Why People Batch Cook + Black Eyed Pea Stew

January 9, 2021 / Molly Patrick /

whole_food_plant_based_black_eyed_pea_stew_13

If you’re new to eating a whole food plant based diet and you have yet to skinny dip into the batching pond, you are in for a game-changing, titillating treat, my friend.

When people switch to a whole food plant based diet, they usually go from eating at restaurants, ordering take out, and/or popping store-bought frozen food into the oven or microwave to eating food that they cook in their own kitchen.

Maybe you have experienced this. I know I sure did.

I used to eat out ALL the time, especially when I lived in Oakland and Berkeley, because there were interesting and delicious restaurants on every block. When I switched to a whole food plant based diet, I soon realized that I would be cooking a lot more than I ever had because no restaurant or frozen meal was going to cut it.

Even if I eat at a vegan restaurant or order vegan option from a regular restaurant, it always has lots of oil, lots of salt, and overly processed ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out, and I’m still game to try a new restaurant that offers vegan food, but this does not happen often, especially now with COVID.

Nearly all of my meals are meals that I cook in my kitchen from whole plant foods and minimally processed plant based ingredients. I would not be able to eat this way if I relied on restaurants and packaged food. I could maintain a vegan diet, but I would not be able to maintain a whole food plant based diet. If you’re not clear about the difference, check out this post.

Since eating out and relying on store-bought frozen meals is out of the question, it’s up to us to keep our fridge stocked with healthy food. Because listen, I don’t know about you, but if I get hungry and don’t have any food in my fridge, my ass will call for takeout in 5 seconds flat. I’m not going to put off eating until I make some food later or tomorrow or next week. I will call the nearest Indian restaurant and order a veggie curry ASAP, in all of its oily glory. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if it’s a whole food plant based diet you’re after, this can’t be part of the daily routine.

The fix for this is easy.

You cook your own food. Problem slayed like a boss. 

Now, because I’ve been doing this for a while, I can already tell you what might happen.

  1. You will find some yummy looking recipes from a blog or a cookbook and you will go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients to make them.
  2. You will come home from the grocery store, put everything away and admire all the veggies and healthy ingredients you just purchased. You will feel like a badass.
  3. You will then tackle the rest of your to-do list until you get hungry and go back to your kitchen. You will open the cookbook or blog, and you will start cooking one of the meals you wanted to make.
  4. An hour later, your recipe won’t be quite done, so you bust open the potato chips you bought at the store. When your food is finally ready, you won’t be hungry anymore.
  5. You will start a narrative in your head about how hard it is to eat this way.
  6. You will serve what you made for dinner, and your [insert family member] won’t like it, reinforcing the narrative that this way of eating is too hard and frustrating to continue.
  7. You won’t cook anything else for the rest of the week, and all of the produce you bought will go bad by the time you open your produce drawer. The narrative will get even bigger. Not only is this way of eating hard, it’s also wasteful.
  8. Screw this. You’re done. You gave eating a healthy plant based diet a chance and it did not work for you. That’s the story you will stick with until you decide to give it another shot because you keep hearing so many good things about it, and you’re sick of feeling tired and you want your spark back.

I have a much better plan. 

Instead of cooking one meal at a time, you set aside 2–4 hours one day a week to cook a bunch of food that you can heat up in 20 minutes or less all week long.

***Cue choir singing, angels flying, light beaming down, curtains parting, and clouds lifting*** 

This process of bulk cooking is also called batch cooking, and it is a game-changer. It’s what makes the difference between wanting to eat this way and actually eating this way. You want to eat this way because you want to feel damn good. You will eat this way because you have delicious food in your fridge that you cooked yourself and it’s ready to heat up as soon as you get hungry. Game changed.

Everything else is just a narrative running through your head.

You can start batch cooking by choosing a handful of recipes, writing out a grocery list, getting the groceries, cooking all the recipes at once, and then putting them together throughout the week in exciting ways so you don’t get bored with the food.

Or, better plan, you can sign up for our weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans, and we will do all the planning for you AND give you the best whole food plant based recipes on the internet. All you have to do is go to your classroom, enter how many portions of each meal you want, and we calculate everything for you. A clear plan with easy-to-follow instructions, and then bam, amazing plant based food in your mouth!

Either way, if you want to eat a whole food plant based diet, batch cooking will help make that happen consistently. Pretty soon, you’ll be craving your own food and you’ll forget takeout is even a thing.

Come on in, the water is perfect. 

Has batch cooking upped your plant eating game? Talk to me in the comments below. I would love to hear all about it.

Black Eyed Pea Stew

Makes about 6 cups
Author: Molly Patrick

Ingredients

Choose either Instant Pot or Stove Top method below (the ingredients are the same for both):

  • cups dried black eyed peas, rinsed and drained (225 g / no need to soak overnight)
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced in rounds (250 g / about 2 large carrots)
  • ½ cup celery, sliced (60 g / about 1 stalk)
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced (65 g)
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped (65 g)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 3 medium-sized cloves)
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder (use ¼ teaspoon for a less spicy stew)
  • 4 cups water (945 ml)
  • 1 cup red potato, diced (150 g / about ¾" dice / any variety)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour (AKA arrowroot starch)
  • 1 packed cup baby kale, finely chopped (35 g)
  • ½ cup tomato, chopped (90 g)
  • ½ tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • teaspoon black pepper (about 5 turns)

For serving (optional, but oh so good)

  • jalapeno, finely chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • Sour Cream (see link in Notes below)

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Place your black-eyed peas in a fine mesh strainer, rinse well, and set aside to drain.
  • Press the saute button on your Instant Pot (IP) and heat up the inner pot for 2 minutes (without the lid). Add the carrot, celery, onion, and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if the veggies begin to stick.
  • Add the garlic, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and chili powder and stir for 1 minute. Turn off the IP, then add the water and stir up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the black-eyed peas, potato, and bay leaf, then lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is pointed in the sealing position.
  • Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 18 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer goes off. After 15 minutes, use the quick release method to release any remaining steam from the pot.
  • While the stew is cooking, stir together the 2 tablespoons of water and arrowroot in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
  • When all of the pressure has been released, carefully remove the lid and discard the bay leaf. Add the arrowroot / water mixture, kale, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and pepper, and stir to combine.

Stove Top Directions:

  • Place your black-eyed peas in a fine mesh strainer, rinse well, and set aside to drain.
  • Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if the veggies begin to stick.
  • Add the garlic, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and chili powder and stir for 1 minute. Add the water and stir up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the black-eyed peas, potato, and bay leaf and stir. 
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, with a lid on the pot at an angle, until the peas are nice and tender. You may need to add additional water if too much is absorbed before the peas are done cooking.
  • While the stew is cooking, stir together the 2 tablespoons of water and arrowroot in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
  • When the peas are tender, remove the lid and discard the bay leaf. Add the arrowroot / water mixture, kale, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and pepper and stir to combine.

To serve:

  • Add a dollop of Sour Cream then garnish with cilantro and jalapenos if you’re feelin’ spicy.

Notes

This is a really yummy Sour Cream recipe.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with batch cooking. 

Subscribe to our SWEARY SATURDAY LOVE LETTERS + FREE RECIPES

Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

You may also enjoy...

So fresh and so clean, clean

What’s Up with Vegans and Garbanzo Beans? + Lemony Garbanzo Salad

8_whole_food_plant_based_lentil_red_bean_chili_top_shot

This Is Super Personal To Me + Lentil and Red Bean Chili (Instant Pot and Stove Top)

FG_whole_food_plant_based_savory_snack_crackers_5

We Repeat What We Don’t Repair + Whole Food Plant Based Crackers (Oil-Free)

2 Comments

  1. Lesley Nicol on January 24, 2021 at 12:22 am

    I really enjoyed this Saturday’s email and the new website looks great, with visually beautiful photos. Have never eaten black eyed peas before but because I had some dried ones thought I would try the recipe. I didn’t have green bell pepper or the other additives once cooked but still it was delicious. Next time I will make sure I have all the ingredient to complete the dish once cooked.. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Karen on January 24, 2021 at 6:10 am

      Hi Lesley – Thanks for feedback on the new site. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Karen on behalf of Team Dirty

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating