Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year & Black Eyed Peas

Happy New Year, friends! I hope everyone had a fabulous and fun start to the new year. I always love when a new year rolls around...I love the idea that you have the whole year ahead to do with what you want!

For me, a lot of the ol' resolutions this year revolve around getting back in shape. 2.5 years of marriage is starting to show up in ways I didn't want it to so it's time to get it in gear! So that means you'll be seeing a lot more healthy recipes here (hopefully you don't mind!). I'm a big fan of Weight Watchers recipes when we're trying to eat better...they are usually quite simple and tasty for "diet" food. So you'll be seeing a lot of those too!

For starters (and what could be more appropriate for a New Year?) we had this Spicy Collards and Black-Eyed Pea soup (and I found another fantastic blog in the process) yesterday to ring in 2009.

I prepared Susan's recipe exactly as it was posted except for leaving out the chipotle pepper (would have loved it, but didn't have any in the pantry so I added some extra hot sauce).

2 onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water
1 pound collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided)
1 teaspoon oregano (divided)
1 16-ounce can tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper -- (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 -2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Spray a large pot with a light coating of olive oil or non-stick spray. Heat it and add the onions, sauteing for about 5 minutes before adding celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3 more minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, water, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.

Cook until peas are tender, about 45-55 minutes (it took about 50 mins for me). Once the peas are tender, add all remaining ingredients and cook for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Makes at least 6 servings. Each provides 242 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 488mg Sodium; 11g Fiber. Weight Watchers 3 Flex Points.

And that yummy cornbread you see pictured above is a Weight Watchers recipe too...shaves 2 points per serving of the normal version without sacrificing flavor.

1 cup(s) uncooked cornmeal, yellow
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 3/4 oz cream-style corn, canned
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
2 large egg white(s)
2 tsp corn oil (I used canola)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix well with a fork, then make a well in the centre; set aside. Combine creamed corn, buttermilk, egg whites and oil in a medium bowl; mix until blended. Fold mixture into dry ingredients; mix until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely before cutting into 8 squares.

**Stop by Christie's Cupcakes for a 2 point cupcake!

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