Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Day Hoppin' John

Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 proves to be a much better year than 2012. I lost my Mom in January 2012, and just a few weeks ago there was the unimaginable Connecticut school situation in the town next to where I grew up.

A few days ago when I was shopping at Whole Foods, my friend Michelle, who does food demonstrations, had samples of a vegan "Hoppin' John", a traditional New Year's Day dish served in the South. Here is the recipe that she used to serve 4-6:


  • 2c dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1t dried thyme
  • 1c uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 strips tempeh "bacon", chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • (optional) hot sauce
  1. Rinse then soak black-eyed peas for six hours or overnight; discard peas that float
  2. Drain peas, rinse, and put in a large stock pot with six cups of fresh water, the onion, and the thyme; bring to a boil
  3. Cover and simmer on low-medium heat till the black-eyed peas are tender but still whole (I found that 20-25 minutes was enough, but the recipe suggests 45 minutes may be needed)
  4. Add rice (I used Madagascar pink), tempeh, peppers, cayenne (I skipped this because of my daughter), salt, and pepper (I also added kale and carrot, as below)
  5. Cover and simmer till rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes
  6. Season with hot sauce, if desired (I did in individual servings at the table - goes very well with the dish), and serve in bowls

I followed the recipe, using half quantities for my wife, daughter, and Dad (who is visiting us for a few weeks). Instead of tempeh bacon, I used about a fifth of a block of regular tempeh with flaxseed; I first sauteed it, but really didn't need to and shouldn't have so that this would be a no-added-fat dinner. I also added about 5 kale leaves, roughly hand chopped, and a small chopped carrot. It was delicious!


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