Monday, December 31, 2012

Luck for the New Year

Tradition has it that some foods are considered lucky, especially when consumed on the first day of the new year.  Legumes (beans) represent coins and greens, like kale and collards, represent paper money.  Considering that these foods are really healthy anyway, eating them on New Year's Day seems like a good way to begin the new year.

This evening, on the eve of the new year, I've made a pot of black eyed peas.  I made them today because soups, stews, and beans always taste better the next day. 

Some notes about the recipe:

If you like your beans spicy, you can use a spicier sausage, like andouille sausage in place of the kielbasa.  Ham is good too, as is the broth from simmering a ham bone, which would be an acceptable substitution for the chicken broth.

I think it gives a great flavor boost to these beans, but I've only used 2 tablespoons here because nobody else in my family likes peppers.  So I just sneak in a little bit for flavor and leave the pieces big enough that they can be easily picked out by those who choose to do so.  If your family likes bell peppers, feel free to add more.  The remaining bell pepper can be frozen for later use.

I'll be adding the minced kale tomorrow when I heat up the black eyed peas for dinner.  Leafy greens are also not a big favorite with my family, so that's why I've only used a little bit.  Feel free to use more if you like.

Black Eyed Peas (Hoppin' John)
1 pound dried black eyed peas
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons diced bell pepper
½ pound polska kielbasa, diced
4 cups chicken broth
pinch ground cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup minced kale

Cook beans, drain, and set aside. Saute onion and pepper until onions are translucent. Add kielbasa and continue cooking until onions are beginning to caramelize and kielbasa is lightly browned. Add chicken broth and cooked beans. Simmer for about 1 hour and season to taste. Stir in kale and simmer for 10 minutes. Optional: to thicken, mash some of the beans or use an immersion blender. Serve over rice.

Printable Version

Wishing each of you a happy and healthy new year.


Linked with the Hearth and Soul Recipe Hop


  1. I like the addition of the sausage and peppers to your black eyed peas. This is a lovely version of Hoppin' John. Happy New Year!

  2. I also make Hoppin' John. Your recipe sounds delicious - I bet the sausage adds quite a bit of flavor!