“Eat poor that day, Eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace.” Southern saying on eating a bowl of Hoppin John for the New Year
Hoppin John is a New Year’s day meal made with rice, black-eyed peas, sausage or ham hocks and tomatoes.
Traditionally, this dish is served with a dime buried in it. Whoever finds the dime is assured good luck throughout the new year. For maximum good luck, Hoppin John should be the first thing eaten after the stroke of midnight. If it is served with collard greens you may, or may not get rich.
Many southern families toast the new year with a glass of champagne and a bowl of Hoppin John.
This year, I figured, I needed some good luck. So, I searched out some recipes and found this healthier version from Jenna at Eat. Live. Run.
I made this pretty much as she did, but I did add a couple of slices of chopped, cooked bacon, used a light mayo and cubed the cheese instead of shredding it on top. It was delicious. I will absolutely make this more than every New Year’s day. I think it will make a great addition to my brown bag lunches and looks healthy enough to get me into that bikini.
Give it a try. It’s real easy and real yummy.
1/2 lb. dried black eyed peas
1/2 c dry brown rice
6 green onions, sliced thin
2 slices bacon, chopped and cooked
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2 for relish)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 c. light mayo
2 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight. Pick out all the floaty yucky ones.
In the morning, drain and re-cover with cold water, about 2 inches over the beans. Simmer, with a cover slightly askew to let some steam out, for about an hour or until soft, but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
While the beans are cooking, cook the rice according to package, and fluff with a fork when done.
Combine the rice, peas, green onion, and tomato.
Cook the bacon. Don’t bother draining it, just scoop it out into the rice mixture with a slotted spoon and mix it in.
Add the cubed cheese.
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl combine the mayo, additional tomato and jalapeno.
Top a bowl with the mayo mixture and enjoy some good food and hopefully some good luck.
Happy New Year!