Recipe: Black Eyed Peas


In the Yoruba culture (and I’m assuming in many other West African cultures), black eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Years Eve and New Years to usher in the year. These legumes are thought to bring prosperity, fortune, good luck and blessings. I’m simmering my beans right now, and besides its’ traditional effects, black eyed peas should be a staple in your sickle cell diet because it is high in natural folate aka folic acid.

Additionally, the beans are low in fat and high in protein, which gives you energy. The soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol while the insoluble part of the beans help your digestive tract, and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Overall, black eyed peas provide a fantastic supplement to anybody’s diet. Besides keeping you health and energized, they help your overall health, bringing down cholesterol and fighting off bad diseases and cancers.

For those of you that eschew beans because of the gaseous…farting side effects, well relax. As long as you pre-soak the beans for a few hours before cooking, you will be free from farts. I usually pre-boil my beans for 3 minutes, then soak for 4 hours, dump the water, and then cook. Now you know the secret…let me give you my favorite recipe.

You will need:

2 cups of black eyed peas, rinsed and presoaked

1 small to medium onion

1 small red pepper

1 can (15-oz) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (to mix it up, try peanut or coconut oil)

Chili, Salt and Pepper to taste

Seasonings of your choice (I use cumin, curry and masala)


1. Pre-soak beans for 4-6 hours

2. Cook 2 cups of beans in 4 cups of water until halfway soft (usually about 15 minutes on medium heat)

3. Drain beans and set aside

4. In a fresh pot, add oil, diced onion, diced red pepper and saute until light brown

5. Add diced tomatoes.

6. Add beans and seasonings.

7. If you want it more soupy, you can add half or 1 can of tomato sauce (not the pasta sauce)

8. Cook for another 10 minutes until beans are soft enough for you.

9. To switch it up, mash some beans for a different texture.

10. You can also add sweet corn, carrot, spinach, sweet potatoes OR plantains for variety.*

*Sweet potatoes should be cooked separately to a semi-soft texture prior to adding, and should be added when beans are added

*Plantains, carrots, or corn can be added when beans are added

*Spinach is added 3 minutes before turning off the heat

Serve over rice or alone and enjoy.


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