Eeeeeeee it’s New Years Eve!!! How fun. Actually who am I kidding, I’ll probably go to bed at 10:30 like always….but it’ll be 2017 SOMEWHERE already at least, amirite??
So Hoppin’ John is something I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about lately, because it’s a traditional New Years Day meal that you’re supposed to eat for a few things: luck, prosperity and romance. And who couldn’t use most of those things?
I’m pretty much a 50% superstitious person. I generally don’t get all wigged out if I miss a superstitious thing…like I don’t mind if a black cat crosses my path (awwww!!!) or I walk under a ladder…but I do believe in the Law of Attraction. So if you really focus on something, you make it yours eventually.
Which is why, this year, I chose to embrace this particular tradition…because prosperity is in my sights and I’d never be upset with some extra luck and romance to go along with it! :D HA!
Not to mention that this stew is one of the creamiest, most comforting soups around…perfect for this time of year.
What’s Hoppin’ John?
Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern dish, eaten on New Years Day, that is meant to bring prosperity and luck. It is believed that eating a combination of the foods in the dish will create abundance in your life for the year to come. It’s unclear, historically, why it’s called Hoppin’ John, but it’s fun to say, so let’s just stick with that.
Why Are the Black-Eyed Peas Lucky?
There are a few schools of thought on Black-Eyed Peas on New Years:
- If you put 3 peas on your plate and eat them, they symbolize the luck, prosperity and love for the coming year.
- If you count the number of peas in your serving of food, that will represent the amount of luck or prosperity that will come your way.
- Black-eyed peas grow in size when they are cooked, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.
- If you eat black-eyed peas along with greens, rice and pork, you get even more abundance. See below why!
Why Are the Greens Lucky?
So the greens in the dish are meant to represent the money part of the equation. They resemble green dollar bills (well, American currency at least:), and we could all use a little more dough, I’d say.
The interesting part of this to me, is that as a Nutritarian, the greens also promote health and well-being, as we all know. So eating the greens ensures a whole lot more goodness than just money.
But when eating this dish on New Years Day, feel free to just visualize ceiling-high stacks of loot, yo! :D
Why is the Pork Lucky?
Pork is said to be lucky because pigs root forward when they are foraging for food, making sure we will look forward to the good to come.
I’m gonna forgo this part and modify by adding in a couple other lucky vegan items to double-up on the cruelty-free luck. :) HA!
Why is the Rice Lucky?
And here’s where it all gets foggy: I didn’t see much information on why the rice is lucky, but here is my take on it: it you get too caught up in the good luck and bad luck (for example having to eat exactly 365 peas to be lucky) then you’ve just taken it too far.
That’s where I depart from the superstition angle on these traditions, and lean more towards the Law of Attraction.
To me, you should eat this dish as a means of thinking about what you want for the coming year and thus, inviting it in…not worrying that if you skip a tiny, arbitrary rule someone probably just made up in their mind one year, that you are dooming your whole year.
After all, what happens to us in the coming year is largely dependent on the work we put in.
So let’s focus on all the good coming our way…and then make it happen. :)
The Vegan Version
So the original recipe for Hoppin’ John calls for an equal combination (by weight) of bacon, peas and rice. Real Southern comfort food, if you ask me. But nowadays, and in this household, we tend to try to skew towards healthy in all we do, so that’s why I adapted this recipe to be vegan…and Nutritarian!
It results in the most creamy, delicious stew…that’s so comforting and perfect to ring in the New Year.
Kale and Polenta Cakes
To this recipe, I have added kale so that I can make sure to get that “greens=money” superstition covered. But I’ve also read that cornbread is traditionally served with it, because it looks like gold…so polenta cakes will be my substitute there, because, man, do they look like gold coins…and to tell you the truth, that’s all I had at home :P
Not only will you be inviting massive loads of luck, prosperity and romance into your life, but you will be inviting happy-body-digestion-and-nutrition-things as well…setting you up for a year of fantastic choices from the beginning.
Consider having your Vegan Hoppin’ John for breakfast…to start off right from the very first meal. :D
Using the Instant Pot
So I used my Instant Pot for the first time to make this recipe and I absolutely loved it. I just bought it over Black Friday and haven’t used it until now and I gotta say, it was a fantastic purchase. I’ve heard so many people rave about using Instant Pots, and now I’m hooked…
I can totally see what convenience it will bring to my Nutritarian cooking: you just throw the ingredients in, and voila…it does it all for you: no babysitting or stirring! Gotta love that.
Check out the Instant Pot on Amazon here, and if you do a lot of batch cooking like I do, consider getting one. It makes soup-making a complete breeze, which is something I do almost every single week, for my healthy lifestyle.
Do You Have to Soak the Beans?
For this recipe, I didn’t soak the beans at all and they came out amazing and I had no gassy issues after having eaten this. And by the way, the latest research is showing that the phytates found in beans are probably actually good for us and our bone health, as opposed to what we commonly hear from the vegan and vegetarian community.
Watch Me Make This At Home
Check out the YouTube video I posted today showing you what it was like when I created this recipe yesterday, start to finish.
Do You Believe in These Superstitions?
Let me know what you think of this recipe and the superstitions down below in the comments and don’t forget to pin to your Pinterest boards to share the LUCK!!!! <3
To Our ABUNDANT HEALTH (wealth, love and luck) This Year!
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 stalk rosemary, tough stem removed, finely chopped
- ½ pound dried black-eyed peas if using Instant Pot, otherwise use 3 cups cooked or 2 15-ounce cans low- or no-sodium beans
- ½ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed if using Instant Pot, otherwise use 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 15-ounce can low- or no-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can low- or no-sodium fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped kale (I used curly and measured after I chopped it)
- 4 cups no- or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-3 cups water (to fill pot to halfway and make sure the beans are covered with liquid)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup no- or low-sodium vegetable soup base (I used Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest but also love Vogue brand)
- Using saute function (High), add onion and celery to instant pot and saute until just becoming translucent. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir for 1-2 minutes, make sure it doesn't burn. Hit Cancel/Keep Warm.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, filling until halfway full with ingredients covered with liquid (use water to adjust level, but take care not to overfill). Close the lid. Use the Beans/Chili function and set timer to 25 minutes. Use Natural Release.
- In a large soup pot over medium high heat, water saute onion and celery until just becoming translucent. Add the garlic and rosemary and saute for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, making sure not to burn garlic, adding 1-2 tablespoons water at a time, if necessary.
- Add the rest of the items to the pot, stir to combine and bring to boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.