If you’ll be ringing in the new year at home, then why not take your taste buds on an adventure down South with our spin on a traditional New Year’s Day recipe, Hoppin’ John?
Fun Fact #1: Traditionally, particularly in the Southern United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring good fortune to those who eat them on New Year’s Day. It has long been said that eating “beans and greens,” which symbolize coins and paper money, respectively, brings humility, good fortune, and great monetary gain. Along with cornbread, another staple in the Southern diet, the following phrase was coined (no pun intended): “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.”
Black-eyed peas are the key ingredient in this recipe, and while they may not make you want to get up and dance like the band that goes by the same name, they may bring you prosperity in the new year.
Fun Fact #2: Although called a pea, black-eyed peas are technically a bean, and along with peas, lentils, other beans, and peanuts, black-eyed peas are members of the legume family. While small in size, these beans are versatile; they are a great addition to soups and stews, and they can even be served as a standalone side dish. Black-eyed peas are packed with protein, potassium, iron, and fiber, and they are low in calories and fat too.
The traditional Hoppin’ John dish is made with rice, which you are more than welcome to add, but we included kale and other vegetables to make this even more nutrient-dense while being more carb- and calorie-conscious. Overall, this recipe is a nutrient powerhouse, and it’s delicious to boot!
Hoppin’ John Recipe
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
- 1 pound pork neck bones
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- Place black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and set aside. (If you’re short on time, you can substitute canned or frozen black-eyed peas.)
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook pork necks and bacon in until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. (Note: A Dutch oven is just a fancy name for a heavy-duty pot with a tight-fitting lid.)
- Stir in onion, celery, and carrot; cook and stir until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Pour cold water and black-eyed peas into pork mixture; turn up heat to high.
- Stir in bay leaf, thyme, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and salt. Simmer uncovered until beans are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Remove neck bones from mixture; separate any meat from bones, return meat to Dutch oven, and discard bones.
- Stir in kale; cook until greens are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Enjoy! (Optional: Serve over rice.)
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories 86
- Total Fat 3g
- Total Carbohydrates 11g
- Dietary Fiber 2.5g
- Protein 5g
Each 1-cup serving is good source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, promotes digestive health and regularity, and enhances weight loss. Each serving is also a good source of protein, which also increases satiety (feeling full and satisfied), increases calorie burn, and helps with weight management. One cup is also packed with magnesium (an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions and biological processes), thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin A, and vitamin C.