Recipe: Kale and Black-Eyed Peas

In the South, it is customary on New Year’s Day to eat black-eyed peas to ensure good luck and prosperity.  Now, I am not a southern girl, but I did spend 6 years of my life in Birmingham, Alabama (where my family still resides).  Prior to that, I was a New Yorker all the way.  And now…relocated to Southern Indiana…where the Louisville, Kentucky food scene is taking flight, well…I can’t say that I don’t try anything new!

Granted, traditionally, this dish would be served with collard greens…but I’m a kale girl myself.  Love me some kale.  And I just happened to have kale in my crisper drawer…because…what girl doesn’t?  So, on New Year’s Day…I cooked up a my kale with black-eyed peas and hoped that it would bring luck and prosperity to me this year.

It’s too early to say whether this worked or not…but what I can say is…the dish was phenomenal.  I played around with a recipe out of my Clean Food cookbook.  Whether you have always followed this tradition or are just hearing about it, like me, I figured I had nothing to lose by cooking it up.  And neither do you!

Go ahead…eat up!

Recipe: Kale and Black-Eyed Peas

Kale and Black-Eyed Peas
Kale and Black-Eyed Peas

Servings: 6
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 10 minutes


  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • water, as needed
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas
  • dash of apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until soft.  Add the kale and stir until it turns bright green and wilts.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to keep the kale from burning.

Add the black-eyed peas and vinegar and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes to heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.



It’s traditional.  It’s easy.  It’s delicious!  I was actually surprised.  I’m not a huge fan of Southern food…but this was fantastic.  Seasoned perfectly.  Really packed with flavor.  And carrying a traditional promise of good fortune and luck.  If nothing else…I at least got a fantastic meal out of it.

So go ahead…branch out.  Try something clean, something new, and something totally yummy!

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