Hoppin’ John — A Southern Tradition for a Happy New Year!

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy 2019!

To start the year off right, this guest post comes to us from Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC, a registered dietitian who works as a health and communications coach. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Sonja loves sharing southern food traditions.

Sonja originally shared this recipe with me several years ago, and it was a popular post. So here it is again — it is a delicious dish and is believed to bring good luck for the New Year.

 

Cooking for Some Luck in the New Year!

By Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC

As food traditions go, my southern family is much like the rest of America. We had corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, hamburgers and hotdogs on Fourth of July, and turkey on Thanksgiving. However, our New Year’s Day meal would not be complete unless we had Hoppin’ John – a dish containing black-eye peas, chopped onions, rice and bacon.

Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is a southern tradition

Eating it on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a year filled with good luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins. Greens such as collards, mustard greens, chard, kale, or cabbage are prepared to go with Hoppin’ John, as the greens represent currency and are supposed to add to one’s wealth. Cornbread is also served as its golden color symbolizes gold.

Over the years, chefs have created many variations of the traditional Hoppin’ John dish.  Despite the many variations in preparing this southern tradition, I wouldn’t dream of starting my New Year without black-eyed peas and greens – for fear I would have a little less jingle in my pocket and a little less green in my wallet in the upcoming year.

Barbara Spalding RDN Culinary Dietitian

Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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Print Recipe
Hoppin' John and Black Eye Peas -- Happy New Year!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Place black-eye peas in a large saucepan, and add water (just enough to cover the peas). Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15- 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Separately in a medium saucepan bring water to a boil and stir in the rice. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rice is done.
  3. While the black-eye peas and rice are cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, reserving the drippings in skillet. When it is cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon and set aside.
  4. Sauté the onion and bell pepper in the bacon drippings left in the skillet over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Add peas to the vegetable mixture, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. When the rice is cooked, gently fold the black-eye peas and vegetables mixture into the rice.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
  8. Add hot sauce, if desired.
  9. Serve with lightly steamed collard greens (can substitute other leafy green vegetables such as mustard greens, chard, cabbage or kale).
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per serving:  420 calories;  9 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat;  15 mg cholesterol;  750 mg sodium;  69 grams carbohydrate;   8 grams dietary fiber;  17 grams protein (values are approximate).

If you are looking for a lower calorie option to help bring some good luck in the New Year, try making Black-eye Pea Salad as an alternative to Hoppin' John...

 

Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC is a registered dietitian who works as a health and communications coach. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, she loves sharing southern food traditions.  In her practice, Sonja coaches her clients to make small steps to reach goals, believing that consistent small steps over time will result in sustainable, positive outcomes.  Find Sonja at www.effectiveconnecting.com.

 

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