The celebration of Kwanzaa was loosely based on many of the “first fruits” or harvest festivals that are a tradition of African tribes. It stands to reason, then, that the Kwanzaa meal should include a variety of vegetable dishes. A traditional Kwanzaa feast is not complete without a dish that contains black-eyed peas. The black-eyed pea is traditionally served in the south on New Years day and is supposed to bring good luck throughout the year, so this recipe is fitting for this time of year.
This salad was developed by Julie Harrington, nutritionist and chef for the Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts. The combination of fresh greens and tomatoes, whole wheat pasta and antioxidant-rich avocado and olive oil make this salad heart-healthy as well as tasty.
Black eyed peas and pasta salad
3 ounces uncooked whole grain penne, cooked using package instructions omitting fat and salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pepper, seeded, ribs removed and finely diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, cubed
1/4 bunch mint, leaves roughly chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
1 cups sliced fresh baby spinach or arugula
Combine the garlic, pepper, red onion, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl.
Add the peas, tomatoes, mint, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss in the arugula and avocado.
Elizabeth Fournier shared this recipe for Dilled Green Beans. Ms. Fournier’s Cornerstone Funeral Home recognizes and serves a diverse population surrounding Boring, Oregon. She often shares food with families in mourning, and found this recipe to be in keeping with one of her client’s observance of Kwanzaa. The recipe can be reduced by one-third and a 16 ounce package of whole frozen green beans that have been steamed used to make enough for one meal. It should be made the day before serving and refrigerated to allow the beans to steep in the brine.
Kwanzaa Dilled String Beans
3 lbs. fresh string beans
8 heads fresh dill
6 cloves garlic
3 c. white vinegar
3 c. water
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. pickling salt
Wash and trim ends from beans. Cut into 4 inch lengths. In a 3 to 4 quart pot, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. In a hot pint jar, place 1 to 2 beads of dill and 1 clove garlic. Pack beans tight in jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar tops clean, place lids on jars, and screw bands on tight. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Yields: 6 pints.