Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Power Lunch

I love lunch food; creamy soups, hot sandwiches or a gorgeous salad.  I do, however, rarely find time to indulge in such dishes in the middle of the day.  My lunch often consists of a few slices of cheese and some fruit eaten behind the wheel of my car.  This all changed once I combined a farmers market find, a google search and some siracha.

Purple Hull Peas and Sweet Potato Greens
My southern side of the family is extremely superstitious; if you dream of the same person three separate times you contact him/her immediately.  While at the Farmers Market I saw Purple Hull Peas, a vegetable I was completely unfamiliar with, at three separate stands. I felt obligated to purchase a bag. At the next stand, I bought my arugula and was offered a bag of sweet potato greens at a 20% discount.  Bargains and superstition? Now that's the South!

Lori's Power Lunch:
This is a meal rich in vitamins and fiber with a generous amount of protein.  
Purple Hull Peas:
1 TB grape seed oil
1 medium onion
1-2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 pound of purple hull peas
2 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Stemmed rice (I prefer brown rice stemmed in chicken broth*)

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until softened stirring occasionally, about  3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute.  Add the hull peas and stir to combine.  Add enough water to cover peas by 1-2 inches.  Add bay leaves and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.   
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower a simmer.  Simmer over low heat uncovered until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. 
  3. Drain the cooking liquid and remove the bay leaves. Adjust seasonings as needed. 
  4. Serve over rice with a generous dollop of siracha.  Enjoy an afternoon energy boost that encourages you to kick into headstand, meet your deadlines, or see your child's point of view. 

Sweet Potato Greens:
I love salad, but can get a bit bored with the usual mixed greens in a vinaigrette.  These warm greens satisfy the salad craving with an autumn twist. 
1 TB grape seed oil
1 half red onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bunch sweet potato greens, stems removed
soy sauce
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.  Add the onion and cayenne pepper and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the sweet potato greens.  Using tongs, toss the greens in the sauce pan until evenly coated with onions and seasoning.  
  2. Add soy sauce* to taste, for me this was about 1-2 splashes.  Serve warm.  
Easy and economical, lunch is no longer an inconvenience! 

*Note: this dish is easily made vegetarian by steaming rice in water or vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.  Also, those using these recipes for a gluten free diet will need an appropriate substitute for the soy sauce.  Visit Whole Foods.com for select brands. 

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