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Black Eye Peas Chili with Quinoa and Corn : 2016 New Year's Dish

I always include a recipe with my Handpainted Limited Edition Calendar and for 2016 it is: Black Eye Peas Chili with Quinoa and Corn

The legend behind this Southern tradition is that a meal of peas and greens will bring prosperity and luck in the coming year. The traditional meal also includes pork, but this is a healthy variation and includes quinoa and corn. Cornbread often accompanies this meal. 


  • 2 large onions, chopped (I use a food processor)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups (24 ounces) fresh black-eyed peas, or 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) dried peas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, red pepper, or hot smoked paprika (adjust to taste)
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice (fire-roasted preferred)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: wedges of lime and slices of avocado, to serve


  1. Heat a large, non-stick Dutch oven or chili pot. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the black-eyed peas, broth, and everything up through the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender. The time will vary depending on the age of the peas, but count on at least 75 minutes, and add more broth if it looks like it’s getting dry.
  3. When the peas are tender, check the seasoning and add more to taste (this is a good time to increase the heat by adding more chipotle powder). Add the corn and quinoa and cook until the quinoa is tender, at least 20 minutes. (If the chili seems too “soupy,” uncover the pot; otherwise, keep it covered.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of limejuice or slices of avocado, if desired.

For slow cooking, in step 2, cook on high for 4-5 hours, low for 8-10. Add the quinoa and corn during the last hour of cooking.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cup each

Nutrition (per serving): 309 calories, 19 calories from fat, 2.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 616.1mg sodium, 943.9mg potassium, 57.9g carbohydrates, 10.6g fiber, 10.8g sugar, 18.1g protein. (Sodium comes mostly from vegetable broth and canned tomatoes; you can eliminate much of it by using salt-free versions of both.)