In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas or Hoppin' John (a traditional soul food) on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year. ... Stories say peas and salted pork were said to have been left untouched, because of the belief that they were animal food unfit for human consumption. For the New Year's good fortune, a plate of black-eyed peas or other beans is considered auspicious, auguring wealth and prosperity. The peas are traditionally eaten on the first day of the year. Adding cooked greens (the color of money) is said to make them even luckier, but in this recipe I've used green chilies and celery, not only for the green effect, but for flavor as well.
I first learned how to correctly prepare Hoppin' John back in 1993 when I purchased a recipe book, a collection of Southern-inspired and soul food recipes in honor of Dr. Dorothy I Height and The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. The national book tour was promoted by Nordstrom clothing retailer and drew thousands of people daily. I was fortunate enough to have met Dr. Height, a personal hero of mine, and have her autograph my book. It was a moment I would never forget. Learn more about Dr. Dorothy I Height here.
While the recipe in the book required bacon and other fats such as Crisco or lard, I have modified the recipe to make it more vegan-friendly and other ingredients to provide the hickory smoked flavor. The traditional Hoppin' John recipe is served with rice, but I have opted for red quinoa which tasted just as good. You may serve this dish with rice, brown or wild rice recommended, but those of us with grain sensitivities, quinoa makes a healthy companion.
I hope you try this wonderfully delicious recipe and if you do, drop a comment here .
Happy New Year and CHEERS to your Wellness!
Vegan Hoppin' John
Author| Regina Thomas Dillard
16 oz. Frozen Blackeyes Peas
4 Tbsp. Grapeseen Oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced (sub. 1/2 Fennel bulk, diced)
32 oz. Vegetable Broth
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
14.5 oz. Fire-roasted tomatoes with chilies, canned (sub. 6-7 Roma tomatoes chopped + 1/2 green chili, seeded, diced)
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
In a stewing pot, heat oil. Add garlic, stirring to avoid burning. Cook for 1 minute. Add onions and celery. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in tomato paste, thyme, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper and bay leaves. Combine ingredients gently avoiding breaking bay leaves, as you will remove later. Cook for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid and cook until blackeyed peas are tender, approximately 1 hour.
2 cups Quinoa
4 cups Water
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
In a medium pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with lid. Cook until all water has been absorbed into quinoa and tender. Approximately 20 minutes.
Serve Hoppin' John with Cornbread
Regina Thomas Dillard is the author of "FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love", and founder of Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a business dedicated to assist others as they embark on their holistic journey. All products are handmade and sourced from reputable organic and natural ingredients purveyors.