This Black Eyed Pea stew provides all the good luck that you’ll need for the new year. Well, don’t quote me on that. You may need some other luck besides this stew. So cross your toes and buy a rabbit foot.
Southern tradition is to eat black eyed peas for luck and greens for wealth. This Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea, Wild Rice, and Kale Stew has both, plus it is cooked in a slow cooker so you’ll free up plenty of time to do other things, like catch up on some light readings or past episodes of New Girl or really nothing at all.
In fact, I barely put pants on today. *yaaawn* Best. day. ever.
I feel extremely lucky to be able to laze around with my favorite person and my favorite dog while this delicious stew cooked away in the background. It is the perfect bowl of lucky and hearty goodness on a super sleepy and chilly day.
Cheers to everyone. I hope 2015 brings warmth and love to everyone! I’m truly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. Now I’ve gotta go serve me up a big bowl of stew!
Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea, Wild Rice, and Kale Stew (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)
- 1 pound dried black eyed peas
- 1 large ham hock
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 cup dried wild rice mix
- 1 quart low sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups of chopped kale leaves, stems removed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak dried black eyed peas overnight by placing them in a large stockpot and filling with 6 to 8 cups of water. Pick out any bad black eyed peas that look shriveled and float up to the top. After soaking overnight, drain and rinse the black eyed peas.
- Add soaked black eyed peas and remaining ingredients (except kale) to large slow cooker (crockpot). Stir to combine. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves and the ham hock from slow cooker. Carefully use two forks to shred off the cooked ham from the bone. Return shredded ham and kale to slow cooker. Stir to combine and allow the kale to wilt, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Some things in life take a bit of extra time and extra effort to get a great result. French onion soup is a prime example. This will take a good 2 to 2 1/2 hours…but dear sweet MOSES it is worth it. You will have your mind BLOWN that you are enjoying a simple bowl of slow cooked onions under a gooey mound of cheese haven. Smells of sherry, deep caramelized onions, earthy beef broth, and fresh thyme fill your home.
I closed my eyes while enjoying this amazing bowl of soup and could hear the sounds of the tiny cafe in Paris with people whispering, rain falling outside, vespas rushing by, and the an espresso machine running nonstop. But all the while, nothing mattered but the delightful bowl of french onion soup that revealed long beautiful onions and drippy cheese with every bite. It makes me have FOMO (fear of missing out)…FOMO on amazing food.
This soup makes me want to slow down. I stir onions for an hour until they are caramelized. I breathe deep and enjoy all the smells that flow through my home as the snow falls outside the windows. It’s a lazy Sunday and a steady stream of different vinyls are on rotation…from Sam Cook to Ryan Adams and then the Band gets tossed on for good measure.
Grab the one you love, throw some good soulful music on, and dance. The soup will continue to cook and the longer the better. Don’t worry, you have some time. Get comfy and enjoy every bite of life.
Gluten Free French Onion Soup
Adapted from Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking
Makes 6 servings
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 lbs of sweet onions (about 8 cups), sliced thinly in half rounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup dry sherry (or dry white wine or dry vermouth)
- 2 quarts (64 ounces) of good beef broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- Get ready…this will take at least 2 hours. But it’s worth it.
- Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium-low heat. Place all of the onions into the dutch oven. Stir and coat the onions with the melted butter. Place lid on dutch oven and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid from dutch oven. The onions should have cooked down. Stir. Add salt and palm sugar. Stir again and crank heat up to medium. Stir onions frequently and continue to cook until onions are soft, melting, and golden brown. This will take 40 minutes to an hour.
- Sprinkle arrowroot powder over onions. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add sherry, broth, and thyme. Bring soup to a simmer and place lid slightly off of pot so that steam can escape the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for an additional 40 minutes, scooping off froth from the top every once and awhile. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
- Ladle hot soup into 6 ovenproof bowls. Place at least 1/4 cup shredded Gruyère on top of each soup bowl. Serve immediately or broil the cheese. To broil the cheese, place all of the bowls onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place under a pre lit broiler set on high. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Most of you know that my favorite kitchen invention is the Crockpot. I have raved about this domestication blessing before. Once temps jump a little lower, I pull this amazing beauty from beneath my counter and place her in her designated spot, front and center on the counter. BAM. Fall and winter scream for ROASTS and STEWS and CHILI! Nothing is better than coming home from work with dinner ready to go. Thank you my lil’ crockpot friend.
The crockpot is great for those tougher cuts of meat that need to be cooked low and slow. This Curried Beef and Sweet Potato Stew was inspired by a recipe for Crockpot Curried Short Ribs in my favorite new cookbook from Danielle Walker of Against All Grain. If you haven’t gotten her cookbook, go…now…run…fast. It’s awesome and filled with the most lovely food porn you will see, especially for grain free meals! Amazing.
The original recipe slow cooks short ribs in coconut milk and asian curry spices, which sounded divine. However, because I didn’t have all of the ingredients, the recipe quickly morphed into something new. The beauty of crockpots and imagination means that stew meat, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and indian curry spices turns out to be one helluva meal! I have made curry stews with beef and sweet potatoes before, but this one was by far the creamiest because of my fabulous friend, the crockpot.
The house was filled with warming spicy aroma all day. You can increase or decrease the heat based on the quantity of curry powder and optional cayenne powder. We are SPICY people over here, so things get amped up till our knee pits sweat. Because THAT is living, people. Oh, and we served this stew over cauliflower “rice”. Check out this post for preparation methods. Mmmmm.
Crockpot Curried Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (adapted from the Against All Grain Cookbook)
- 1 to 2 pounds grass-fed beef stew meat (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz can diced organic tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 6 oz can organic tomato paste
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (light or full fat)
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons curry powder (such as madras)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Place the seasoned stew meat in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sweet potato. Stir in cilantro leaves and stems. In a medium bowl, whisk the coconut milk, tomato paste, curry powder, salt and ground pepper until well mixed. Pour the coconut mixture into the slow cooker over the meat and vegetables.
- Cook for at least 8 hours on low, stirring the mixture every once and awhile.
- Serve over cauliflower “rice” or regular rice and top with additional cilantro leaves.