This recipe for black-eyed pea and collard green chili comes to you from Vegan Pressure Cooking: Delicious Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes, the recently-released new cookbook by JL Fields (of Vegan for Her and the blog JL Goes Vegan). See the end of this post for the recipe, and my review of the cookbook follows hereafter.
For those of you who don’t use a pressure cooker, it’s a kitchen implement that can be either stovetop or electric, and is designed to seal in the contents with tremendous amounts of pressure, created by trapping steam released by the liquids being cooked, which allows your foods to cook much more quickly than they would if you were simply boiling them in a covered pot. It tends to also cook foods very evenly in addition to using less total energy than other cooking methods.
I bought my pressure cooker my pressure cooker several years ago after watching a Good Eats episode about chickpeas and realizing that it was the key to making my homemade hummus as smooth and creamy as possible. (The one linked is the same one I own – but I bought a factory reject with a dent in the side from eBay for about $40; it has served me well for years now!) I quickly learned that it has many uses beyond cooking chickpeas in a reasonable time frame. In addition to preparing other legumes, grains, and heartier vegetables like potatoes to perfection, it can also be used for complete dishes like soups and stews.
Vegan Pressure Cooking explores those concepts and more between its pages. Inside the book, you’ll find:
- A guide to the basics of pressure cooking, and what you should and should not try to cook in the pressure cooker
- A chapter devoted to beans and grains
- A chapter devoted to soups and stews
- A chapter devoted to one-pot meals (my favorite!)
- A chapter devoted to meal helpers and vegetable sides
- A chapter devoted to sauces and dips
- A (albeit very short) chapter devoted to desserts!
- A resources section that suggests some different pressure cooker models and points to websites with additional recipes and information
Because I am already rather experienced with using the pressure cooker to prepare many of my staple ingredients, I was most excited to try some of the complete-meal recipes included in the book, which is what led me to this black-eyed peas and collard green chili. We really enjoyed this dish. I love how PACKED with vegetables it is, and the collard greens add tons of nutrition and hold up really well when pressure cooked. I daresay my ultimate vegan chili recipe (recipe coming… someday) would still defeat this one in a chili-off, but, this one is easier to make and better for you.
I was a little surprised at what seemed like a large amount of tomato in the ingredients, but it came out with just the right amount of tomatoey tang in the finished product. Cooking the black-eyed peas along with the tomatoes (due to their acidity) allows them to keep their shape, while being creamy and tender on the inside. The leftover chili kept very well in the fridge for nearly a week (maybe longer, but we ate it all!). We got about 5 servings out of the chili and served it with Amanda’s gluten-free cornbread (which was really great too!).
I also made some other recipes from the book that I have not pictured here.
- Dal dip – This was a super delicious dip/spread made from red lentils and featuring Indian flavors (but no exotic ingredients). It was very easy to make and tasted great. The recipe didn’t call for any salt but I added a bunch.
- “Baked” sweet potatoes – I eat baked sweet potatoes all the time but I’ve never cooked them in my pressure cooker before. They turned out really well!
- Italian pearl barley – This is a really basic barley recipe, which tasted good but needed to be combined with other elements before it turned into a great-tasting meal.
Some other recipes I’m looking forward to trying next are the jackfruit enchiladas, coconut-ginger black bean brownies, and Szekely goulash. I grew up in an Eastern European family but I somehow haven’t had goulash since I went vegan! This particular recipe calls for vegan sour cream, of which I don’t buy or enjoy the store-bought version. So it’ll have to wait until I successfully make my own at home!
I am delighted that this tome is on the market because I think some people have the misconception that pressure cookers are mostly just useful for preparing meat. Overall, I think it is a useful guide to vegan pressure cooking and has a lot of recipes or recipe ideas that I look forward to trying. That said, here are some of my favorable and less favorable comments:
- A variety of pressure cooking recipes that demonstrate the versatility of this cooking method.
- An excellent guide to the basics of pressure cooking & the resources needed. This book would be a particularly good purchase for someone who hasn’t gotten his/her feet very wet with pressure cooking yet.
- Approachable recipes with flavors that have general appeal. Though I don’t have much experience cooking for such a crowd, I imagine that a lot of these recipes would be good for kids/picky eaters/people with sensitive palates, while still enjoyable for everyone else.
- Most recipes in the book I would consider to be very healthy! With only a few exceptions, the recipes are made “from scratch” with nothing but whole foods + oil. Recipes in the ‘one pot meals’ section have an awesome emphasis on vegetables, particularly leafy greens. There is even a recipe for homemade pressure cooker seitan, which you can find on Katie’s blog.
- Succinct and professional writing by the author, with a friendly and warm tone.
- The recipes I tried were well-written, easy to make, and tasted great.
- The way that the book is organized is confusing, in particular, the recipe chapters. First there are chapters centered on specific food groups, then chapters about certain courses or styles. There’s organization redundancy that occurs because of this. Recalling an arbitrary recipe from the book, you couldn’t immediately tell which chapter to flip to in order to find it again. The chapters should have been either organized by course, organized by level of complexity/completeness, or organized by which ingredient inspired the pressure cooker to be used. All of those methods of organization would have made a lot more sense to me than the one used in the book. I wish I could say the index in the back makes up for this deficiency but unfortunately the index suffers from some of the same problems. The saving grace is that the full ordered recipe list for a chapter is listed at the chapter’s beginning, so the minimum you would have to look for a specific recipe is one place per chapter.
- Some of the recipes seemed like filler material to me (though this could be more a fault of the way that the book is organized), like a bean dip that consists of nothing but beans, tomatoes, and salt. I’m sure it tastes good but I’m not sure if it’s worth including in the main recipe pages of the book. Another questionable recipe was one for cooking green beans at pressure for 1 minute, with salt and one other spice. To me personally, setting up the pressure cooker to make green beans is an unnecessary level of effort. People who aren’t as experienced with cooking might find these recipes more useful. I’m not sure.
- The book is intended for traditional style pressure cookers and does not address how to adjust recipes for an electric pressure cooker, except to state in the introduction that cooking times are usually longer and that the recipes assume that a saute function is available. I happen to have an electric pressure cooker, so I did any sauteing in a separate pan before transferring that mixture to the pressure cooker.
- I found that, when included in the ingredients list, the amount of salt was generally too low for my taste. Some recipes don’t call for any salt and I always added it. This is not a critique but just an observation, as it is normal for people to have different salt preferences 🙂
The publishers of Vegan Pressure Cooking have graciously allowed me to share this delicious recipe for black-eyed pea and collard green chili with you. You can get your own copy of the book on Amazon.com. And you can also visit the author’s, JL Fields, blog, JL Goes Vegan. Happy pressure cooking!
- 4 large collard green leaves (note: I upped this to an entire bunch of collards)
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (note: I used a bit more)
- ½ c. diced red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c. chopped carrot
- 2 c. chopped celery
- ½ of a red bell pepper, diced (note: my addition)
- 2 tb. chili powder (note: I used ancho chili powder)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tb. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. seeded and diced fresh jalapeno (note: I upped this to one whole jalapeno)
- 2 c. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 c. water (note: I just used 3 c. vegetable broth)
- ¼ to ½ tsp. sea salt (note: I used way, way more than this and also added some pepper)
- chopped green onion, for serving (note: my addition)
- Halve each collard leaf lengthwise with kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cutting out and discarding the center ribs. Stack the leaves and cut crosswise into quarter-inch (6mm) wide strips.
- In an uncovered pressure cooker, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the collard greens, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, and jalapeno and saute for a minute or two.
- Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and water. Stir to combine.
- Cover and bring to pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow for a natural release.
- Remove the cover and taste the black-eyed peas. Add salt to taste. If they are not thoroughly cooked, simmer on low, uncovered, until done. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
I have a much easier time digesting beans that have been soaked, even briefly, to remove some of the phytic acid. So I went against the recipe instructions and soaked my black-eyed peas in hot water for about 15 minutes, then rinsed and drained them before getting started.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Vegan Pressure Cooking for review. This post is an honest review based on my experience reading and using it. This post contains affiliate links; please read my advertisement policy for more information.