It’s Recipe Redux time. Yeah, the crowd goes wild! What’s Recipe Redux you ask? This is my second month with the group and it is all about healthy food and food bloggers. Each month we are given a confidential assignment to come up with a healthy dish based on a particular theme. This month’s theme is lucky New Year’s food. If I chose to accept this assignment, I was tasked with coming up with a recipe using an ingredient considered to bring good luck on the New Year. The theme and recipes are not to be discussed until the 21st. I thought I had this assignment in the bag. New Year’s food means one thing to me, my Great Grandmother’s macaroni and cheese. Only someone forgot to tell the food Gods to consider macaroni and cheese a lucky food. I googled lucky food and looked at every article I could find. Not one listed macaroni and cheese as a lucky New Year’s Food. Do they not realize my Great Grandmother made it every New Year’s Day for us until her passing? She lived to be 93 years old, how could that not be lucky? It had to be the macaroni and cheese that lead to this long, healthy life.
Every list talked about lentils, Chinese long noodles, greens, black eyed peas, pork and round shaped food. There was no mention of cheese and making macaroni and cheese with Chinese long noodle just didn’t seem right. I can’t quite wrap my taste buds around that one. So I had to put aside Nannie’s (that is what we called my Great Grandmother) macaroni and cheese and think, think, think. I could give homage to my husband’s Indian heritage and make a lentil dish but been there, done that. I could make a Chinese dish with long noodles. After all I love them but I just wasn’t feeling it. I did think about greens; I bought some collards and made a delicious recipe with them. The recipe was good but still needs tweaking. So I thought about my new love of black-eyed peas (thanks to Texas Caviar Dip). Black eyed peas are pretty new to me; this is a New Year’s recipe for a New Year, hmm that works new food, New Year. That feels like it was meant to be. I feel the force is with me and all systems are go.
I seem to be mixing my metaphors today but hopefully you are still with me. Maybe it was another happy coincidences or it was fate shining down on me for this recipe. I had been feeling the need to bake some bread and felt cornbread was missing from the blog. Food Done Light just seemed incomplete without cornbread and like magic I came across a recipe in Southern Living for cornbread that included black eyed peas. I have to admit most of the cornbread I’ve really enjoyed has been pretty fattening. Oil really does wonders for cornbread but I wanted to take a shot at it using my trusty partner in crime, Greek yogurt. With a few simple substitutions and a leap of faith, I removed all of the oil from the recipe and replaced it with 2% fat Greek yogurt. My trusty partner did not let me down. This stuff is good; good luck good! The black eyed peas don’t stick out like a sore thumb in the cornbread. They meld so beautifully with the sausage and cheese. This is some seriously good cornbread.
I am sure this is what good luck should taste like. I still think macaroni and cheese needs to be placed on the list of lucky New Year’s foods but I am content with eating black eyed peas. I’ll work on “healthifying” Nannie’s macaroni and cheese and hopefully bring that recipe to you some time this year. One word of caution, it is not your “Mother’s Mac & Cheese”. Nannie liked it a little spicy with horseradish sauce, Worcestershire sauce and three kinds of mustard. In the meantime, enjoy some black eyed peas for New Years. Here is to wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy New Years 2014.
- 1 lb. turkey or chicken Andouille sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup white cornmeal
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten or 6 tbsp. egg substitute
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 (15 oz.) can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded reduced fat sharp Colby jack cheese
- 1 (8.5 oz.) can cream style corn
- ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage and onion until the onions are translucent.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt and baking soda.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, lemon juice and yogurt.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moist.
- Add sausage mixture, black eyed peas and the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour into the baking dish and bake for approximately 1 hour or until golden.
Nutritional value per serving: Cal 149/Fat 5 grams/Carbs 16 grams/Fiber 2 grams/Protein 11 grams