Friday, February 25, 2011


I've never cooked black-eyed peas before and have heard they're tricky since you don't want to over-cooked them or they'll "explode" or turn to mush - and you don't want to undercook them and be too hard.  I got them just right the first time!  Here is a variation on a southern black-eyed peas recipe.

Black-Eyed Peas
with Ham & Artichoke

7 c. water
16 oz. (1 lb) dried black-eyed peas
14.1 oz. (1 can) artichoke hearts in brine, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. red pepper sauce
3 Tb. vegetable oil
1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
3 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 oz. cooked smoked ham, chopped

Directions:  Heat water and peas to boiling in a large pot.  Boil uncovered for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to simmer and add ham.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.  Drain well and set aside.  Heat oil in same pot and add onion, artichoke, garlic, salt and red pepper sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in cilantro, tomatoes and peas/ham mixture.  Cook until heated through - about 5 minutes.  Servings:  6-8

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taquito Taste-Test Plus Tasty Soup Recipe

I was in a Mexican food mood and picked up some new frozen taquitos at Whole Foods to try.  The brand is Starlite Cuisine and the product is Crispy Soy Taquitos.  I tried the "Chicken Style" and the "Chorizo and Black Bean Style."  These taquitos do not contain gluten, dairy or meat.  I was pleasantly surprise at how good they were!  There were eight in a box and I ate four for dinner and they were plenty since they were nice size taquitos.  I highly recommend this brand of taquitos if you love Mexican food and want to find a healthier alternative.  For more information on what else Starlite Cuisine has to offer, visit their website at

I love making a big pot of soup now and then - especially if it's a hearty soup.  If you're a meat & potatoes kind of person, you'll enjoy this recipe!

Italian Sausage & Potato Soup

4 c. water
4 c. GF chicken broth
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled, cut in quarters lengthwise and sliced thick
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 lb. uncured bacon, chopped
2 c. chard, roughly chopped
1 c. almond milk or heavy cream

Directions:  In a large pot, break up the sausage and brown along with the bacon.  Remove and drain well, set aside.  In the same pot add the water, broth, potatoes, garlic and onion.  Boil over high heat for 15 minutes.  Add sausage and bacon, let simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in chard and almond milk or cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes more.  Serve!