Monday, March 18, 2013

The Most Underestimated Ingredient


I could lie and say this post is for St Patrick’s day but it’s not; my only St Patrick’s day associations are traffic and vomit (nice I know) from the parade. This year, as I do every year, I steered clear. My book, which now has a title! is getting turned in and I skipped going to Vermont to edit and edit some more. The extent of my cooking this weekend was smoothies, socca (my current favorite carb) and steaming vegetables. Last night I made one of my favorite “just me” concoctions. I heated a small cast iron pan, added some coconut oil. Tossed on leftover vegetables, mushrooms and asparagus and added an ingredient that doesn’t get nearly enough love…frozen peas. I scrambled the veggies with a couple of eggs and sprinkled it with a little Himalayan salt. Delicious and not something I could serve the whole family.

As I added the peas (after brief nuking) I wondered why peas are dismissed, especially frozen peas. It may be the association with mushy, canned peas or the assumption that peas are nutritionally average but please don’t prejudge. My Cascadian Farm peas have 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and a mere 100ish calories per cup. Peas also contain phytonutrients called saponins that have anti-inflammatory properties. And they’re pretty too.

Didn't post photo at the top to ruin the ingredient surprise, sneaky.
I’ve praised peas before in this Blisstree article

We use peas with pesto in gluten free pasta, in a great side dish with shallots and spinach (you can absolutely “Ina-size” this cutting the added fat and it’ll be just as good).  I will never forget a pea and mint smoothie that greeted us when we finished a hike at Blackberry Farm.

And let’s not forget the world’s best ice pack.
Unknown runner's leg, "frozen pea icepack" turned up many post plastic surgery photos,
People are starting to appreciate peas or actually they’re extorting peas for their protein. Larabar has a new offering called Alt with pea protein and Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend protein powder uses peas in the “blend”. Chances are you have some peas in your freezer now that you had forgotten about, go show them some love.
And this book I’ve been annoyingly mentioning? It’s called
The Little Book of Thin
Foodtrainers' Plan-It-to-Lose-It Solutions for Every Diet Dilemma
Slated for January 2014, promise me someone will buy it.

Are you pro pea? What do you use them for? What do you feel is the most underestimated food? 

35 comments:

  1. Congrats on the book!!! Of course I can't wait to buy it!!!!

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  2. is it bad I tend to use my frozen peas for TATTOO HEALING? :-)

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  3. Ok, first, I had no idea you were writing a book!!! Yes, I promise I will buy it :)
    Second, you are right...peas are super healthy! They are basically like a bean (actually...are they a legume? Gosh I don't even know). I sometimes put peas in the same category as corn, but I really shouldn't, they are so much better for you!

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  4. Love the title!! Lauren, this is so weird because I bought frozen peas for the first time in a long time just yesterday! I was going for frozen edamame, but they caught my eye. I remember a pea post from a while ago when you first that that smoothie at blackberry farms. Glad you're rekindling an old flame

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  5. I often thaw frozen peas for pasta salad, and to top regular salads. We throw them in with other pasta dishes too!

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  6. Congrats on the book!


    Thanks for this post—I finally remembered that frozen peas exist a couple years ago and have been using them in all kinds of dishes. Pasta is definitely a favorite—I add lots of veggies and either olive oil, red pepper flakes and parm or mix in a bit of part-skim or nonfat ricotta.

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  7. red pepper flakes make everything better, glad you and peas are back together.

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  8. ah the pea fan club is bigger than I thought.

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  9. pea ESP? And don't lump with corn though tempting. Corn almost always GMO, corn doesn't have as much to brag about though pro-corn (when organic) and pro popcorn for other reasons.

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  10. judging from the photos I've seen online that's perfectly fine though unexpected. Silly I never thought of tattoo healing, may I ask where/what you got?

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  11. Thank you Jill (unsure which Jill).

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  12. Lauren that's fantastic!!! Congrats on the book.


    I'm also recently loving peas. It's like I forgot about them. And then I did a recipe project with a vegan company and remembered how awesome they were in burgers and on salad.

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  13. Will absolutely buy the book--have gotten sucked into some not so great ones lately, need to redeem myself.


    Love peas, and oddly enough I just added them to an egg salad for the first time in a while the other day, too. Speaking of eggs, glad to hear you pro-egg--but curious do you think they are safe as an "everyday" food--or more of once or twice a week type deal?

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  14. Congrats on the book! I will definitely be reading that :) And I love that you took some time to highlight peas...check out this recipe for my grandma's pea soup - it uses split peas, but you could also add frozen organic to the soup for some different textures: http://theotherbigo.ca/2013/01/14/healthy-pea-soup-recipe/

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  15. peas! love it! I think anything frozen tends to be really underestimated. We forget what an easy addition frozen fruits and veggies are - not to mention a great substitute when fresh produce isn't in season!

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  16. I always, always have frozen peas in my freezer (along with other frozen veggies). My son often eats dinner before my husband and I do (just a time problem), and if I need a side dish for him, they are perfect. If I'm making rice or pasta and need to bulk it up, throw in some frozen peas. I will say that I don't love peas but I don't hate them either. I don't really notice any taste if I'm eating them with pasta or something, and I do like the texture - so they do a nice job of bulking up the dish and adding some nutritional value (fiber, etc. as you mentioned). There's really no downside to them as far as I can see.

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  17. 100% frozen gets frowned upon and some things don't thaw well but peas- perfect. And yes, frozen berries in the middle of winter make me feel like I'm cheating every time (in a good way)

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  18. Love a good grandma recipe, thanks for sharing Lauren. I don't think my grandma had "green" recipes.

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  19. Omega 3 eggs are fine about 7/week. Now you have me thinking egg salad. I promise this book will be a good one. Too many meh health/diet books. I refuse.

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  20. Isn't that the best Carlene when you get reunited with a food that you were "out of touch with". Makes me tear up :) Let's have your pea-licious burger recipes please.

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  21. Love the honesty. I met with a chef today and she said "I hate peas but didn't want to write that". It's ok, I can understand thinking you're anti-pea but I'd love to try and convert you both.

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  22. Andrea@WellnessNotesMarch 18, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Exciting news about your book!!!



    I don't eat peas very often, but I should eat them more often as I do enjoy them when I eat them!

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  23. So happy for you and your new book! Of course I'll buy it, along with a ton of other people, I'm sure.


    I love peas. Eat them all the time with a lot olive oil drizzled on them. Frozen peas are so convenient.


    Will be in NYC next week for a few days. Quick trip in and out. I know you have a million things to do but if you have a quick minute would love to see you.

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  24. This is a great post! I couldn't agree with you more that peas are vastly underestimated- the protein and sweet taste allows it to be so versatile! They get a bad rap especially with pea soup, which I happen to adore ;)


    Thanks for sharing

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  25. You are right! Peas are often cast aside. They are super delicious..and yes, make a great ice pack! That dish you threw together sounds delicious by the way!

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  26. This is so timely as I just sauteed some Cascadian Farm frozen peas! I love them. When I use them in a "just me" meal I toss in some tuna and any leftover veggies and sautee in either coconut or walnut oil. I also like the plain Pea Protein (smoothie will require stevia and fruit or else it tastes like pancake mix).

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  27. Wish I could have joined you for dinner last weekend. Frozen peas get all kinds of respect at my house. My son has even been known to snack on them straight from the freezer. Can I pre-order your book now? So exciting!!

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  28. So happy for you and your book and of course I will buy it. :)

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  29. ahhh, according to these comments I will sell at least 10 LBT books, thanks Ayala.

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  30. Not to worry EA, while I hate selling, I will let readers know the second the Little Book of Thin is available or available to be available soon. If you joined me for my "just me" cooking there are a few requirements: sweatpants, slippers and "mom" music. You ok with that?

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  31. wow, your "just me' is just like my just me.

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  32. only an RD would say that, thanks Kristen you throw together far better things, this I know.

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  33. I love pea soup and it seems, from these comments, so do lots of others.

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  34. not sure about "ton" ameena, from your mouth (whatever the saying is). We like one of the same foods. Wow, it's been since buckthorn (a nice reader corrected my spelling) since we concurred. Eek leaving the city for some R & R.

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  35. they are "springy" so now it's the time. Thanks Andrea.

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