Black Eyed Pea Salad With Ginger, Garlic & Sherry Vinaigrette

black eyed pea salad

Last week was the week of beans. Between my bean demo and practicum at school and my vegan challenge, I’ve been consuming a lot of them recently. One of the perks to being in culinary school is taking home leftovers. There were a ton of soaked black eyed peas left over at the end of our practicum class, so I tossed them in a baggy and brought them home to cook. Up until now, I’ve been a canned bean kind of girl. I had never soaked and cooked dried beans before – it seemed like too much of a time suck. After taking this class, I now know there is a world of difference when you make them from scratch.

Two things I learned in my bean practicum: If you add a piece of kombu to the water when you’re cooking the beans, it helps to aid with digestion of the legumes. It’s also thought that bay leaves have the same effect. Since I didn’t have any kombu, I used some bay leaves and the result was delicious and my stomach handled the beans pretty well. The other way to help with digestion of the legumes is to skim off any white foam/bubbles that rise to the surface while you’re cooking them. Once my beans were cooked, I grabbed a few ingredients that I had leftover in my refrigerator and came up with the below, delicious and refreshing and extremely health supportive salad. Here are the medicinal properties of the ingredients from Rebecca Wood’s The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, followed by the recipe…

 Black Eyed Peas
Legumes sup­port the stom­ach, spleen and kid­neys. They coun­ter­act damp con­di­tions and help reduce blood cho­les­terol, lower blood pres­sure, reg­u­late colon func­tion and pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion. Because they are slowly digested, beans help peo­ple who are dia­betic or have low blood sugar, as beans cause only a grad­ual rise in blood sugar. The phy­to­chem­i­cal dios­genin and isoflavones in beans help pre­vent can­cer. They’re typ­i­cally a good source of a lecithin com­po­nent, choline, which sup­ports fat diges­tion. White beans ener­gize the lungs and colon. Most legumes range from 17–25% pro­tein, roughly dou­ble the pro­tein of grains and higher than that of eggs and most meats. They are a great source of potas­sium, iron, zinc and sev­eral B vit­a­mins. As a stick-​​to-​​the-​​ribs fill­ing food, beans are more “ground­ing” than a salad, baked potato or bowl of rice.

Celery treats the stomach, liver, kidneys and bladder. It helps settle an inflamed liver, dispels wind and helps lubricate or moisten the internal organs. It disperses water, damp and heat. Since Greek times, it has been used as a hangover cure, nerve tonic and blood cleanser. It contains coumarin compounds, which tone the vascular system and help reduce blood pressure by relaxing the muscle tissue in artery walls and thus enhance blood flow. Coumarin may also be useful in cases of migraines and cancer prevention. As a kitchen medicine, celery is used for constipation, as a diuretic, to break up gallstones, and to heal wounds. It also treats arthritis, rheumatism and gout. It is also said to help bring energy up.

Red Peppers
Sweet peppers support blood circulation. hey are nutrient dense and contain zeaxanthin which helps prevent cataracts. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, betacarotene, vitamin K, thiamine, folic acid and vitamin B6.

It stim­u­lates metab­o­lism, improves diges­tion and is used for both chronic and acute dis­ease. It is antibac­te­r­ial, anti­car­cino­genic and anti­fun­gal. It reduces ear trou­bles, sinusi­tis, influenza, blood pres­sure and cho­les­terol. It helps sta­bi­lize blood sugar lev­els, and low­ers fever by increas­ing per­spi­ra­tion. It is antipar­a­sit­i­cal, and pro­motes the growth of healthy intesti­nal flora. It elim­i­nates tox­ins from the body, rang­ing from snake venom to poi­so­nous met­als such as lead and cadmium.

By increasing circulation, ginger helps effect a systemic cleansing through the skin, bowels and kidneys. It treats colds and fevers and is an effective remedy for nausea. It is anti-inflammatory and helps alleviate arthritic pain and destroy many intestinal parasites. It normalized blood pressure, helps support the liver and promotes the release of bile. It eases congestion in the throat and lungs and helps alleviate menstrual discomfort.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nearly three quar­ters of its fat con­tent is mono­sat­u­rated fat, which low­ers the so-​​called bad cho­les­terol and leaves the good cho­les­terol undis­turbed. Extra vir­gin olive oil is highly regarded for its abil­ity to sup­port liver and gall­blad­der func­tions. Addi­tion­ally, fats and oils are essen­tial for brain func­tion and we can­not metab­o­lize with­out the pres­ence of fat.

Sherry Vinegar
Sherry or wine vinegars are lower in acidity than cider, malt or distilled vinegar. Vinegar assists with digestion an moves blood stagnation. It quickly resolves liver congestion and can significantly reduce mental depression. Traditional, unpasteurized, unfiltered vinegar contains as many as 50 different nutrients, amino acids and trace elements. The amino acids counter the effect of lactic acid buildup in the blood and help prevent the formation of toxic fat peroxides, which contribute to aging, fatigue, and irritability and to cholesterol formation on blood vessel walls.

Coconut Aminos
Accord­ing to the Coconut Aminos web­site, this soy sauce replacer is made from the sap of coconut trees which is very low glycemic, is an abun­dant source of amino acids, min­er­als, vit­a­min C, broad-​​spectrum B vit­a­mins, and has a nearly neu­tral pH.

Strengthens the kidneys and nervous system. It reduces or softens masses such as tumors and cysts in the body, but is therefore not to be eaten excessively during pregnancy. It’s high in sugar, potassium, iodine, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

Bay Leaf
Helps regulate blood circulation and cold conditions. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant with some analgesic properties. It helps relieve insomnia and indigestion and helps regulate menstruation.

2 cups cooked black eyed peas (cook with small piece of kombu or bay leaf and a pinch or two of salt)
1 cup diced celery (dice both celery and peppers about 1/4 – 1/2 inch dice)
1 cup diced red peppers
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 2 inch slices of ginger minced

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs sherry vinegar
A few dashes of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

To cook dried beans: Soak dried beans in water and cover – allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Discard water and rinse the beans. Add beans to a pot and add enough water to cover them. Add salt and kombu (if available – aids in digestion of beans) and/or 2 bay leaves. Bring to boil and then let simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft. Then drain.

Once beans are done cooking and you’ve let them cool, mix in salad ingredients. Add celery, red pepper, garlic and ginger and toss together. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad and mix. If you salted the water for the beans enough, you may not need to add salt. If you do, add to taste. Add fresh ground black pepper, toss and serve.

Wooden spoons in photo courtesy of my gal at

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