Eat Your Black-eyed Peas Casserole
Serves 8 easily, or freeze half and have two large meals for family of fourHere’s a recipe that I made up after looking at several similar ideas online. It worked pretty well. I failed to take a photo, but it looks decent.
If possible you should buy the hamburger meat off the old meat rack for less than $2.50 per pound; buy the rice in 25-pound bags and the rice cost is about 20 cents; stock up on the black-eyed peas the week after New Year’s and you can get them for as low as 25 cents a bag, or 12.5 cents for the half-bag this recipe uses; buy the Cream of Chicken soup in the weeks before Thanksgiving or Christmas for 60- to 75-cents per can; stock up on store-brand cheese when it costs $3 a pound or less; buy the diced tomatoes on sale for 50 cents. My total meal cost was about $7 for eight very large servings.
1 lb. Hamburger meat
1 onion and half green pepper, or use one-half to one bag of frozen seasoning mix
Plenty of garlic and other seasonings to taste, added to the meat and onions while browning
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 cups cooked rice
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
12 to 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup water from the black-eyed pea pot, or tap water
I’m on a semi-bland diet these days, but this dish would likely be improved by substituting a can (or maybe two!) of Rotel for the tomatoes. Alternatively you can add jalapenos and other Mexican seasonings.
Also, I think this casserole might be improved with the addition of 3 cups of cooked squash, which I will do next time.
1. Brown the hamburger meat and then add the green pepper and onion. Cook until onions are soft, then scoop meat into a 9x13 casserole dish, draining the fat.
2. Blend in the cream of chicken soup while the meat is hot, then add the black-eyed peas and rice (and squash if you decide to use it). Add all but 4 oz. of the cheese and mix well. Add just a little water from the pea pot or tap to make sure the mixture is barely soupy so the rice doesn’t get dried out.
3. Sprinkle the remaining four ounces of cheese over the top.
4. Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cheese starts to brown on top.
The black-eyed pea taste does get lost a little bit in this casserole, but it might be a great way to get kids to eat vegetables. Also, even though it only had one pound of hamburger meat, it tasted very meaty. Legumes and rice for a perfect protein, so this is a reasonably healthy dish even though it does have a good bit of fat from the cheese.