Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you are having a productive week.

My family traditionally celebrated New Year’s Day by eating soul food dishes such as collard greens and ham hocks, pig’s feet, chitterlings (basically pig intestines) and hoppin’ john or some other dish with black-eyed peas. These dishes were supposed to bring good luck in the New Year, but I wasn’t convinced. I usually avoided eating most of these dishes growing up since they looked disgusting and unappetizing. As I matured, I began to appreciate the history and ingenuity behind these dishes.

I wanted to have something traditional on New Year’s Day without the use of animal products, so I decided to cook my not precise version of Hoppin’ John (i.e. (Not) Hoppin’ John). The dish traditionally features (overcooked) collard greens, black-eyed peas and white rice in a salt pork-seasoned soup. I substituted kale and cabbage for the collards and brown rice for white. I sauteed rather than stewed the ingredients. I added shishito pepper for some zest as well as some celery and herbs.

I have to say that I was very pleased with the results. It tastes great and it filled me up quickly. I felt connected to the traditions of my family without sacrificing calories.

This is a quick, easy and nutritious dish that you could make for yourself after a long day at work.

Please note that the instructions are for one serving in a bowl. If you are cooking for more people, please adjust the quantities accordingly.

(Not) Hoppin’ John

Ingredients

1 cup black-eyed peas, either pre-cooked dry or canned

1 cup brown rice (optional)

3 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

¼ onion, chopped

1 shishito pepper (or another type of pepper of your choice), minced

1 garlic clove

2 -3 cups of leafy greens (kale, collard, swiss chard) and/or cabbage

pinch of chili pepper

dried rosemary and thyme to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp chopped celery

sprig of parsley (optional)

Instructions

If you’re using canned beans, rinse and drain the beans in a colander. Put aside.

If you are cooking the dry beans, prepare according to the instructions on the package. Rinse, drain and put aside.

Preheat skillet with the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and celery. Sautee until the onion is clear.

Add the shishito pepper, dried herbs, chili pepper and black pepper. Continue sauteeing for 2 minutes.

Add the apple cider vinegar, greens and salt. Continue sauteeing for approximately 2 minutes.

Add the black-eyed peas. Continue sauteeing until the greens are tender.

Add the rice. After a couple of minutes, reduce the heat and grate the garlic clove over the dish.

Allow to simmer another minute, then shut off the heat. Serve in a bowl with parsley leaves on top.

You could make a variation of this dish by replacing the rice with another grain, such as farro or quinoa, or by eliminating the grain altogether. You could also keep with tradition and make a soup with the ingredients (without the pork parts, of course).

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Thanks for visiting!

Spinster Simone 🙂

 

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