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My Take on Hoppin’ John and… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John

First of all, can you believe it’s 2012!? I hope you all had safe and happy celebrations. My sweetie and I spent the evening on the couch stuffing our faces and watching movies (BTW, Bad Teacher is hi-lar-i-ous!). We made a huuuuge feast just for the two of us (photos and recipes to follow later this week), kind of a last-chance holiday calorie-thon. From here on out we’re eating healthier. Granted, I (and him, mostly) already eat vegan which is pretty damn healthy, but I need to make some changes. But this isn’t your typical “OMG is January first I have to go on a diet!”, because I’m not a fan of those and I don’t think they’re good for you.

Nope, this is actually about my foot. Three and a half weeks ago I tripped over my pack of wild hyenas dogs and got myself a nasty little bone bruise on the ball of my right foot. (In case you’re wondering, a bone bruise consists of about a gazillion microscopic fractures on the surface of the bone. I’ve been told by more than a few people that they’re more painful than fractures or breaks!) I can’t stand or walk on it for more than a few minutes without pain, which obviously rules out any sort of running, hiking, aerobics or snowboarding- my usual forms of activity. You know, the forms of activity that allow me to stuff my face with pretty much whatever I want without packing on the pounds? And of course it happened during the holiday season full of tasty (fattening) treats, so I went ahead and started packing on the pounds. Sigh. I’ve been in a walking boot for over 2 weeks now which allows me to get around (and stand up long enough to cook!), but it doesn’t allow me to do anything really physical. The worst part is that I don’t know how long I’ll be in it, or in pain. Apparently bone bruises can take anywhere from a couple of days to 5 months or longer to heal! Sheesh! Okay, I’m done whining now πŸ™‚

This is my first year celebrating New Year’s Day with a bowl of Hoppin’ John, can you believe that? I’ve read about the tradition before, but I’ve just never tried it… which is weird because I tend to be a pretty superstitious person. I looked around at a couple of recipes, and the common theme seemed to be “put in whatever you like!”, so that’s what I did. Black-eyed peas of course, and rice and kale and  onions and tomatoes and peas and broccoli! I only had about 1 cup of cooked BEP’s, so I also added in a can of 3-bean salad, but you could use any beans you like- or stay traditional with just the peas! Another change I made? I sauteed the kale in a little bit of maple syrup, and later added some chili powder- I’ve really been digging on the sweet and spicy flavor combo lately!

Hoppin' John
Serves 4
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  1. 1 good-sized bunch of kale, chopped
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 1 T maple syrup
  4. ~3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (and/or your favorite beans)
  5. ~3 cups cooked rice
  6. 1 red bell pepper, diced as finely as you can get it
  7. 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  8. 1 cup broccoli florets, cooked (I used frozen)
  9. 1-2 T chili powder, to taste
  10. 1.5 t garlic powder
  11. 3/4 t sea salt
  12. 1 t black pepper
  13. 2 good-sized tomatoes, chopped
  14. Additional S&P to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, mix the maple syrup with enough water to cover the entire bottom of the pan. When it starts to bubble, add the kale and onions. Cover and stir occasionally until the kale is a nice bright green and onions are getting a little soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add in all your beans, your rice, the bell pepper, the peas and the broccoli. Mix well then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, making sure everything gets nice and warm.
  3. Add the tomatoes, then all the spices, and a few tablespoons of water if it's getting too dry (one side effect of not cooking with oil!). Taste-test and maybe add a little more chili powder... I ended up adding probably another teaspoon of sea salt, but that might be too much for anyone who's not a salt addict like myself.
  1. This isn't a precise recipe, so go ahead and put in what you have and what you like!
  2. Serves 4-6
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Heather January 2, 2012, 3:33 pm

    Kale + maple syrup = love!

    • Barb January 2, 2012, 4:41 pm

      It make me happy to hear that- out here in CO I get weird looks from people when I express my love for maple syrup on anything but pancakes! It must be our NH upbringing πŸ™‚ I could put maple syrup on just about anything… and you know it’s healthy, it comes from TREES!

  • Heather January 3, 2012, 1:23 pm

    If I could bathe in Maple Syrup I would! …actually I have in the form of a Maple Body Scrub at the Spa:-)

    I just nominated you for the Liebster Award, check it out!

    Happy New Year!

    • Barb January 4, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Why thank you! How will I narrow down my choices to just five!?

  • Hannah (BitterSweet) January 4, 2012, 12:01 pm

    That is hands-down the most fresh, colorful hoppin’ john I’ve ever seen! Much better than one could hope for when given the standard notion of “rice and beans”.

    Happy New Year!

    • Barb January 4, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Thanks! It’s hoppin’ john veggie-lovers style πŸ™‚

      Happy New Year to you too!

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