South African Umngqusho (Samp and Cowpeas)

This recipe is from page 41 of The Ethnic Vegetarian. My black eyed pea plants have been really prolific lately and I was looking for something new to make with them. This recipe stood out to me because it involves hominy. I love hominy. The only problem was the recipe called for canned black eyed peas and canned hominy and I wanted to make it with dry hominy and fresh black eyed peas. So I had to do some adjusting and use some guesswork.

I used this recipe to precook .5 cup of dry hominy in my instant pot. The hominy came out just right.

Instant Pot Hominy (From Dried)

The recipe calls for 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil. I left out the butter and didn’t miss it.

You’re supposed to cook the mixture for 8-10 minutes. I figured that the cooking time for fresh black eyed peas would be double that. But that wasn’t really enough. I ended cooking them for around 25 and leaving them a bit undercooked to avoid overcooking the hominy and onions. I think next time I make this I’ll try presoaking the black eyed peas to see if that solves the problem. Otherwise I’ll need to precook the black eyed peas.

Despite my hiccups, the recipe came out well. I really enjoyed the combined texture of the hominy and black eyed peas. And it was really simple to make. It was surprising how flavorful it was considering the flavoring was basically just onion, lemon juice, and pepper. Considering how many black eyed peas I have, it’s nice to have simple, interesting, flavorful recipes in my repertoire. I will be trying this one again. Next time I’d cut down on the black pepper some. 1/2 tsp instead of 1 tsp. It came out a little spicy for my tastes.


Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale

I love peanuts. I love kale. And I love a rich, hardy one pot meal with enough flavor and textural interest to keep me eating happily all week. West African Peanut yam stew with kale tics all those boxes. I use sweet potatoes instead of yams, since they’re easier to get (my sister says yams and sweets potatoes are the same thing in the U.S. but I’m not sure). Which is why it’s a go to for me in the winter. The trick is to add the kale after the soup is turned off so it keeps its texture and color.

Kenyan Polenta with Peanut Sauce

This recipe is from page 36 of The Ethnic Vegetarian.

Polenta polenta polenta. I love polenta. I love polenta so much that I can’t keep it in the house because if I do it’s all I’ll eat. I’m perfectly happy to eat three meals a day polenta… anyways…what was I saying? Oh right, so when I saw POLENTA in The Ethnic Vegetarian I was in. Very interesting idea. I’d never think of paring pairing peanut sauce and polenta. Indeed the pairing was quite yummy. I really enjoyed the recipe. Solid.

Sierra Leone Jollof Rice

This recipe is on page 44 of The Ethnic Vegetarian. It is very very good. I made it because I was looking for something to use what I had in the garden. This recipe had black-eyed peas, eggplant, green beans, and tomatoes, all of which I had growing. I honestly didn’t expect much because my experience with this cookbook has been a bit hit or miss. But I was so pleasantly surprised. It is so flavorful and had the exact right amount of spice. I made a few modifications. I was out of ginger so left it out. I used brown basmati rice instead of white basmati rice. And I used fresh black eyed peas instead of canned ones. No complaints at all. I’ll be making this again.

Tunisian Couscous with Chickpeas and Green Harissa Sauce

I like to explore different country’s cuisines by just picking a country, typing it in to google, and finding vegetarian recipes. I found this recipe when I was exploring Tunisian cuisine. It was delicious. There is an option for chicken or chickpeas. Obviously I used the chickpea option. The apricots in it were surprisingly delicious. I used 2 cups mint packed.