Let your first meal of the New Year be filled with foods that are said to bring good luck.
Commonly consumed in the Southern United States, Hoppin’ John is centered around black-eyed peas, which symbolize coins and are thought to bring prosperity. The black-eyed pea, a legume and subspecies of the cowpea, provides various vitamins and minerals. These beans are a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate and Manganese, and are a good source of Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein and Thiamin (source).
This recipe, which I like to call Smoky Hoppin’ Jane, is healthier than the original but without sacrificing flavor. Traditionally served alongside greens, this dish is enhanced with the addition of collards, which symbolize dollars due to their green leaves. If that doesn’t provide enough luck and prosperity for you, serve with a piece of cornbread, and this Hoppin’ Jane will be the perfect New Year’s meal.
Smoky Hoppin’ Jane
1 cup uncooked black-eyed peas
3 cups water
2 bunches fresh collard greens, rinsed well
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white onion, chopped
8-10 slices tofaken, chopped (recipe here)
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
¼ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 cups steamed brown rice
Soak black-eyed peas in 3 cups water overnight or during the day for 12-14 hours. Drain and rinse peas.
Meanwhile, rinse collard greens thoroughly and discard any wilted or discolored pieces. Tear the leaves away from their rigid stems and squeeze to remove excess water. Stack leaves on top of each other and roll into a log. Slice into ½-inch strips.
Place greens in a large pot along with soaked peas, vegetable broth, onion, tofaken, bay leaf, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes, or until beans are tender. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Serve over rice.