Remember that bumper sticker reading: “Visualize whirled peas”? A play on words though it was, it gave me plenty of great ideas for whirled peas — sautéed, steamed, baked, smashed, mashed and mixed with all kinds of other goodies.
Fact of the matter is, my home is never without a bag of peas in my freezer. Just today I needed a quick lunch and that meant yesterday’s potato leek soup and a green salad topped with steamed peas and a sprinkling of feta cheese.
Delicious at breakfast, lunch or dinner, perfect in simple or complex recipes, adding peas to your menu can add flavor, boost good nutrition and save you time when you need something quick. If you like green peas but haven’t ventured beyond a small pile on your plate, I’m happy to introduce you to the many possibilities of peas.
Remember, these ideas work well with fresh or frozen peas:
- Sauté with tofu or tempeh and serve over noodles or rice.
- Add to omelets or scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- Add to grain dishes or grain salads. Here’s an idea for Quinoa Primavera with Chicken, Spring Peas and Asparagus.
- Combine with cottage cheese, garlic, chives and chopped tomatoes.
- Add to stews and soups. Here’s a hearty Lamb Stew made with peas, and here’s a Middle Eastern-style Kofta Soup with peas.
- Make pea soup with peas, onions, vegetable stock and favorite seasonings. Cook until veggies are tender; purée and serve garnished with grated carrots or chopped red pepper.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper; top with Parmesan cheese and roast.
- Stir into mashed potatoes.
- Add to egg, potato, chicken, tuna or shrimp salad.
- Sprinkle over green salads.
- Add to stir-fries, fried rice, or Vegetable Biryani. Or, enjoy our recipe for Curried Chicken Kabobs with Coconut Rice.
- Peas are perfect in Chicken Pot Pie.
- Sauté with onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes; add oregano and feta cheese.
- Add to pasta. Try this wonderful Fusilli with Goat Cheese, Peas and Prosciutto or this delicious Penne Primavera with Salmon.
- Try our Quinoa Loaf with Mushrooms and Peas.
- Peas pair perfectly with fresh herbs including dill, basil, oregano, chives, thyme and rosemary. Dill lovers rejoice over our Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta with Dill!
- Add to guacamole or make our recipe for Green Pea Guacamole.
- Personally, I love peas with couscous.
Although considered a vegetable for cooking, like so many other unsuspecting “vegetables,” our beloved small, round peas are actually the seed-pod of a fruit called Pisum Sativum. During the Middle Ages peas were grown and cultivated in the spring for their dry seeds.
Along with lentils and broad beans, they formed a very important part of the diet for the people of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. During the 17th and 18th centuries, eating tender, young green peas became popular — quite fashionable in France and England. New varieties were developed by the English thus becoming known as English peas, aka “garden” peas.
Eventually, the popular pea spread to North America. By some accounts, Thomas Jefferson grew at least 30 varieties on the grounds of his home in Monticello, Virginia.
As you visualize whirled peas, remember: give peas a chance. Got a people-pleasing pea recipe you’d like to share? Let me know.