I want to thank my regular readers for their patience the past few weeks as I haven’t been posting as many recipes as I’d normally would. It’s been a time when the personal gets in the way of the professional due to selling our home in February, moving to temporary quarters in Boulder in March, and traveling to Athens, Georgia to house hunt. (I was also on a trip to Honolulu to do some food writing for the folks at Sea Cuisine – more on that soon!)
While I was in Athens, I indulged in local Southern cuisine from barbecue to grits (smothered and chopped – thank you very much!) While I was there I discovered pickled and fried okra, pickled watermelon rinds, and a dish called Hoppin’ John. It’s a combination of two staples of Southern food – black eyed peas and collard greens.
Both foods are packed with nutrition. According to Self Nutrition Data, black eyed peas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and a good source of fiber, protein, folate, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. (The one drawback is that they're very high in calories.) Collard greens are low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol, and a good source of fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals.
Healthing up Southern cooking
I’m looking forward to our move to Georgia and sharing healthy versions of Southern recipes with my readers. That's why I was so excited to find a recipe for Hoppin John Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas done in a slow cooker at Kristi Arnold’s blog Veggie Converter, my assigned blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post.
Kristi’s recipe is very healthy already, but since I’m not a vegetarian, I decided to add smoked turkey sausage to her recipe after consulting Kristi’s original sources. (Traditionally, smoked ham hocks are used.) I kept the sausage whole instead of chopping them up, so you can decide how much sausage you want to eat and can keep a better eye on portion size. Also, I used canned black eyed peas instead of dried to make the recipe even more convenient for busy folks. I served it on quinoa, but feel free to use rice - brown, of course - which is more traditional.
And the Bacon Salt that Kristi recommends? Awesome stuff! I love how it added bacon flavor – and no calories and saturated fat – to the recipe.
Healthy Crockpot Hoppin' John
- 4 (15.5 ounce) cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (13.5 ounce) package smoked turkey sausage, keep whole
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced petite tomatoes and diced green chilies
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 bunch collard greens, rinsed chopped and ribbed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Bacon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Empty the cans of black eyed peas into a colander place in the sink. Drain and rinse until the water runs clear.
- Place black eyed peas, chicken broth and turkey sausage in the six quart slow cooker.
- Stir in tomatoes with chilies, chopped onion, and collard greens.
- Add sea salt, Bacon salt and black pepper. Stir thoroughly.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until sausage is cooked through.
- Serve over quinoa.
- Calories: 646
- Calories from Fat: 56
- Total Fat: 6.2g
- Saturated fat: 1.3g
- Unsaturated fat: 4.9g
- Sodium: 1115mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 136.6g
- Sugar: 8.4g
- Fiber: 51.2g
- Protein: 56.4g
- Cholesterol: 27mg