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One of the most delicious of Southern dishes should not be eaten only on New Year’s Day. Hoppin’ John is for any day!
Hoppin’ John is listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. She says that the foods she lists in her book are the tastes that every food lover should experience or dream about.
I am 24 foods in, and this is my #25 food. After 25 foods, I absolutely trust the judgment of Ms. Sheraton and am on a quest to try each and every one of these foods.
Why Do We Eat Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day?
Hoppin’ John is traditionally eaten in the South on New Year’s Day. The dish includes the essential black eyed peas, rice, a pork product, and diced onion. This version includes collard greens, and the result is pure deliciousness!!!
This dish is normally eaten on New Year’s Day in the South, as it is typically thought that you will experience prosperity and luck through the year by consuming this dish on that day. The peas symbolize prosperity, as they swell when they cook, and I also read that they are symbolic of coins. The pork is symbolic of moving forward and positive motion, as pigs forage by moving forward. The green collards are the same color as American currency, so symbolize wealth and money. Cornbread very often accompanies this meal, and as it is the color of gold it further adds to the symbolism of wealth and prosperity.
What Exactly Are Black Eyed Peas?
Black eyed peas are legumes, and a subspecies of the cowpea. The most common variety in the US is the California Blackeye. This variety has a black spot. I have read that the color of the eye can actually vary (red, pink, or green eyes!), and there are actually many varieties of the black eyed pea, some of which are heirloom varieties.
The black eyed peas are a bean, and have some great health benefits! They are rich in dietary fiber, a good source of protein, and are a source for Vitamin A and B Vitamins. For details please see this article “5 Powerful Health Benefits of Black-eyed Peas.”
Super Quick and Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe!
I am soooo grateful to Rosie from I Heart Recipes for allowing me to showcase her Hoppin’ John recipe for this post! I first made her Hoppin’ John this past New Year’s Day. We had just come back from a few days away and I desperately wanted Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Day but I was tired from the drive home and didn’t have hours to spend in the kitchen that night.
Thank goodness I came across Rosie’s recipe for Hoppin’ John! You can’t believe how quick, how easy, and how absolutely delicious her recipe is! She uses canned black eyed peas to keep things simple, and frozen collard greens. The only other ingredients are bacon, onion, cooked rice, and some spices and you can have this delicious taste of the South on your dinner table in about 35 minutes!
I love it so very much that I eat it on days other than New Year’s Day…maybe that will bring me even more prosperity? 🙂
1,000 Foods to Eat Project
Please follow along with me on this quest to try the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, from the book by Mimi Sheraton! Join me in this journey and discover new foods, experiences, and cuisines which I hope will add inspiration, fun, and joy to your life! For a list of the foods tried so far visit the 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page.
Hoppin’ John is #25 on my list of foods to try. 25 down, 975 to go!
If you’d like to follow along and be a part of the 1,000 Foods Project, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It’s an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here. 🙂
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or suggestions I would be honored if you would share them below!
- 1/4 lb bacon cut
- 1.5 cup cooked white rice
- 2 cups collard greens frozen
- 15 oz black eyed peas canned, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 1 tbsp salt free seasoning or 1 tsp seasoning salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Place the bacon into a large skillet, and fry it over medium heat.
- Once the bacon starts to brown (do not drain the bacon grease), add in the collard greens.
- Cook until the collards are tender, then add in the onions.
- Sprinkle in the seasonings.
- Next add in rice, and fold in.
- Toss in the black eyed peas, and carefully fold everything until well combined.
- Serve and enjoy!