Black-eyed Peas and Rice
Don't you need bacon for black-eyed peas and rice?
You can put 1/4 pound of chopped bacon in to saute with the onions if you want. We've found that spices can make a good black-eyed peas and rice even without the bacon, and we've been trying to stay away from bacon and other processed meats that seem to be bad for people.
How to make black-eyed peas and rice:
At breakfast-time, put 1/2 cup of black-eyed peas into a bowl to soak with plenty of water. At dinnertime, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and cook one chopped onion in the oil until the onion is soft and browned. Add the beans with 3 cups of water (the soaking water is okay, or fresh water), and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir and simmer, covered, for half an hour. Add more water, a cup at a time, if you notice there's not much water left.
Meanwhile, put on the rice. Use a small saucepan over high heat. Put in a cup and a half of rice and three cups of water. Stir, and cover. When the rice boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice has soaked up all the water and is soft. When the beans are soft all the way through (cut one open to check), and the rice is done, add the rice to the beans and mix. Taste, and add more spices or salt as necessary.
What if I forgot to put the beans to soak this morning?
You can still make the beans without soaking, but you're going to need to simmer them for at least an hour instead of half an hour.
Vegetarian or vegan
Black-eyed peas and rice is vegan - not a very fancy vegan main dish, but it sticks to your ribs. To make it fancier for company, serve it with a nice green salad and a clear soup like miso soup.
Can I keep black-eyed peas and rice for later?
Yes, black-eyed peas and rice will be better the next day, and you can keep it in the refrigerator, well sealed up in a tupperware, for a week. It won't freeze well though.