In a medium saucepot, add the soaked black eyed peas, vegetable broth, onion, bell pepper, garlic, bayleaf, and optional tabasco. Bring to a boil, turn down to low or to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, uncovered. The peas should be tender with just a slight tooth, not mushy. Add the worcestershire, and liquid smoke. Taste for seasoning adjustment.
For the Collard Greens:
In a large stockpot, bring the broth, liquid smoke, tamari sauce, and garlic to a boil. Add the collard greens, stir throughly using tongs, lid the pot and cook on med-low for between 10-15 minutes. Stir the greens at least twice while they cook down and become tender. Their color will darken a bit too. Add the apple cider vinegar and pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste for seasoning adjustment (add salt if needed).
For the Grits:
In a medium saucepot bring water and salt to a boil. Turn down to low and whisk in the grits. Stir in the nutritional yeast. Cook on low, covered, for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. (if using cheese, stir in the cheese after cooking for 5 minutes). Grits can dry out pretty quick, so if you need, add a TBS of water at a time and stir in after they're done cooking.
To an individual serving bowl, add the peas, greens and grits arranged separately. Serve with jalapeños and/or tabasco and plenty of BBQ sauce for slathering
Store in individual lidded containers, refrigerated for up to two days.
*Slow cooked black eyed peas can be made the day of or the day prior to when they are needed. The quick cook (re: 45 minutes), will take a bit more 'cook' time for the entire dish, but you can prepare the other components of this recipe while the peas are cooking. **There is much debate on grits. I grew up eating white hominy corn grits (often quick cook). They are hard to find and I've read that some are 'bleached' to obtain the white color (and GMO issues). So I opt for a brand I trust (Bob's) who uses white corn. Polenta can be used instead with delicious results, although they do take longer to cook. Look for grits and/or polenta in the bulk section for a more economical selection.***I've made cheesy grits with nutritional yeast many times, although sometimes I use smoked provolone or pepper jack instead. Nutritional yeast is somewhat of an acquired taste, so if it's not preferred, leave it out and season with additional salt to taste.