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Hoppin’ John, a Healthy New Year’s Soul Food

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Ready to enjoy some hearty Southern soul food as you ring in the New Year?  Hoppin’ John is the simple rice and bean dish served as a Southern tradition on New Year’s Day to insure good luck in the year ahead. The black eyed peas symbolize coins and the greens take the place of the non-edible kind.  A coin might find it’s way into the pot or  under the dinner bowls for an extra dose of good fortune.

This dish is typically served with bacon, but all those nitrates contribute nothing to the promise of good luck, so try this tasty vegetarian version to ring in the New Year in healthy down-home style.  Cheers!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked for at least six hours or overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cube or 1 tsp. vegetable boullion
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic or 2 cloves crushed
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 2 strips tempeh bacon, chopped or Coconut Bacon
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large bunch dark leafy greens (collard,mustard, kale or cabbage), chopped
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Season with Tabasco or smoked paprika (optional)

Instructions:

Place black eyed peas into a large pot. Add 6 cups water, bouillon, onions, celery and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until black-eyed peas are tender but still whole, about 45 minutes. Add rice, tempeh bacon, peppers, greens, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot with Tabasco or smoked paprika on the side and enjoy.  Happy New Year!

 

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