Before leaving on a road trip, I like to make food to freeze, so there is less concern about where to get a vegan meal on the road. As a bonus, the frozen meals act as “ice packs” for our food in the cooler! Planning ahead has allowed worry-free exploration of some of the more remote corners of the United States. It has also meant spending more time having fun, and less time trying to find restaurants that serve vegan food or booking hotels with kitchens. As long as there’s a microwave at the destination (whether it’s in the lobby or our hotel room), it’s easy to get a hearty, healthy dinner going in a snap.
Inspired by the flavors of the U.S.’s Southern cuisine, Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas, Okra and Tomatoes is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. It’s great for freezing for a road trip, freezing for a future meal, or eating on the spot. It’s easy to make and hearty. Served over a heaping pile of quinoa, it’s loaded with protein, fiber, essential vitamins and flavor. Absolutely delicious!
Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas, Okra and Tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½-1 small habanero pepper, chopped (if sensitive to heat, remove the seeds)
½-1 tsp smoked paprika
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 tsp miso OR fake chicken bouillon paste
1 12 ounce package of frozen black-eyed peas
1 12 ounce package of frozen sliced okra
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Prepared okra, to serve
1. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, onions, garlic, ginger and habanero. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Sauté for ~10 minutes over low heat until onions soft and slightly caramelized.
2. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and miso. Stir until well incorporated.
3. Add the tomatoes to a slow cooker. Stir in the frozen black-eyed peas and frozen okra. Secure the lid. Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours (cook longer for softer black-eyed peas). Remove the lid. Serve over quinoa or brown rice.