sauce is easy to make in a blender, just stir it into the simmering stew or to individual servings for a mixed palate crowd. The rice cooks right in the vegan, low-fat stew, making it thick and hearty, and all in one pot.I had hoped to come up with something profound to say on the subject du jour: New Year, New You. I might have gone on about fresh starts, turning over new leaves (leafs?), spring cleaning your diet/life/soul/refrigerator (maybe I should do the latter, if only as a good incentive to actually  do it). But, to be honest, I am assuming that most of you are sorted for that stuff.  And to be doubly honest, I hold no expertise in any of that.

There are plenty of blogs, books and newspaper articles that can fulfil this yearly yearning for renewal and reinvention. But I have not contributed to them. Everyone is different: has different life experiences, expectations, limitations and needs. Most of us know what we have to do already. Sometimes just a little nudge or reminder is all we require.

black eye peas stew Hopefully over the years I have broadened your culinary world at least a little, given some nuggets of useful science-based nutrition information, introduced a little more colour and spice to your table. More of the same will come in 2016 from food to glow, but with an added platform. This year I will be contributing opinion articles on nutrition and food to Huffington Post. On my blog I try not to be too sassy, but it will be interesting to have a new outlet where I am encouraged to question what is coming through as news and fact. If you are a longtime reader of food to glow you may sense that I am sceptical about much of what seems to be new and improved about diet and health. You would be right.

I won’t get ahead of myself for now though. If you like, follow me on Twitter for updates on my Huffington Post articles, or go over to the sidebar and like my Facebook page. Thanks for your support. Oh and if you have an idea that you think I should explore, do let me know.

Happy 2016 to you all. I hope it is everything that you wish for, and more.

black eye peas stew

Jerk Black Eye Peas Stew Recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Black eye peas (or beans, as they are called in the UK) are a traditional New Year’s Day meal in the southern states of the US. Eating them is supposed to bring luck and money your way. I’m not sure about that, but eating black eye peas is certainly a healthy way to start the year, and they are a mild-tasting pea that takes on so many flavours. I have a couple of black eye pea recipes, with more information about US customs at this time of year – Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Day Luck, Southern Style, and Groundnut and Black Eye Pea Stew (mega-favourite of ours).

The punchy stir-in sauce for this easy recipe can be made in a blender or food processor. Make more if you like and keep in the fridge to use it as a jerk sauce for other things you fancy spicing up. It will keep for one week – or pop it in the freezer.

For a “mixed palate” crowd, make the stew without the sauce and serve up sauce-less stew before adding the sauce to the remainder, maybe adding a splash of the sauce to the former. But this easy recipe is more about flavour than heat, and is based on my 2013 recipe, How To Make Jerk Marinade + Jerk Paneer Vegetable Kebabs with Pineapple-Mango Salsa. xx

Jerk Sauce

2 scotch bonnet peppers, deseeded (use rubber gloves when handling the peppers)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

Whites from one bunch of spring onions/scallions, roughly chopped

7 dates, stoned

1 thumb of ginger (about 10g)

¾ tbsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground turmeric or 1 heaped tsp raw

½ tsp black pepper

2 rounded tbsp tomato puree

½ tbsp. dried thyme

1 good sprig fresh lemon thyme, leaves stripped (optional)

1-2 tsp (lower sodium) soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari sauce

Juice from 1 lime, plus the zest

50ml water

The Stew

800ml light vegetable stock or water

1 sweet/bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tin of tomatoes

Double handful of frozen or fresh corn

2 tins of black eye peas/beans, drained

100g (rounded ½ cup) rice

100g (typical bag, ribs removed) chopped kale

Handful of parsley, chopped

1. Add all of the sauce ingredients to your blender or food processor and blitz until completely smooth. It will taste very hot, but remember you are diluting it way down as the stew.

2. Bring the water or stock to the boil and add the sauce (unless adding at the end for a mixed palate crowd), chopped pepper, tomatoes, corn, beans and rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale and parsley, re-cover and cook for a further five minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed (such as a dash of sea salt). The stew is ready when the rice is tender. Serve with cornbread if you like, and some additional hot sauce, chopped tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and slices of lime.





32 thoughts on “Jerk Black Eye Peas Stew Recipe – for New Year’s Day

  1. Congratulations on a great new start to 2016! Looking forward to reading your thoughts in a different media, and of course your always delicious recipes. Happy 2016!

    1. Thanks so much, Shannon. I hope you are well and happy. I’ve missed you on the blogosphere! Have a great 2016. 🙂

  2. Great news! Congratulations 😀😀😀 I look forward to reading your thoughts, I feel we will concur on many!
    Have a great end of 2015 and a wonderful 2016 xx

    1. Thank you so, so much Elaine. That means a lot to me. Send me any ideas you have too! All best to you and your family as this year closes and 2016 begins. All best, xxx

  3. Really exciting news for the readers of Huffington Post, they are in for a treat, huge congrats and happy new year! See you soon xx

    1. Aw, shucks Miss Niki. Can I just publicly say thank you for the years of encouragement, support and sisterly friendship. You are one in a zillion, and my life would be poorer without you in it. I’m looking forward to seeing your own work and influence grow and grow over 2016. I am predicting big things for you. xxx

  4. Love this twist on black eyed peas!

  5. I’ve enjoyed your recipes and they certainly always inspire me to try new things. Happy New Year!

    1. That is so kind of you to let me know. Happy New Year to you too. 🙂

  6. Congrats on the Huffington Post gig! I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on food trends and nutrition. Your take on the quintessential New Year’s recipe for black eyed peas is wonderful. The spicy sauce is surely the best way to begin the New Year.

    1. Thank you so much, Deb. I will begin doing some opinion pieces early in 2016, but for now I am getting my feet wet with recipes. I just submitted a tweaked version of this recipe and hopefully it will be up today. but who knows! Thanks so much for your support and friendship. I love reading your delicious posts, especially the baking ones! All the very best for 2016 xx

  7. How exciting you’ll be contributing to Huffington Post! Congrats Kellie! Please let us know when the articles are up, I know you have a lot of knowledge and wise insights to contribute. I’ve always like black-eyed pea soup but have never given it a jerk twist. Looks so flavorful, thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You are too kind, Katie. I have just sent in a tweaked version of this post so don’t bother looking at it! It should be up later today but not really sure. I hope to start doing opinion pieces soon in the New Year. Speaking of New Years, I hope you have a wonderful, happy, healthy and successful 2016. Maybe this is the year we finally meet. 🙂 xx

  8. Sally says:

    I share your scepticism which is why your voice is so authentic and trustworthy. Congrats for the Huff Post gig. Hooray – two places to read your witty, entertaining and authoritative words. Happy New Year Kellie PS This sounds delicious… half way through a veggie chilli for veg teen – think I’ll make this sauce and add it!

    1. Thank you, Sally. You and I do think a lot alike, and appreciate your words and support. Hoping so much that we finally meet up in Edinburgh this year. I will find us the perfect gin bar. I will enjoy researching for that one. 🙂

  9. Mr A says:

    As the primary beneficiary of foodtoglow’s lab, I can officially say this recipe ticks all the boxes! It’s kicking comfort food with a power pack of flavour. Great work Mrs A.
    Happy New Year, Mr A.

    1. Nyaw. Thank you my sweet. You are on cornbread duty today!

  10. Kavey says:

    There are very few people I take seriously when it comes to nutritional advice combined with deliciousness. You, of course, are one and I’m really happy to hear that you’ll have a second audience over on Huffington Post. Looking forward to the extra sass!

    1. I am fairly blushing here, Kavey. You know how much I admire your opinions and your writing so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself right now. Happy New Year to you and Pete – from sunny Florida 🙂

  11. This looks absolutely wonderful and i cant wait to try it out with my family! I think it would be an awesome addition to our island style of cooking!

    1. Yay! I’m glad you approve! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and also for sharing. Happy New year to you. 🙂

  12. Your black eye peas with the jerk sauce look very good and I have to try it soon. Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you too. And thank you so much. 🙂

  13. Oh yum. This looks so rich and flavourful, and a perfect healthy way to start the new year. Have a good one! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Becca. we are having it tomorrow. 🙂 enjoy your NYE, and Happy 2016 to you. 🙂

  14. stateeats says:

    Do the Brits do black eyed peas for New Years Kellie or is it just a Southern thing? Looking forward to seeing you on HuffPo – Kat

  15. Shannon says:

    Happy 2016, Kellie! Looks like another great blogging year for you and your recipes just keep getting better and better. My best to you and your family.

    1. Happy 2016 to you too, Shannon! Thanks for always saying the nicest things. 🙂 xxx

  16. Newtrition4U says:

    Reblogged this on Newtrition4u.

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