In the deep South where I live, black-eyed peas are symbolic of luck and money when eaten on New Year’s Day. Traditionally, they are made with ham bones. When I ran my first community kitchen, I used the familiarity folks have with black-eye peas to mee’ify them, creating a heart-healthy recipe.

Makes 12-15 small croquettes
Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free and Gluten-free.

Whatcha Need
2 cups dry black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in spring water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coconut amino (soy-free soy-style sauce)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups safflower oil or coconut oil for light frying

Whatcha Do
Place soaked beans in food processor. Add salt, coconut aminos, and cumin. Blend until you have fine shreds of bean, but don’t blend into a pulp. The mixture will be slightly wet but can hold together. Form palm–sized croquettes with your hands.

Heat one inch of oil in a cast-iron skillet to about 350°F. To test the oil, drop in a tiny amount of the croquette mixture. If it bubbles furiously and rises to the top, the oil is ready. Do not let the oil get so hot that it smokes. You may need to make little adjustments to the heat under the oil throughout the cooking process to avoid burning the croquettes.

Place four croquettes in the oil and let fry for about four minutes on each side. Place on paper towel and drain extra oil.

* If you can’t source dried black-eyed peas, then be sure to use Native Foods BPA-free canned black-eyed peas. Strain and rinse well before putting into the food processor. Add cumin and sea salt and one teaspoon of tahini (sesame butter–it is a great emulsifier) and about two tablespoons of gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal. Again, don’t over-process, just pulse twice then form patties and toast them in the skillet.

Mee McCormick is a momma, a real food master cook, an organic grass-fed cattle rancher, a bio-dynamic produce farmer, a Community Kitchen Builder, and television cooking personality. She is the author of My Kitchen Cure available on Mee lives with her family on farm outside of Nashville, TN.