Prosperity for the New Year: Black-eyed peas


Recipes for Hoppin' John go way back, and there are variations on the theme in many cultures. Traditionally in the South, it is considered good luck to eat black-eyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread for prosperity in the new year.

Black-eyed peas represent the coins in your pocket.

Cabbage (or greens in general) represent dollars.

Cornbread represents gold.

Therefore, it's important to eat all three!

This New Year's Day, I put together my own take on Hoppin' John, pictured above. If you don't have time to whip up cornbread to serve with it, try adding corn to the dish. You don't want to miss out on the promise of a golden new year! 

Most recipes (including my grandmother's) call for a ham bone. I didn't have one handy and just left out meat all together. The Bragg's Liquid Aminos and Tabasco gave it the extra complexity it needed, and I didn't miss the ham at all.

It's probably not too late to have your new year's black-eyed peas--as long as you do so in the next week or two. Hopefully, there's a grace period for good luck. After that, eat it just because it’s so tasty… and healthy too!

See my recipe for classic Hoppin’ Johns with Pork, or try this healthy variation.


Adapted from my grandmother’s recipe


1 bunch kale, chopped and blanched

½ large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 T. olive oil

1 can or 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

2 cups cooked brown rice

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste

Tabasco to taste


Chop the kale into small pieces then put into boiling water. Turn water off and let sit for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.


Sauté onion in oil for a few minutes, then add garlic and peppers. Sauté until tender. Add blanched kale and a little more olive oil if necessary. Cook a few minutes then add peas and rice. Stir and heat through. Season to taste with liquid aminos (or salt) and Tabasco (or cayenne).


Serve with cornbread.

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© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™