Friday, February 15, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea Chili

I am so happy that Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is once again hosting the Eating the Alphabet Challenge.  I participated last year and completed most months.  Each month is assigned a couple of letters.  The challenge is to make a recipe that features a fruit, vegetable, legume, or grain that begins with one of the letters. This is the first month and the featured letters are A or B.

Last year I joined the challenge during the second month, so I missed these letters.  I already cook with lots of fruits and vegetables that begin with the letters A and B: apples, avocados, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, beets.  Since this is a challenge I really try to "challenge" myself with using foods that I either have never cooked or don't cook with often.  So I decided to go with a legume and try cooking black-eyed peas.

Before this challenge I'm not sure if I have ever eaten black-eyed peas before.  When I was reading New Year's books with the kids we discovered that in some cultures, and even in the Southern U.S., eating black-eyed peas on News Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity.  Well, we didn't eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, but we can still wish for some prosperity, right?!!  These legumes are used world-wide in various dishes in various forms - mashed, fried, added to stews and they are even included in a sweet dessert dish in Vietnam.

I actually found this recipe in the USA Weekend insert in my local weekend paper.  I had saved it and planned on possibly making it one day. This challenge motivated me to make it sooner than later!  I have to admit I was a bit pessimistic and didn't think I'd like this.  I have never been a big bean eater and have only started to begin eating black beans and chick peas.....and liking them!  So I was a bit surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed this dish! My husband was a big fan and even the kids ate their servings. It was really easy to make and served over rice it made a nice hearty dish for a cold winter's night. 

Black-Eyed Pea Chili
recipe from USA Weekend, Dec. 28-30, 2012, courtesy of Ellie Krieger

1 Tb. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 Tb. chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with the spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the black-eyed peas, tomatoes and chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring a few times, until the ingredients soften and meld, 20 minutes. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

Family Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

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