Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hoppin' John - my vegetarian version - Happy New Year!

I have made this dish on New Years Day for the past few years. This year, we went out for dinner on New Year's Day, so we had it tonight...the 2nd of January. Hoppin' John is a dish that is traditionally made on New Year's Day in some areas around the United States, and is thought to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year!

I usually serve it over brown rice, but I got a late start and decided to just have the main part of the dish. I think that it is delicious either way, with or without the rice. As an alternative, you could serve it with cornbread. We really like the Bob's Red Mill GF Cornbread Mix.

1 lb dried black-eyed peas
3 C water (may have to add more while the peas are cooking)
3-6 cloves of garlic (minced or sliced)
1 t salt
1 Lg. onion - sliced
1 large bunch of greens (collards, spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
black pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 C broth

Sort and rinse the black-eyed peas. It's really important not to skip this step when using dried beans and other legumes, to rinse off any contaminants and pull out any small rocks or other debris that gets mixed in during processing.

Place the rinsed peas in a large saucepan or stock pot with the 3 C of water and bring it to a boil. After it boils turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or so and then add in the garlic and the salt. Continue cooking for another 40 minutes or until the beans are getting tender. Check occasionally to see if you need to add more water.

Next you add the greens and onion. I used rainbow swiss chard this time, but have used many other greens and they are all good!

 Make sure to rinse the greens well and then slice or chop them into pieces. Slice or chop one large onion and add both the onion and the greens to the black-eyed peas. Add the broth now too. I used chicken broth (not vegetarian, I know, but it wasn't essential to me that the whole dish stay vegetarian. You could use vegetable broth if you want). My favorite broth is the Organic Better Than Bouillon in either chicken or beef, but they do have several vegetarian varieties as well. I usually buy it at my local Costco.

Your pot will probably seem quite full at this point, but do your best to stir in the greens and onions. Increase the heat to somewhere between low and medium and stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

The greens will cook down a lot over the next 15-30 minutes. Continue cooking  until the greens and onion are tender. Season to taste with black pepper and serve plain, over brown rice or with cornbread!

Happy eating, and a have a Happy and wonderful New Year!


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