Cajun Black-Eyed Peas _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Use your slow cooker to prepare Cajun Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Day.

For those of us who enjoy a traditional New Year’s dinner, there are some great recipe variations of the typical pork, cabbage and black-eyed peas dinner.

It’s also one of the days when my slow cookers are very busy, starting with the pork roast.

This year, one of them will be cooking a Cajun version of black-eyed peas.

Definitely soak the peas overnight to prepare them for their time in the slow cooker. Instead of the salted pork I typically use, andouille is a nice touch to bring out the flavor and add Cajun flair.

I am often asked why I do not typically add much or any salt to many of my recipes. The reason is that many ingredients, especially the canned ones, often have a lot of salt already sin them. I leave it to the cook to use or increase salt as a personal choice. With the andouille or the salted pork to season the beans, it may be enough for some. Others may like added salt.

In the meantime, enjoy the football games, the company, the family and the food. May you have health and happiness in the coming year.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at