Black-eyed peas are a New Year’s Day staple. But they’re also good for you and the planet every other day of the year, too. Did you know that 2016 was proclaimed “International Year of the Pulses” by the United Nations? Pulses include crops such as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
Not only are pulses protein and fiber-packed, and full of nutritious goodness, but they also have the lowest carbon footprint of any food group. These guys are natural fertilizers, enriching the soil where they grow reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. They use just ten percent of the water of other protein sources. (It takes roughly 800-1,800 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while it only takes 43 gallons to produce 1 pound of pulses.) From a diet, environmental, and economic perspective (cost per serving of lentils is $.10 vs. $1.49 for beef) it’s no doubt that pulses deserve some serious recognition.
So in honor of these plant powerhouses, I’m excited to share this delicious vegan black-eyed pea recipe for your New Year’s Day or any other day.
These croquettes get crispy in the hot oil, but the insides stay moist so they’re crunchy and satisfying. Although barley malt is the best for the glaze, if you can’t get your hands on it, use rice syrup.
Makes 12 medium-size croquettes, serves 4
2 cups black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water to cover (**do not cook them**)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups safflower oil for frying
1/2 cup barley malt syrup or rice syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Drain the soaked uncooked beans and transfer to a food processor. Add the parsley or cilantro, salt, shoyu, and cumin. Blend until the beans are chopped to fine shreds, but don’t blend them to a pulp. The mixture will be slightly wet but should hold together. Form the bean mixture into something between football and UFO-shaped croquettes in the palms of your hands.
Heat 1″ of oil in a cast-iron skillet to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To test the oil, drop a tiny amount of croquette mixture. If it bubbles furiously and rises to the top, the oil is ready. Do no let the oil get so hot that it smokes. You may need to make little adjustments to the heat under the oil throughout the cooking process to avoid burning croquettes.
Place 4 croquettes in the oil and fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried croquettes to a plate lined with paper towels or a paper grocery bag to drain.
To make the dipping sauce, stir together the barley malt syrup and mustard in a small saucepan. Warm the sauce over low heat until it bubbles.
Serve the croquettes while still hot. Drizzle with the dipping sauce or serve it alongside the croquettes in individual dipping bowls.
This post was brought to you by the American Pulse Association