Warm Black-eyed Peas with Yogurt & Ginger ♥

Warm Black-eyed Pea Salad
Today's recipe: A side dish made with black-eyed peas and gentle spices, served warm.

It seems a sorry shame that black-eyed peas are relegated to New Year's fare. All the good fortune that black-eyed peas are supposed to deliver during the new year? We could use a little of that year-round, don't we think? What with the Gulf oil spill, the European financial crisis, home foreclosures, the battle forming along the U.S.-Mexico border, the continuing recession ... well, if all it takes is a few black-eyed peas to turn any one of those corners, to put just one behind us, I'm in.

This is a great little side dish, familiar ingredients mixed in an unfamiliar way. It's best served slightly warm but can be made ahead of time and then rewarmed, albeit gently. For a vegetarian entrée, I'd serve it with a yogurt sauce on the side, like the cilantro sauce in Veggie Burritos with Cilantro Sauce. If you'd like a black-eyed pea salad, one that can be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature, I recommend the very good Lucky Black-eyed Pea Salad published a couple of New Year's ago on Kitchen Parade.

"I tried your warm black eyed peas and yogurt yesterday, delicious." ~ Betty

Lemony Broccoli & Lemon Vinaigrette ♥ Recipes for an Easy Salad

Lemony Broccoli & Lemon Vinaigrette in an Easy Supper Salad
Today's easy salad recipe: Think lemon on lemon, broccoli tops soaked in lemon juice atop lettuce dressed in a creamy lemon vinaigrette. Only two or three points for Weight Watchers and low-carb too. Simple and surprisingly substantial.

While visiting my father earlier this month, one objective was to provide Olga, his loving companion since my mother died, a 'vacation' from cooking and clean-up. Given the unseasonably warm temperatures and our light appetites, suppers were more about assembling salads than actual cooking.

This salad was a surprise hit, including for me, the cook. ;-) That first night, we added some leftover grilled meat to the salad plates (Note to Vegetarians) and found the meal surprisingly substantial: we ALL skipped dessert that night.

I've made it at home twice now since returning and am completely hooked on the simple combination of lemon on lemon. The broccoli tips soak up the lemon, the greens are dressed in a creamy lemon. I tried one version with asparagus but the spears just can't absorb the lemon flavor as well as the broccoli tops.

To my taste, the salad is more than a sum of its parts.

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie ♥ Two Recipes!

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie
Today's smoothie recipes: Two ways to make smoothies from rhubarb and strawberries, one with raw rhubarb, another with a quick stove-top strawberry-rhubarb sauce.

Last week, I went dumpster-diving freezer-diving and spied one last bag of frozen rhubarb. Zip, zip, I worked up a couple of rhubarb smoothies starring one of spring's magical seasonal combinations, strawberries and rhubarb.

RAW RHUBARB For Smoothie Numbers One & Two, I used the rhubarb in its raw albeit wet and freezer-softened state. It had a tang, a sourness, that I especially liked, but some of rhubarb's natural stringiness survived the trip through the blender – not everyone would overlook this.

COOKED RHUBARB For Smoothie Numbers Three & Four, I cooked the rhubarb and strawberries together, letting their flavors meld, and sweeten, overnight before making the smoothies. The taste here is more like a traditional smoothie, fruity and sweet and well, yes, this is why they're called 'smoothies', smooth.

These recipes are so quick and easy that I'm adding them to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long in 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column, and now again in 2010. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!