Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Vegan Hoppin' John



It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I learned the delicious tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck and prosperity. Seeing as I like to celebrate everything with food, it was a tradition I adopted, oh, immediately. 

The tradition is different depending on where you are or what you read. In some cases, I've heard that you have to eat the black eyed peas right after the clock strikes midnight; in others, any time on New Year's Day will suffice. For the best luck, you should aim to eat 365 peas, though I cannot claim to be nearly that precise. You can also eat greens (collards are the best) to represent paper money (the peas represent coins) and cornbread to represent gold. 

Personally, I feel that there is one excellent way to eat your black eyed peas, and that is to make them delicious. This year, I decided to go with a vegan Hoppin' John recipe, which I found on the Whole Foods website. It was really easy to make and smelled delicious on the stove, but it was - unfortunately - a little bland. I made a few changes, and will make a few more next time I need some luck and money (AKA every.single.day). Overall, though, the dish was pretty good - warm and filling, and full of black eyed peas and collard greens - and was even better when we crumbled skilled cornbread on top. 

Vegan Hoppin' John 
(adapted from Whole Foods but with a few changes to kick the flavor up a notch) 

You will need: 
2 14 oz cans black eyed peas
7 cups of vegetable broth 
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup uncooked brown rice
7 strips of tempeh bacon
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped collard greens
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
Combine vegetable broth, black eyed peas, onion, and thyme in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

Add rice, tempeh bacon, peppers, chili powder, collard greens, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with hunks of skillet cornbread from Veganomicon, which is the greatest cookbook ever. Get ready to enjoy good luck and lots of money in the new year. Power of positive thinking, y'all. 

10 comments:

  1. This sounds great and seems like it comes together quickly and easily. I'll have to try it soon!

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    1. It's definitely quick and easy! Just needs more flavor.

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  2. Growing up we always had this meal on NYD. Then when Eric and I started dating and I mentioned this he looked at me like I was crazy. I had never realized how regional it really was!

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    1. I love that it's so regional! It's nice to be reminded that the USA isn't as homogenized as it sometimes appears.

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  3. Yum! This sounds delicious. I've heard of this meal being a tradition on NYE but I've never tried it before. Next year! :)

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    1. Definitely give it a try! It's nice to have a special dish to make on New Year's Day. Makes it feel more festive!

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  4. Mmm, this sounds promising. I might sub soyrizo for the tempeh bacon. Beans-n-rice dishes are among my favorites--peasanty food at its best :-)

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    1. I think soyrizo would be a really nice addition - it would definitely help in the spice/flavor department. And yes - peasant food is my favorite too!

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  5. Needs liquid smoke, some veggie bouillon, and a bay leaf! It has taken me a ton of experimenting to capture the southern flavor that meat adds to things like beans and greens while keeping it vegetarian. :)

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    1. Ha! I should have known you'd be the one to offer a solution. :) I will try your tips and see what happens. Hopefully something delicious!

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