Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

black-eyed peas



Black Eyed Pea Hummus Rings in the New Year Healthfully

Ready to ring in the New Year? We are as well. But if you’re like us you’ve had your fill of over-the-top decadent dishes from all of the holiday celebrations you attended and are ready for something a little lighter, a little healthier this New Year’s Eve. We have the perfect solution and it just so happens to have a bit of tradition tied in, too.

I won’t take credit for this brain child. Our managing editor dreamed up a black eyed pea hummus and handed it over to me for further creative development – a.k.a. taste testing. So off to the store I went for some black eyed peas, which are in abundant supply this time of year.
Read Full Post >



The Best Black Eyed Pea Recipes for the New Year

If you’re not from the Southeastern United States, you might not know much about this New Year’s tradition. Instead of alcohol and appetizers, ring in the new year with a black eyed peas recipe. In the South, black eyed peas have been associated with good luck for centuries. If you want good luck in 2012, go with black eyed pea recipes!

Besides good luck, choose black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for a healthy start to to the year. Beans and legumes (black eyed peas are beans and not a vegetable) are a fantastic source of fiber and protein, while being naturally low in fat and cholesterol.

To get your 2012 going on the right foot, here are 7 of the best black eyed pea recipes for the New Year:

Creamy and Spicy Black-Eyed Peas – Is this the craziest black eyed peas recipe you’ve ever seen? This vegetarian black eyed peas recipe was my first ever attempt at cooking with this legume, and the result was a smashing success. If you want to bring in the New Year with some boldness, then these spicy black eyed peas are for you.

Low Fat Caribbean Beans and Rice – The combination of rice and beans is a classic low cost one, and this recipe takes that combination up a notch. Black eyed peas and rice is a stellar duo, and you are sure to love the Caribbean flair found in this dish.
Read Full Post >



Healthier Southern Recipes from The Help

If you love rich Southern food like creamy shrimp and grits, crispy fried chicken and rich, silky pies then you probably left the movie theater hungry after watching The Help, the film based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel.

“About 20 minutes into the movie, you’re craving fried chicken,” director Tate Taylor told Food & Wine.

The Help, which stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer analyzes the relationship between African-American maids and their white employers in 1960s Mississippi.

“Since the story crosses race and class lines, the cooking does too,” reported Food & Wine. “There are scenes of ladies’ luncheons with tomato aspic and cocktail meatballs and scenes calling for soul food like collard greens and fried chicken.”

If The Help left you yearning for black-eyed peas and fried green tomatoes, make some of your favorite Southern classics with fewer fat and calories.


Read Full Post >



Healthy Hoppin’ John: A New Year’s Day Tradition

After a December full of holidays, traditions and indulgences you might be drafting New Year’s resolutions and planning your healthy eating regimen for January.

While it isn’t necessarily an indulgence and won’t derail your diet plans, there is one tradition left that you won’t want to miss. Hoppin’ John is a Southern version of a traditional, West African rice and beans dish that consists of black-eyed peas and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon or ham hock, seasoned with a bit of salt and spices. If eaten on January 1, Hoppin’ John is said to bring luck for the forthcoming year.

The first known recipe for Hoppin’ John was penned by Sarah Rutledge, author of The Carolina Housewife in 1847 and a daughter of Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The origin of the name remains in dispute, but according to Epicurious, some culinary pundits believe that the dish originated with African slaves, who numbered in the tens of thousands in the South in the 17th and 18th centuries.


Read Full Post >



Hoppin John Burgers Offer Good Luck for the New Year

The tradition to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day dates back centuries. The origins have ties with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. It wasn’t until the 1860s, or around the time of the Civil War, that the tradition to eat black eyed peas became an American practice, mostly by Southerners.

There are worse food traditions to have. Look at what we consume on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Valentine’s Day. Burgers and rich desserts aren’t bringing any good luck, or good health for that matter. But the black eyed pea does. These little beans belong to the bean and pea family, or legumes. A single, unprepared serving of black eyed peas has 200 calories and 1 gram of fat. Where they become really impressive is the whopping 11 grams of dietary fiber and 13 grams of protein that serving offers! The black eyed pea is also a quality source of essential vitamins and minerals.

With that much nutrition packed in to one little, tiny bean, it makes us wonder why we really only hear about or eat black eyed peas on a single day of the year.
Read Full Post >