xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Trinidadian "Boil and Fry" Black Eye Peas--Not a Music Group!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Trinidadian "Boil and Fry" Black Eye Peas--Not a Music Group!

The year 2014 came and left like a thief in the night. Fortunately, it didn’t steal much except for a little bit of my sanity. I really don’t know what to expect from 2015 but I'm really trying not to focus on the unknown. I am learning that I need to be here in the NOW. I realize that I have never truly lived in the "Now". I continuously ponder on the regrets of the past; reminisce constantly on sweet and bitter (and bittersweet) memories, and like everyone else, I have anxieties about the future. It’s time to enjoy the present.

Thich Nhat Hanh, world renowned Buddhist leader, suggests saying “I have arrived. I have arrived”—meaning to acknowledge and bring yourself back to the present, completely aware of what you are doing in the present. He states that being you and doing what you are doing is a wondrous reality(I am sure you agree!). Be completely aware of yourself, follow your breath, conscious of your presence, thoughts and actions in the Universe. Be aware of the miracle of life and truly live and experience life—in the present. This is the only moment you will ever have.

How difficult can that be? For me it’s going to take practice. If you notice me walking around like a zombie chanting “I have arrived, I have arrived” please don’t think I have lost my mind. It just means that I'm on my way to becoming an enlightened, mindful being of sorts. Honestly, most of the accidents and mistakes I’ve made was as a result of my mind being preoccupied with thoughts other than the task at hand. With mindfulness practice, many mistakes can be prevented—especially in the kitchen! I preach mindfulness to my kids all the time. You know what they say, "practice what you preach"! 

Aside from that, the Dah is encouraging me to exercise because he is probably tired of hearing me complain about my "holiday" and "baby" weight gain. He installed a Total Body Gym in the middle of my bedroom ("my" because he just sleeps there), right next to the elliptical, weights and kettle bells. He says weird things like, "Push through the laziness", "Your body will say no, but you have to say yes", "You have to overcome the thought of exercise with your mind first, then the body will follow". "Keep on keeping on". All this from a man who, prior to a year ago, never exercised in the 22 years I've known him. Nowadays he exercises religiously. Recently, he complimented my appearance in the best way his Trini upbringing has taught him, “Everything looks up!" With that statement he raised his eyebrows and made an upward squeezing movement with his hands. If you know male sign language, you can easily interpret that. [He now denies his words and action..!]

Today I am sharing with you my current breakfast routine. Over the years, I have experienced weird phases/cravings where I'd eat a specific fruit for breakfast for a prolonged period of time, say 3 months, sometimes as long as 6 months. I've survived the mango, papaya, pomegranate, grapefruit and pear phases in the past couple of years. The pomegranate reign ended abruptly one day when, after eating it, my stomach started cramping so badly I immediately ceased and desisted consuming pomegranates permanently…and proceeded to the next craving, which was mango. Btw, the pomegranate phase was expensive. I paid $2.50 for a pomegranate each day!

Nowadays, with all the pressure of staying healthy and exercising, I am desiring real food for breakfast--something substantial. I wanted a meal that was vegetarian with lots of nutrition, fiber and protein to get me through my mornings. This dish has not disappointed.

This dish, referred to as "Googanee" by my Mom, is made traditionally with only onion, garlic, culantro (shado beni) and pepper, but I added veggies for additional flavor and nutrients. I usually grate a carrot into it also. Googanee or boil and fry black eye peas is eaten in Trinidad with roti for breakfast. I eat it alone or if I'm very hungry or stressed  I eat it with a scrambled egg or two.

If you're seeking a healthy alternative for breakfast a few days a week(or a wonderful side dish), then this is your answer. Did I mention that it's very affordable?!! A pound of beans is enough for 8-10 servings, that’s about 15 cents per meal. Warning---If you are preparing this recipe only for your self, make only one cup at a time, or else you will get all “blackeyed out” after the fourth day! 

Ria's Trinidadian Boil and Fry Black Eye Peas [Googanee]
Makes 4-6 servings

To boil:
1 cup dried black eye peas
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt 

To Cook:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped ( I only use sweet onion)
½ large red sweet pepper, optional
½ large orange or yellow sweet pepper, optional
1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic (if you love garlic like me, use two tablespoons)
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (scallion, cilantro or culantro/shado beni)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
½ teaspoon ground roasted cumin(geera), optional
Hot pepper, (scotch Bonnet, habanero), to taste, optional
2 pimento peppers, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pick over beans. Soak beans overnight or a few hours.

Place drained black eye peas,  6 cups of clean water (meaning not the water you soaked it in) and salt in a pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until tender but still whole. Drain. While beans are boiling, chop onion, mince or grate garlic, chop peppers and herbs.

Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, over medium heat. Add onion, Cook 1 minute or until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Add peppers and herbs including thyme leaves and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Add black eye peas, salt, freshly ground black pepper and cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to prevent sticking. Add cumin, stir and remove from the heat. Test for salt and add more if desired.

For a complete vegetarian meal, eat alone, with roti or serve in a “hops” bread(rolls), or with freshly steamed jasmine or basmati rice. For a down home comfort meal, eat with cornbread…bbq chicken or steamed lobster….or with grilled salmon and sautéed baby spinach if your curves are important to you.

I look forward to sharing with you again soon. Hope you are enjoying my recipes so far! Don't be shy, write me and let me know. It really makes my day and motivates me to post. If you love my recipes or pics of food, "like" Cooking with Ria's Facebook page!

Lots of love,


Cooking with Ria said...

Dear Ria, I enjoy your recipes very much ,but its not just that , your writing and attention to details as well as amazing photos are such a delight ! Thank you for sharing your life.
The beginning of this post really touched me , it really is so hard to live in the now. I have a little boy and I catch myself worrying about so much stuff daily and this world he will be growing up in . I definitely understand things that i cant be in control of but it still doesnt stop me from worrying..
This post and a confirmation that other people also feel like that made me feel so much better ,thank you !
My husband loves black eyed peas and I always check out new recipes with them because i typically have a lot on hand .I also make your Trinidadian stewed red beans ALL the time and they have become my OTHER go to red bean side dish over white rice, yum!
Anyways , best of luck to you in the New Year and I will keep checking your blog. I really wish this blog would get more exposure as these recipes are awesome , easy to make and your presentation makes them so appetizing !

Cooking with Ria said...

Hi! Thank you so much! We moms (parents) definitely do our share of worrying, don't we?!! 😊 I know how you feel about the minimal exposure I get on my blog, I wonder about the same thing, but I reassure myself that nothing happens before its time! I hope you continue to enjoy my posts and recipes! Take care.

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