I had the pleasure of taping a TV segment for a local news station, WGN-TV, today. {Thanks, Katharin and Steve for coming over to my kitchen!}.  It’s was a fun to talk about some of the flavor trends from McCormick’s FlavorForecast 2016.   (BTW: I am not being compensated for this post.)  However, I did score with free samples of some of the flavor trend sauces and I am using one in today’s recipe.

It just so happens that as I was tinkering around in my kitchen to get ready for this segment, I stumbled upon a recipe to go with this month’s Recipe Redux theme:  A New Ingredient for the New Year - Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.


My new ingredient is black eye peas.  We were talking about the International Year of Pulses and I started to think about it, I’ve cooked with lentils (my faves!), garbanzo beans, split peas, but black eye peas are new to me.  So, I wanted to use them in a recipe.  I started soaking them (unlike lentils and split peas, dry black eye peas are tougher and have to soak to tenderize).


The folks at McCormick were kind enough to send me samples of Sambal Sauce, a spicy chili pepper sauce made with red chilies, rice wine vinegar, sugar and garlic, which I thought tasted really well with the peas.  As far as the assembly, I am going to add the spicy sauce with soft goat cheese (for creaminess) + cilantro (for a fresh burst)+ a touch of extra-virgin olive oil (for mouthfeel).  That’s it - a simple meal in a flash!


The nutritional benefits are huge in this dish - not only do you get 9 grams of protein per 1/4 cup of dry black eye peas, but you get 10 grams of fiber!  I discovered that I like the flavor of this dish better when the peas are warm.  So feel free after you soak them to heat them quickly on the stovetop or give them a quick shot in the microwave.  As I mentioned during my WGN-TV segment,  these legumes work well with just about any herb or spice, sauce or flavoring as their blank flavor landscape lends itself well to just about anything!

Spicy Black Eyed Peas with Goat Cheese and Cilantro


Serves 4 (1/2 cup, cooked each)


2 cups black eye peas, dry

6 - 8 cups water (for soaking)

2 Tablespoons Sambal Sauce

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

4 Tablespoons cilantro

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil



To soak, pour black eye peas and water in large pot and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Then remove from heat, cover and let sit for an hour in the hot water.  Pour into a colander, rinse and put in a large bowl.

Add Sambal sauce, goat cheese, cilantro and oil and gently toss until combined.  Heat before serving over the stove or for 30 seconds in the microwave.   Plate and serve over greens.

Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 176, Total Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 396 mg, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 4 g, Protein: 8 g

Do you have a favorite pulse (bean, pea or lentil variety)?  I’d love to know…

Enjoy eating simply,




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4 thoughts on “Spicy Black Eyed Peas with Goat Cheese and Cilantro

  • January 22, 2023 at 12:56 am

    Love black-eyed peas but always make them the same way - saving your recipe!

    • January 22, 2023 at 1:30 am

      Thanks, Elaine. Appreciate it! I hope you try it - let me know if you do. I noticed that black eye peas can be hard — so soaking longer (overnight may be beneficial)…just a little culinary note. **

      Have a great night,

  • January 22, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    This looks great Vicki! I am a huge fan of the pulses and love the unique flavor combo here- adding the goat cheese to my list for today!

    • January 22, 2023 at 6:30 pm

      Great - thanks, Liz! I know, I especially love lentils. I am a big fan of goat cheese, too…:) Thanks for taking the time!

      Have a great weekend!
      - Vicki


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