If there is one thing that everyone can use a little more of in the year 2021, it is good luck. There is no doubt that 2020 was a rough year in nearly every way. While there are no guarantees, legend has it that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck and prosperity throughout the year. At this point, it sure cannot hurt!
What Are Black-Eyed Peas? These tiny legumes boast a creamy texture and neutral taste that blends well with other flavors. This makes black-eyed peas a versatile addition to any New Year’s Day meal. Black-eyed peas are particularly popular in the southern parts of the nation, served with rice as Hoppin’ John on January 1. People in the Caribbean also love to eat the peas mixed with rice and other flavors of the islands.Read More »
Here are six innovative ways that you can prepare this legume on New Year’s Day to hopefully bring a dash of luck to your side as you head into 2021.
Classic New Year’s Hoppin’ John: The most traditional way to prepare the black-eyed peas is with rice alongside a pork product for extra flavoring. Popular choices include bacon, pork shoulder, or ham bones. The traditional New Year’s Day meal also includes some type of collard or turnip greens and a side of cornbread. While the peas symbolize prosperity, the greens represent money, and the cornbread stands for gold. What have you got to lose?
Texas Cowboy Caviar: Bursting with colorful veggies and intense layers of flavoring, Texas cowboy caviar is a great way to consume your black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This fun appetizer will appeal to a variety of taste buds. Along with the black-eyed peas, the dip includes ingredients such as avocado, white corn, green and red pepper, roma tomatoes, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic, and more. Serve this dip alongside tortilla chips or toasted crostini.
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing: While the black-eyed peas do not have a starring role in this hearty salad, their addition balances the intense flavor of the tasty hot bacon dressing. This salad also packs a big nutritional punch with the leafy greens, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Use this salad as a starter for your New Year’s Day feast if you do not feel like making the black-eyes peas the centerpiece of your meal.
Black-eyed Pea Gumbo:This quintessential southern dish adds black-eyed peas for an interesting twist on classic gumbo. In addition to the black-eyed peas, the gumbo includes an array of vegetables and brown rice, making it a healthy dish to start your new year off right. While the original recipe is vegetarian, feel free to add ham or sausage for the meat lovers in your family. Serve this hearty gumbo dish with a fresh green salad and rolls or cornbread.
Shrimp and Hoppin’ John Salad: For a different take on Hoppin’ John, try this salad that is packed with plump shrimp and lemon flavor. This dish will make a great addition to your New Year’s Day buffet table as either a main entree or a side dish. The salad combines the traditional ingredients of Hoppin’ John’s rice and black-eyed peas and adds shrimp for an added dose of protein. The basil, lemon juice, jalapeno, and parsley combine to deliver a fresh and bold taste to this classic dish.
Greek-style Black-eyed Peas: This Greek spin on black-eyed peas is an easy one-pot meal if you do not have a lot of time to slave in the kitchen on New Year’s Day. Bold Greek spices balance the crisp and clean flavors of the fresh herbs and citrus to deliver a nuanced dish. Once the peas have been soaked and prepared, the dish will only take approximately 30 minutes to bring together. Serve this stew with a Greek salad and pita bread to complete the Mediterranean meal.
Note that you can use canned black-eyed peas for all of these recipes if you do not have time to soak the peas overnight. While they should ideally soak overnight, you may find that six hours is sufficient.
It does not matter how you decide to consume your black-eyed peas as long as you get them in some form on New Year’s Day. In addition to bringing good luck, these legumes are a healthy way to start off 2021. Black-eyed peas are flush with an abundance of nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin A, zinc, fiber, and folate. There is no reason to skip this fun tradition this New Year’s Day.
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