A Meatless Monday Vegan Recipe
I was on the search for some shelled English peas the other day for a recipe I am developing for Living Tree Community (CLICK TO SEE: Pistachio Pesto Raviolis) I remember seeing a vegetable stand sign that said “shelled peas” a few weeks back so I stopped by. Evidently the English peas are not in season, but they had these interesting peas called “conch peas” (pronounced “Kahnk” just like the Atlantic shellfish) that had just arrived from Georgia.
I tasted some raw in the car and realized that they probably wouldn’t work for my Pistachio Pesto Raviolis with Saffron Creme Sauce but the taste was pleasant so I decided to experiment a bit. Doing a google search on “conch peas” I found only a few sites and recipes, most of them recommending that they be cooked with bacon or lard – not something I would consider. Also saw that they are not easy to find and they are very popular; people posted that they would rush out to buy them whenever they become available — so this was even more intriguing.
I also learned that they are sometimes called “crowder peas” since there are many of them bunched up in a pod. They are best shelled through a particular machine and they are not inexpensive – the bag I bought had about a pound for $5.99. They are also called “cow peas” and fall into the same nutritional category as other “southern peas” such as black-eyed peas. Conch peas definitely qualify more as beans in spite of their name. A one cup serving would provide about 5 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat (before adding additional oils) and are high in folate, calcium and Vitamin A.
Here is how I prepared them, Raw Fusion Style. They were very tasty and blended beautifully over chopped raw kale (assuring me a serving of super greens!) I look forward to cooking up the second half of them with the same ingredients, but may add a diced jalapeno.
2 cups of conch peas, raw and shelled, 1 cup of water, 1.5 TB of coconut oil, 1-2 TB. of Rinaldi’s Organic Garlic Gold Nuggets (one of my all-time favorite raw fusion ingredients), 1 small red onion, chopped, 2 bay leaves, crushed. Black pepper and Celtic Sea Salt (to taste) Optional: Add a dash of cumin if you like this spice. Me – not so much.
Place all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel sauce pan and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Peas should be tender, but not mush.
Wash several kale leaves and remove from rib, chopping them into bite-sized pieces. Place in bowl and pour a serving of the cooked conch peas and cooking liquid over, letting the top layer of the kale become wonderfully wilted by the heat of the peas.