Back when I was a kid and we'd have frozen vegetables, I could barely choke down the peas. They were so dry and nasty tasting. As an adult, I purchased frozen peas and was amazed to find them tender and sweet, practically on par with the sweet peas and mange-tout I could buy at the farmer's markets. Every now and then I would come across what I affectionately called 'gulag peas' in a dish at a Chinese restaurant for example. Peas that are so dry and nasty tasting that they could have been the food given prisoners in a prison camp. Peas that gave me an instant flashback to my gag-worthy frozen enemies from the seventies.
I purchased some frozen organic peas, and when I opened them I was surprised to find that they had much more in common with gulag peas than they did with the sweet peas more usually found in the frozen vegetable aisle of the super market.
Rather than serve them lightly sauteed with a little coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt, I realized bigger guns would be needed to bring out the virtue in these gulag peas.
The dish I came up with is savoury and tasty although still simple enough to appeal to my son who tends to eschew veggies that are jazzed up. Yes, I just can't get this kid to stop eating plain brassicas with just a little coconut oil and sea salt. No, I am not really complaining.
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
500 g frozen peas, defrosted
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
300 g frozen spinach, defrosted (or you can use fresh)
1. in a large saute pan, add the coconut oil, peas, and tomatoes
2. add some chili powder, sea salt, black pepper, and a pinch of granulated garlic (just a little, now)
3. simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. The moisture from the tomatoes will hopefully counteract the dryness of the peas ...
4. once the tomatoes are reduced, add the spinach, and stir well to combine. If using fresh, allow the spinach to wilt slightly and heat thoroughly. Do not over cook the spinach!
5. serve and enjoy