I am not superstitious at all; however, I heart black eyed peas in a big way.  And, I love the fact they have their own holiday…New Years! Whoop whoop!

I made this last year and loved it. Soooo, I am making it again! My once-a-year recipe. Yum yum.  

The original recipe can be found here from the Recipe Girl. I changed it up a little to suit my taste buds. The main thing I did different was switch out the spinach for cilantro. So, if you are a spinach lover, check out the original recipe. 

First, get the bacon going. The recipe only calls for 5 slices but I used most of the package. You can use as much as your kids don’t eat while you are cooking it. Save the bacon grease for sauteing the onions and garlic.

While the bacon is sizzling, chop your onion and garlic and get it ready to saute. If you choose to cook your bacon in the oven, you can certainly saute your onions in oil or butter. (We will talk about my butter addiction at another time.)
While the bacon is cooling and the onions are cooking, gather up your rice, broth and spices. This recipe calls for cumin, salt and pepper. If you like stuff hot (I do not), you could easily add some cayenne pepper or chili powder. Even though this recipe includes Rotel, it is not spicy. 

After the onions and garlic are done (clear in color and soft), use a handy strainer like this and drain the last of the bacon grease. 

Put your broth, spices, rice and onion mixture into a pot and bring to a boil. Then, turn your burner down and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is gone. Leave a little liquid to include while baking. 

Now, let me detour for just a minute. Look what I bought myself for Christmas.

Aren’t they cute? They have chickens on the top. I thought they were addddddorable. I loved them so much I even gave some away for Christmas presents. You can find them here at Amazon. They come in all different themes. I originally saw them over at Fresh Eggs Daily.

Now, back to the recipe at hand!

While the rice is cooking, get out your favorite bowl. (Cooking with your favorite items makes cooking more fun. My mom gave me this bowl for Christmas.)  Start piling in the remainder of the ingredients: black eyed peas, rotel, cilantro, and one cup of the cheese.  Chop up the bacon into bite size pieces and include those as well.

Isn’t it pretty? Mix it around with your favorite spoon. I like wooden spoons. They make me happy. 

Next, dig through your fridge and find your  9×13 dish still half full of left-overs. Dump the left overs into the dog bowl. They will love you forever, I promise. Now, wash that pan and hurry up, we got cooking to do!   
Dump everything into the clean 9×13 pan. Put it in the over for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. (Set the timer! Don’t trust your multitasking brain to remember!) Once the timer goes off, add the last cup of cheese and bake for 10 more minutes. 
Look how lovely. All those wonderful mexican flavors nestled in close with the black eyed peas. They look cozy yeah? 

If you also love avocados like I do, you will want to top this off with one and some sour cream. These two items are not required, but I want to recommend you not eat it without them. 😉 I’m just sayin…  I also ate mine with chips. It was a whole meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe I found over at the Recipe Girl. She has lots of yummy stuff on her page.  Happy eating.

2 cans of black eyed peas (or you can make your own as in the original recipe)
1 can (10oz) of rotel (tomatoes and green chilies)
5 slices of bacon (or more if you like)
1 cup chopped onion 
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup of rice (any kind) 
2 cups cheese – divided 
1/2 a bundle of cilantro (the original called for spinach)
Sour Cream and Avocado for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Cook bacon until crisp. Cool and chop. 
3. Chop onions and mince garlic. Saute in bacon grease until clear. 
4. Combine broth, rice, onion/garlic mixture and cumin, salt, pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done. 
5. In a separate bowl, combine peas, rotel, bacon, chopped cilantro and one cup of cheese. Stir it together. 
6. Combined cooked rice mixture with pea mixture and stir. 
7. Pour mixture into 9×13 dish and back for 20 minutes uncovered. Then, put the remaining one cup of cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 
8. Remove from oven. Serve hot with avocado and sour cream.