Cheap Eats: Black-eyed Peas and Rice

This one is vegetarian, and also requires very little time in the kitchen.

About two cups of pre-cooked black-eyed peas
Two Tablespoons of frozen smoked tomato puree
1/4 cup of frozen roasted eggplant puree
One medium onion chopped
3-5 whole canned tomatoes, squeezed through the fingers to break up

In a skillet saute the onions and melt the frozen vegetables. I put in a small amount of vegetable oil (maybe two tablespoons) at the beginning to keep things from sticking.

We make some of this every summer when tomato prices go down..this is maybe $0.10 worth of smoked tomato but it packs a punch!

Frozen pureed smoked tomato

Open the canned whole tomatoes and remove 3-5 depending on how much tomato you like. Squeeze them in your fingers and break into large chunks. The rest of the can can go into the fridge for another meal. Add salt and about 2 teaspoons of sage and a 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. These spices along with the smokiness of the tomato make the dish feel as if it has sausage in it.

The eggplant was bought for $1/lb roasted, pureed and frozen- this is less than a nickel's worth. Used like this it replaces fat and meat in the mouth-feel of the dish.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can add water if needed to prevent sticking. When the vegetables have thawed and the onion is starting to turn translucent, stir in the black-eyed peas.

This is fairly thick and is also a good base for any vegetarian pasta dish.

I put the whole thing in a casserole and stuck in the oven along with a pan of cornbread for about 1/2 an hour. The beans were served over white rice and we also had green peas and applesauce.

Total cost of the dish under $5.
The whole meal was under $15 for 5 people.

A cheap, tasty and well-balanced meal!

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