This Mediterranean black-eyed pea salad is my first attempt at creating vegan, gluten free and interstitial cystitis IC friendly recipes, boy what a mouthful name! IC – also known as painful bladder syndrome, bladder pain syndrome, and chronic pelvic pain – is a chronic incurable bladder condition that consists of recurring pelvic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region, often associated with urinary frequency and urgency. The three cardinal symptoms of IC are pain, frequency, and urgency. Some foods are known to trigger IC flares and an IC elimination diet is recommended to keep the symptoms at bay.
Okay, enough about the IC stuff and on to the fun stuff. After scanning the “bladder friendly” ingredient list and checking my pantry, I came up with this vegan, gluten-free and “bladder friendly” version of Mediterranean black-eyed pea salad.
Before cooking any dried beans or peas, always inspect and remove any debris or dirt. I learned my lesson the hard way by chipping the edge of my front tooth on a tiny rock that was in my beans. Sometimes, these tiny rocks look like dirt, so be super careful and don’t skip this important step.
I love cooking black-eyed peas. They are not only delicious and nutritious, they usually cook in less than 30 minutes without presoaking. To prepare the peas, place them in a small pot using 3 to 4 cups of fresh water for each cup of peas. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the peas are tender and stir them once or twice. Don’t cook them to a mush. You want to keep the beans whole. Once cooked, strain and set aside to cool.
To add classic Mediterranean flavors to my salad, I used cucumbers, fresh dill and garlic.
While the peas are cooling down, peel and finely chop the cucumbers. I prefer Persian cucumbers because they are more flavorful and have thin skins that can be left on. If using other types of cucumbers, just scoop out the seeds before chopping them. Finely mince the garlic and chop the dill.
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in a good quality extra virgin olive oil and salt.
I was very pleased with the flavors in my salad. I could never imagine eating a salad without an acidic element like lemon juice or vinegar, but somehow this salad tasted good without it. I turned my salad into a complete protein meal by adding some cooked warm basmati rice and chopped avocado. Next time I will try it with brown rice.
Did I say how yummy and healthy this salad tasted? The cucumbers gave it its freshness and the crunch element. The fresh dills added a delicious earthiness and the garlic somehow elevated the flavor combination making up for the lack of acid. And finally, the addition of warm rice and avocado made it heavenly delicious!
Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 4 servings
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 small English cucumber chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh dill chopped
1 large garlic clove minced
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Add black-eyed peas and 4 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, cover and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the peas are tender. Strain and set aside to cool.
- Wash, peel and chop cucumbers and garlic. Chop the dill.
- Add the salad ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Stir in olive oil and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning.