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black eyed peas, greens and cornbread

i have written before about the new year's tradition of eating black eyed peas, greens and cornbread to usher in prosperity - black eyed peas to represent coins, greens, money and cornbread for gold.

this year, i created a red red inspired dish, in celebration of my time working at tatale. i also wanted to use tomatoes as they are a root chakra balancing food. a balanced root chakra or muladhara helps you feel grounded, gives you energy and helps sustain physical and mental health.

the seven chakras are the main energy centres in the body. chakra means "wheel" in sanskrit.

if these energy centres are "blocked" they do not allow energy to move freely though the body, resulting in disharmony between mind, body and spirit.

the chakra system originated in india and dates back to between 1500 and 500 bc. it is mainly associated with the yoga and hindu traditions.

each chakra has a corresponding name, colour and specific area of the body, as well as particular foods and wellness practices associated with it.

stay tuned for more exploration of the chakras coming soon!

enjoy this recipe for black eyed peas, greens and cornbread. usually the greens are collards, and stewed, but i thought kale chips would add a great texture to the dish!

serves 4


black eyed peas -

400g dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight or 2 cans cooked black eyed peas

1 can plum tomatoes

2 tomatoes, diced

1 red onion, diced

3 spring onions, sliced

1 inch ginger, grated

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp wakame, dulse or bladderwrack seaweed (optional)

1 tsp iru (optional)

1 tsp palm oil (optional)

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 scotch bonnet, deseeded and finely chopped (adjust heat to your preference)

1 tsp curry powder

1 cup vegetable stock

salt and pepper

cornbread -

1 cup cornmeal

11/4 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)

11/4 cup oat milk

1/3 cup sunflower oil, coconut oil or vegan butter

pinch of salt

black pepper

greens -

1 bunch kale, separated into individual leaves and rinsed

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper


  1. preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

  2. if using soaked beans, cover with water in a pan and bring to a boil. once boiling, lower to a simmer and cover until soft, around 40 minutes.

  3. while the beans cook, make a tomato sauce by frying the red onions until fragrant. add the ginger, garlic, spring onions and scotch bonnet and stir on a low heat for 5 minutes.

  4. add the plum tomatoes, tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika, wakame, iru, and curry powder and leave to simmer on a low heat.

  5. once the beans are cooked or if you are using canned beans, drain and rinse and then add to the tomato mixture along with the vegetable stock. season with salt and black pepper. let simmer until the sauce is thick and the beans are soft.

  6. in a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper.

  7. in a separate bowl, mix together the milk, oil and vinegar

  8. combine the wet and dry mixtures until you reach a thick batter

  9. pour into muffin tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and firm.

  10. rinse and dry your kale chips. sprinkle with the smoked paprika, salt and black pepperm use your hand to combine.

  11. spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until wilted and brown

  12. serve the beans in a big bowl topped with the kale chips and eat with the cornbread, or eat as pictured, stacked on top of each other.

happy new year!

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