Black Eyed Pea Chili is coziness in a bowl, and it's sure to warm you up on cold winter evenings. This recipe from The Plant-Based Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson was inspired by the Southern dishes Hoppin' John and dirty rice. Hoppin' John is said to bring luck and prosperity in the year ahead, so be sure you have a bowl on New Year's Day. This easy slow cooker recipe is vegan with a gluten-free option.
Black Eyed Pea Chili
When it comes to chili, black beans and pinto beans reign supreme, but pretty much any type of bean will do. The black eyed pea proves my point deliciously in this recipe for Happy New Year Chili from Robin Roberson’s cookbook The Plant-Based Slow Cooker.
According to Southern folklore, black eyed peas are said to bring prosperity and luck to the year ahead, so you should eat them first thing on New Year’s Day. To quote Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little bit stitious,” so this is one tradition I like to adhere to. Collard greens make your peas even more lucky, so I like to cook them up to serve with my meal.
How to Make Black Eyed Pea Chili
This recipe is super easy to make! The vegetables are sautéed on the stovetop before adding them to the slow cooker to soften them. It also helps to take the pungent bite out of the onion.
- First you sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and chili in a medium pan for 5 minutes.
- Then you add the tomato paste, bell pepper, tempeh, chili powder, cumin, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Next you place the mixture in your slow cooker along with the rice, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and pepper.
- You cook your chili on low for 4 to 6 hours.
- Serve your chili with dairy-free sour cream and hot sauce. It’s delicious with a side of Robin’s braised collards.
How to Customize Your Black Eyed Pea Chili
- If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your tempeh is gluten-free.
- To make your chili soy free, you can use seitan in the place of tempeh.
- You can use vegan sausages in the place of tempeh, too.
The Plant-Based Slow Cooker
I love slow cooked meals. There’s something so comforting about having a meal waiting for me at mealtime. And that’s why I love Robin Robertson’s slow cooker cookbooks. The Plant-Based Slow Cooker is an updated and revised version of her book Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker.
Robin starts the book everything you always wanted to know about slow cooking but were afraid to ask. She includes info on slow cooker sizes and cooking times, tips for slow-cooking success, and slow cooker troubleshooting advice
Although Instant Pots do include a slow cooker function, Robin recommends against it, because they don’t function the same way slow cookers do. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I donated my slow cooker once I received an Instant Pot, so I DO use it for slow cooking. I'm happy to report that this recipe did work well in it. (I now wish I hadn’t gotten rid of it, but my kitchen was overflowing with too many small appliances.)
And, of course, The Plant-Based Slow Cooker is loaded with recipes! In fact, it has 225, so you’ll find a recipe for just about any type of meal you have a hankering for here. I loved the Happy New Year Chili, and I can’t wait to try the Wine Braised Seitan and Crimini Mushrooms, Chestnut and Apple-Stuffed Squash, and Maple-Dijon Glazed Root Vegetables.
In addition to recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, Robin has included breads. Did you know that you can slow cook bread? I didn’t! Until now. I have my eye on the Chai-Spiced Breakfast Bread. There’s also a chapter dedicated to pantry basics that aren’t made in a slow cooker, such as Cashew Sour Cream, Cheesy Sauce, and Tofu Chorizo.
Chapters in The Plant-Based Slow Cooker Include:
- Slow Cooker Basics
- Snacks and Appetizers
- Soups that Satisfy
- Stews and Chili
- Beans and Grains
- Pasta for Dinner
- Hearty Main Dishes
- Simply Stuffed
- Vegetable Love
- Condiments from the Crock
- Don’t Forget Dessert
- Breakfast and Breads
- Hot Drinks
- Not from the Crock
If you have a slow cooker and want to add more plant-based foods into your meal rotation, this book is for you!
Happy New Year Chili
- 4- to 6-quart (3.8 TO 5.7 L) slow cooker
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water or 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 fresh hot chile seeded and minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (32 g) tomato paste
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 8 ounces (225 g) tempeh chopped or crumbled
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup (97.5 g) raw long-grain brown rice
- 3 cups (510 g) cooked black-eyed peas or 2 (15-ounce or 425 g) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (28-ounce) (794 g) can diced tomatoes with their juices
- 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth or water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- dairy-free sour cream for serving
- Tabasco sauce for serving
- Heat the water or oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and chile (if using) and saut. until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, bell pepper, tempeh, chili powder, cumin, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Add the rice, black-eyed peas, tomatoes and their juices, and broth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot, offering cashew sour cream and Tabasco at the table.