Black-eyed pea salad with swiss chard

A member of this family is on a specialized diet. Most of what we are already cooking and eating can continue, but there are a few items on the approved list that not everyone necessarily likes.

Swiss chard is one of those items. I for one love it steamed with onions and lemon juice, or mixed in with any tomato based recipe. Swiss chard, the red, white, or yellow stemmed ones, are not only lovely in your garden, they are packed with nutrients like most dark green vegetables are. Iron, which is always good for women, is one of those nutrients, so I tend to reach for Swiss chard regularly, especially when making tomato sauce for a pasta dinner. Just chop really small and cook with the sauce, in the crock pot or on the stove top.

The other ingredient we’re experimenting with is black-eyed peas. These little legumes look more like beans than peas, and since most family members in this household do not like beans at all, I don’t cook them often. I do cook them for myself, though, and with the aid of a digestive enzyme I have never experienced any digestive disruption. In fact, I eat beans regularly enough that I often forget to take an enzyme all together and don’t have any problems at all. This must mean that I have a diet high enough in fiber that my digestive system is able to handle beans in medium-sized quantities.

But back to the black-eyed peas. I decided to make a salad out of them and use some steamed, slightly wilted Swiss chard leaves along with it. Onion, feta cheese and a nice olive oil and lemon juice dressing to round it out, and the end result was simply delicious.

The kids wouldn’t eat it, but the adults enjoyed it. The versatility of such a salad is endless:

  • spoon it on top of a mixed green, or spinach salad
  • stuff it into a pita pocket to make a sandwich
  • roll it into a whole wheat tortilla
  • add or subtract other vegetables (yellow or red pepper, cherry tomatos)

Although it’s February and cold-ish (this is one of the warmest winters I’ve ever experienced living in Toronto in many years), these types of salads have helped keep that afternoon slump at bay, increased our nutrients in our bodies, and added a bit of variety to an otherwise rather repetitive Canadian winter diet.


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