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Use black-eyed peas in nachos for healthy start to new year

Black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck for the new year. Columnist Sherrel Jones offers healthy ways to use these lucky little peas.
By Sherrel Jones Published: December 31, 2013

That black-eyed pea lore is about more than folk legend and good luck in the coming year. Great fiber and nutrient value are packed into these healthy legumes, and you don't have to be a Southerner to enjoy them.

Several years ago, I started using them for New Year's Day Nachos, and my family has been expecting this dish every year, whether we're watching a ballgame on TV or taking time to enjoy a visit with family or friends.

All that good luck we've been getting may be a result of better health provided by incorporating legumes into our diet.

A nice helping of greens along with those black-eyed peas could add even more healthy nutrients to the mix. Leafy greens such as collards, spinach or kale have the additional legend of prosperity — sounds like the cliche of healthy, wealthy and wise.

The truth is, we could be wise to follow the advice and start the new year by incorporating beans and greens into our meal plan.

For as long as I have a memory of scooping up black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, no one in our family has won the lottery, but we have managed to escape calamity. Even the extended part of the lore — about having ham or roast pork in connection with maintaining a full tummy throughout the year — is a prediction we can attest to.

My mother and grandmothers put it in rhyme, “Eating your black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is sure to bring Lady Luck your way.” After decades of ascribing to this New Year's wisdom, I don't intend to break with tradition. I haven't had catastrophic bad luck over the years — just a few bumps in the road as most of us do.

We love our black-eyed peas year-round, most of the time right from the can of Bush's Black-Eyed Peas with Snaps, with the rare exception frozen peas that were picked in the summertime.

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