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Healthy Black-Eyed Pea Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

When bringing in the New Year, a few Southern traditions and superstitions come to mind! My mom always made sure that she did not wash on New Year’s Day because she feared that she might “wash” people out of her life. She also made it her mission to remove every single Christmas decoration before the New Year so that she would not have bad luck. Food is no exception! We would always have an abundance of fish, collard greens, and black-eyed peas so that our year would be filled with luck! I thoroughly enjoyed those meals, but I must admit that they were far from healthy; especially the black-eyed peas which were usually prepared with pork and additional fat. As I’ve gotten older, I still enjoy black-eyed peas but in a much healthier way! I’m going to show you two very tasty black-eyed pea recipes that are light and delicious!

The first recipe is this Hearty Black-Eyed Pea Salsa. This recipe is the perfect appetizer or snack! I combined the black-eyed peas with fresh ingredients such as bell peppers, onions, cilantro and chilled it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving. You can eat this salsa with tortilla chips, or my favorite, pita chips.

Hearty Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

  • 1 can of black eye peas (15.8 oz), drained
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Salt/pepper to taste.
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Transfer to a serving dish and top with additional cilantro and lime wedges for garnish.
  3. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips, and enjoy!

The next recipe, Garlic Spinach Black-Eye Pea Sauté, is the perfect solution for when you are wanting the traditional taste of black-eyed peas, but not the extra calories! The bold flavors come from the onions and garlic, and the spinach provides an additional serving of veggies! This light and easy recipe can be served before the main meal, and on a bed of spinach if desired!

Garlic Spinach Black-Eye Pea Sauté

  • 1 can of black eye peas (15.8 oz), drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 and ½ tbsp oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  1. On medium to high heat, add oil, onions, and garlic to a medium skillet. Cook until garlic is fragrant and add black-eyed peas.
  2. Cook for about 5-7 minutes and reduce heat to low.
  3. Add spinach and toss until all ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and serve warm.
  4. Enjoy!

For more healthy holiday recipes, visit





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