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Happy New Year Hoppin’ John

hoppin_johnNo matter how happy and fulfilled we are in our personal lives, its hard not to hope for a little something extra each time a new year rolls around.  Perhaps we’ll actually get that promotion at work, our significant other will stop beating around the bush and propose, or we’ll finally learn how to say no to that second plate of pasta.

And since there’s no harm in helping Lady Luck along, we’ve taken to eating a heaping bowl of Hoppin’ John on New Years Day.  This traditional southern specialty is thought to ensure 12 months filled with prosperity, owing to the inclusion of black-eyed peas (which look like coins) and hearty greens (the color of money).  Oh, and it also happens to be seriously delicious.  Talk about a double dose of good fortune!

Happy New Year Hoppin’ John
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 16-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 cups of diced, cooked ham
3 cups of trimmed and chopped greens, like collards or kale
1 32-ounce container of chicken broth
2 cups of cooked white rice
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add in onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic, and sautee over medium heat until vegetables are tender, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Stir in the peas, diced ham, greens, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover the pot, and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.  Stir in cooked rice, and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

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