2011 was an exciting year. We traveled here, attended six beautiful weddings, became increasingly experimental in the kitchen and tirelessly rooted on two NFL teams that, by the skin of their teeth, have successfully made it into the playoffs. With that said, I still am welcoming 2012 with wide open arms. We have trips planned to the Outer Banks and Israel. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of close friends and family's little ones. I started writing articles for the website SheKnows on seasonal eating and lifestyle choices. And we optimistically may see one, if not both (Giants vs. Bengals, anyone?), of our football teams in this year's Super Bowl.
I'm usually not one to make resolutions, but this year I've decided to kick off the new year with an ambitious goal. I want to be more proactive and less reactive. I want to be ahead of the game and be a better planner. I thankfully ditched my procrastinating ways midway through college, but even still, I often find that I'm taking care of work, or planning for meals, right before things absolutely need to be done. My work gets done, and meals get cooked, but wouldn't it be easier and so much less stressful if I operated slightly ahead of the game?
One thing that encouraged this new year's goal are the numerous containers of dried beans stacked in my pantry. I like beans. They're versatile. They're an inexpensive and healthy protein. So why am I not putting these all-around fabulous little guys to use? Well, it takes planning. Most of them have to be soaked a few hours, or overnight, and that requires a good bit of planning ahead (an area that, despite being a food blogger, I admittedly could improve in).
I decided to first tackle the dried heirloom black eyed peas. They are supposed to bring good luck in the new year, right? And being that black eyed peas and collard greens are two of my favorite southern-style side dishes, I chose to combine them in this dish. The spices are anything but southern (except for the cayenne pepper, that is) but it all comes together just deliciously.
Curried Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
You can use either a premixed curry powder, or you can elect to mix your own. A sample curry mix recipe is noted below. To make this an even more substantial entree, top each serving with an over easy egg.
1 pound dried black eyed peas
1 fresh bay leaf
1 pound collard greens
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder (see below for my homemade mixture)
3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
Soak the beans in cool water for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a pot. Cover by 2 inches with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add in 1/2 onion and bay leaf. Simmer for 25 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet to cool.
De-rib the collard greens and discard stems (or save for vegetable stock!). Roll the leaves up and slice into 1" thick slices. Boil in lightly salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and press out excess water.
Heat olive oil and butter in a high sided skillet. Saute chopped onion until translucent. Add in garlic, collard greens and black eyed peas and saute 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and yogurt. Season with additional spices and salt and pepper to taste.
Curry Spice Mixture
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper