Photo Food Diary & New Year’s Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew

Hi there! Does it feel like Monday instead of “What I Ate” Wednesday to anybody else? I hope you did something fun yesterday, whether it involved Christmas or not. My gym was open until noon so I was able to get some good exercise and then I just spent the rest of the day doing random work and house-related things. I loved it though because I plenty of time to do what I wanted. What a gift not to feel rushed for time.

Let me back up. I started off the morning with some leftover green smoothie that had all kinds of fruit and a ton of raw kale:

Green smoothie.

And, lest you think I am the perfect “nutritarian,” I gave in to a major sugar/chocolate cravings I’ve been having recently. My friend Deb had given me a sample of some ground cacao nibs that you brew like coffee into a choco-tea so I tried making that in my husband’s French press:

Cacao nib tea.

It made a very weak version of hot cocoa, even after I gussied it up with some unsweetened soy milk and packets of stevia:

Hot cacao.

Yes, that’s right, I’m not sure how this has happened, but in the last few weeks, I have slipped back into using stevia in my hot morning tea AND by using cacao powder a lot more liberally in my morning smoothies. I’m not beating myself up about it except for noticing that the stevia awakens my sugar cravings and the cacao powder is somewhat addictive as well. I will likely take a break from both of these at a near point in the future, but not today (spoken like a true addict, no?).

Lunch included a big green salad with tempeh:

Green salad for lunch.

And two gorgeous persimmons for dessert:


I made a batch of black bean brownies using carob powder in the early afternoon so they would have time to chill in the fridge to be eaten after dinner. I left out the spinach this time and you can see the batter (top picture) was not green and they came out just perfectly (bottom picture):

Black bean brownies.

I made an icing from macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, carob powder, date sugar, dates, vanilla extract and unsweetened soy milk so the final dessert when served after dinner looked like this:

Black bean brownie.

I decided to try using the pressure cooker for a Fuhrman-esque stew for last night’s dinner. I think it was faster than using the regular stove-top method, the squash definitely cooked faster. Unfortunately, between making the fresh vegetable juice and cooking the beans from scratch (albeit also using the pressure cooker), it is just a lot of work to make such an involved soup, but it is sooooo worth it!

I’m calling this recipe my New Year’s Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew because apparently black-eyed peas are associated with good luck. I’m not superstitious, but it was kind of fun to make a themed dish and I wanted to post it enough ahead of time in case you want to try making it for New Year’s.

If you are going to make this stew, do yourself a favor and cook the peas ahead of time or use a canned version. It also helps to juice the veggies earlier in the day so you don’t have to mess with your juicer when you make the stew.

Here are some photos from the cooking process:

Stew ingredients.

Here is the recipe:

The stew ended up looking like this:

Blended stew.

Served in my bowl with chopped red onion:

New Year's Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew.

Dr. Fuhrman was right that using carrot juice as a base for soup makes it very sweet and delicious. The butternut squash also helps in that regard. I have stopped adding blended nuts to my soups because I find they are creamy enough without them, and I prefer to save my nut consumption for desserts or salad dressings.

This year has been full of quite the adventures and challenges and I am already looking forward to 2013. If there is any truth to the abundance associated with eating black-eyed peas at this time of year, then I hope we all experience it. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back here on Friday with my 2012 wrap-up post where I’ll also be discussing my resolutions and hopes for the new year.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my recipe app, Vegan Delish, for all sorts of healthy and easy recipes; I added three new ones yesterday!


  1. Christy B says

    It all looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try out your soup recipe. My kids can have it too since there aren’t any nuts 🙂 Thank you! Happy Holidays, Carrie!

  2. Dawn says

    Don’t beat yourself up about some extra stevia and carob powder. Puhleeze!!! Your posts are so inspiring to try to be real nutritarian. Seems impossible sometimes. I will be copying some delicious smoothie recipes from you in the very near future. My Vita Mix is ready and waiting to make GREEN smoothies for breakfast–hopefully without coffee on the side eventually!

    • says

      Thanks, Dawn! Yep, you’re absolutely right that small indulgences are nothing to worry about. The only problem for me is my history of food addiction and that sometimes abstinence when it comes to sugar or sweet things is best for me. But, for now, I’m relishing the indulgence of hot cocoa and thought that sharing the fact that I’m not “perfect” would be helpful. Thanks for the note. Let me know how your foray into greens smoothies goes! 🙂

      • bee says

        What makes cacao addicting? Ive heard pros and cons about its health benefits and negative effects and not sure if its something to avoid

        In terms of food addiction, mine is dates. I could eat those by the pound 🙁

        • says

          Cacao and cocoa contains theobromine which is a stimulant. I’m not sure if there are other properties as well that are addictive but it is a problem for me.

  3. Fenn Gordon says

    Dear Carrie,

    I’d really like to purchase your app = but it’s telling me it’s not currently available in Australia. Do you have plans to make it available outside of the US?


  4. Ginny says

    What a delicious looking soup! I’m sold!!
    You ARE an inspiration Carrie, and I wish you lots of love, happiness, and health moving in to the new year!!!


  5. Teri says

    Thank you so much for posting so many pictures. They are most helpful, both for preparation and buying ingredients! I love seeing all the vibrant colors and textures. Also, I appreciated the info on theobromine. Thanks for a great site, very inspiring and uplifting.


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