The scoop on this recipe…
Whenever I’m developing a new recipe, I know I’ve got a good one when I take a test bite, and the flavor intrigues me, and I find myself taking another bite. And another. For me, a good recipe has that harmony of flavors, however unexpected, that keeps me reaching for more. It’s like the lays potato chips motto when it says, “Bet you can’t eat just one!” Only with this tropical black-eyed pea salad, every bite you take is fat free, and you won’t get a headache from artificial flavors.
I love this salad so much because it’s light yet also filling with the beans. The cucumbers give it a cooling effect followed by a burst of sweet flavor from the mangoes. The peppers make a bridge between the sweet mango and the traditionally savory beans. Orange juice is the only dressing needed because the flavors of all the produce pop and burst together, making this an oil-free, whole food, plant based recipe. Combined with some red leaf lettuce, this makes a refreshing lunch for a hot day. You can’t go wrong health-wise, because every ingredient in this salad is loaded with nutrients!
A few notes on selecting the best produce for tropical black-eyed pea salad…
If there’s one thing that stuck with me from binge watching every season of Chef’s Table on Netflix, it is the fact that the best tasting food is made with the highest quality ingredients. In fact, I think that part of the challenge of making tasty whole food, plant based or raw food recipes is that you simply cannot skimp on good produce and expect anything remotely edible. Afterall, the stars of these recipes are the fruits and vegetables!! So this salad is no exception.
High quality produce is what gives this salad the best flavor. Choose cucumbers that have lighter areas on the skin, evidence of exposure to the sun. This makes them sweeter. You want them to be crunchy and watery when you cut them open. Peppers with just three knobs on the bottom are the best for uncooked recipes like this one. Also make sure that the skin of the peppers is shiny, not wrinkled or leathery. You don’t want any dehydrated veggies! Everything must be crisp and juicy. Choose mangoes that are smaller and have lighter skin, again, a sign that they grew with lots of sunshine. The best produce will make the best salad!
Tropical Black-eyed Pea Salad
This tropical salad with black-eyed peas is whole food, plant based, refreshing, and satisfying as a side dish or your main entree!
- 2 Cups cooked Black-eyed Peas
- 2 Japanese Cucumbers
- 1 Tommy Mango
- 1 Orange Sweet Bell Pepper
- 1 Red Sweet Bell Pepper
- 1 Small Red Onion
- Juice from 1 Orange
- Step 1 Wash and dice all vegetables and mango into 1/4 inch cubes. I suggest peeling the cucumbers because the skin on the Japanese variety is thick and adds slight bitterness to the overall flavor of the salad.
- Step 2 If you are using canned peas, drain and rinse, or thaw if you’re using frozen beans. Then add to the veggies.
- Step 3 Pour over the freshly-squeezed orange juice and then mix. Chill for a few minutes for the best flavor.
- Step 4 Once your salad is chilled, give it a mix and serve with your choice of fresh baby greens, lettuce, assorted crackers, etc.