14 Nov 2006

Pass the Peas !

I love green peas, they are tasty and simple to serve. They have been prized by man for thousands of years. Today most people have a frozen peas, tinned peas and/or green split peas in their kitchen and the lucky ones have green peas growing in their garden. There is nothing as nice as picking a pea pod and eating the peas there and then.

Green peas are full of vitamins being high in vitamin C, B1 and K1, with good amounts of vitamin A, B2,B3 and B6. They are high in manganese with a good supply of copper, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. A very useful vegetable for Vegans as they are second only to lima beans as a fresh vegetable source of protein. They are only 70 calories for a half cup serving so also great when slimming.

On top of that they contain tryptophan, folic acid and soluble dietary fiber. Tryptophan amino acid helps produce serotonin in the body which is important for normal nerve and brain function. Folic acid is extremely important in preventing birth defects in babies, good for bone health and combined with B6 is supportive of the cardiovascular system. Soluble fiber slows down digestion so stabilizes blood glucose levels and also lowers cholesterol levels.

A bit of a warning. Green Peas contain purines which can be broken down to form uric acid. Therefore persons with kidney problems or gout may want to limit the amount of green peas that they consume.

Fresh green peas should be refrigerated as low temperatures preserve their texture and nutrient content. Do not wash them before they are stored. Peas can be used in all forms of cooking but steaming or stir frying them for a few minutes is best to preserve their flavor and nutrients.

So please pass the peas !
Recipes of the Day

Soy Creamed Peas with Pearl Onions
From Diet for the New Age Thanksgiving recipes.
This was one of my mother’s specialties. I am delighted to say that it tastes just as amazing using soy instead of cow’s milk--better even. If you cannot find pearl onions, just substitute a chopped onion.

2 tbsps vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance buttery spread)
1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 16 oz. bag (2 cups) premium petite frozen peas
1-1/2 cup soy milk (plain)
2-1/2 tbsps all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the margarine in your medium sauce pan. Add chopped onions and saute until onions are translucent, and tender. Add bag of frozen peas and stir until almost thawed.In the meantime, mix the flour into the soy milk until it is smooth. Add this mixture to the onions and peas, and cook over medium heat until the cream sauce becomes thickened like gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom and Green pea Stroganoff
From Medco

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-1/2 cups (12-oz) package silken tofu
2 cups sliced portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp tamari
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
1/2 cup (4 oz) low-fat, firm tofu
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp. arrowroot
1/4 cup water

In a large pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat olive oil and saute onion, garlic, and tofu until garlic is golden. Add carrots, mushrooms, and tamari, and saute until carrots are just tender. Stir in peas, reduce heat, cover and simmer. Combine tofu, vinegar, arrowroot, water, and black pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. Slowly add tofu mixture to seitan mixture and stir well. Serve mixture over hot eggless noodles. Makes 4 servings.

Peas and Bulgur Salad
From University of Maine

3/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
2 cups fresh peas
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
3 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Boiling water

Pour boiling water over the bulgur to cover it by at least 1 inch. Let stand for 30 minutes or until tender and double in volume. Drain thoroughly, pressing out excess water. Cook peas by boiling for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain. In a salad bowl, combine bulgur, peas, scallions, lemon juice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with oil and toss to mix. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Links
(For non-US readers these are great recipes for other celebrations)

Recipe ZAAR 130 Vegan Thanksgiving recipes
In a Vegetarian Kitchen Vegan / Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes
VegWeb Vegan / Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes
JuiceeNewsDaily Article with vegetarian and Vegan recipes
Essenes A gluten and a tofu turkey to make yourself with all the trimmings.
Seventh Day Adventist Thanksgiving recipes




Anonymous said...

I didn't know that peas were that high in protein! Very useful to know.

And you're right...there is nothing as wonderful as eating peas fresh from the garden!

Last year, I discovered that pea sprouts were absolutely the best, and I can't wait to grow them this year!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, this post is making me nostalgic, since pea season has ended here. But we keep a bag or two of frozen peas in the fridge at all times. Nothing like the fresh, but really good all the same. Who knew peas were a source of folic acid? Cool.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info on one of my favorite veggies! I love peas so much. I didn't know that were *that* good for you though!!

I love the Mushroom and Green pea Stroganoff recipe!! :P

I wish I had a garden with peas in it! When I am finally settled in a house somewhere, the garden is a priority!! :P

Anonymous said...

I never knew peas contained tryptophan--another reason why you don't need to eat turkey for Thanksgiving.

I alwyas learn something interesting from your posts.

Gaia said...

I'm so happy to read that !
We are Pea Nuts here (hehe! :p)

Peas are the first thing we sow in our garden and I NEVER can prepare a dish with them because my youngest will eat them right there. We have to ask him to leave us some. He has been doing that since he was 3 LOL

So what I need to do, is sow more peas ! ;-)

Chandira said...

I didn't know peas had tryptophan! Cool. Can't get enough of that stuff this time of year.

Must add peas to my list of veggies to GROW this coming year!

. said...

I used to make something almost the same as this and forgot I made it for my family. Thank you for this post.