Salad – Southern Black-eyed pea salad

Mountain Climbing Update
Well, my New Year’s resolution to climb a mountain may be back on. The original ill-conceived plan was to go out to Colorado for a visit and climbing expedition in May. But then my older brother and sis-in-law warned me that it would be more like climbing through a snow-capped glacier than a mountain because of the crazy amount of snow the mountains got this year.

So…I sort of got sidetracked and figured this could be my year to drop some weight, and then refocus efforts next summer. But then when my brother heard that we were going to vacation in Glenwood Springs, he suggested we try Mt. Sopris. It’s not a 14er (which means it’s above 14,000 feet), but it’s still just under 13,000!

Even though Jacob would scoff at the need for assistance, my brother has said that while he thinks I could do it, someone experienced should go with us. So we’ll see if my nephew, sister-in-law, or brother can make it. If not, Jacob and I hiked up to Hanging Lake last summer and I would gladly do that again. The views are stunning. The hike was taxing because of the already high elevation for this low-lander, and because the hike went up about 1,000 feet. But I made it with Jacob’s encouragement.

There are moments when I wonder if I’ll ever be the athlete I wish I could be. I hope so. I mean, I don’t ever hope to be some iron woman, but maybe run a 5K someday? Climb a mountain? At least go to REI and buy some stuff?

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on the climbing front. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to “run” more lately. I put it in quotation marks because Jacob says it’s basically fast walking. But today I clocked my fastest mile in a long time–just over 11 minutes. I wish I could say it was 6 1/2 or some incredible number, but it’s not. That’s just where I am today, though, and I’ll take it since it’s faster than I was a month ago.

Southern Black-eyed Pea Salad
Well, this ended up being a lot different from what I expected! I was sort of expecting a red pepper/bean/olive oil/basil-y dish. But Rhonda Z.’s fantastic recipe ended up bursting with summer flavor in a very unique way.

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I started by cooking the black-eyed peas for about 15 minutes. I bought a refrigerated package, so I didn’t have to soak them.

Meanwhile, I prepared the dressing, which is made of sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some seasonings, and salt and pepper.

Then I chopped green onion and red pepper. Since I was serving this for lunch the next day, I prepared the greens, red pepper, and onion, and put them in a plastic bag. Then I added the cooked, cooled beans to the dressing. When it’s time to serve, I’ll just add the dressed beans to the greens, and it will all come together.

Here’s the dressing.

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And here’s how it looked all finished. Yum, eh?

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