Every year my family begins our new year with with requisite black eyed peas and collards. This year I added to that favorite repertoire by adding red cabbage. It was a hit!
1 lb. bag of dried black eyed peas
5 c. water
One chopped onion
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. hot sauce
2 c. cooked rice
1/2 c. chopped green onions
Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover. In the morning drain and rinse the beans and add them to a crockpot. Add the water, the chopped onion, pepper and hot sauce. A friend of mine introduced me to this product:
Believe it or not, it's vegan! I even wrote to the company to verify it. It does contain MSG, but more on that later. I added two packets to the beans. Cook on low overnight. Before serving, stir in the rice and the green onions.
One head of red cabbage, sliced
2 c. water
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. vegan butter
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
2 Granny Smith apples, sliced and peeled
Combine all but the apples in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes add the apples. Simmer another 30 minutes. Serve.
My collards this year were chopped and frozen. I made them according to the package instructions.
Now about the MSG. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and just about any and everything processed. MSG is produced from seaweed or by a bacterial fermentation process with molasses or starch and ammonium salts. MSG can be processed with an enzymatic process using vegetarian ingredients such a soy or papaya. It is believed that large amounts of MSG may produce some negative physical reactions and many people have strong allergic reaction to products that contain MSG and symptoms after eating products containing it have been headaches, chest pain, numbness, mood changes and depression. The Mayo Clinic states that researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. My advice? As with all things, moderation is the key. Use sparingly if you do use it, or avoid it if you experience any of these symptoms.
Now, go and enjoy this gift of a new year!