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.
Alas, this arrived in my inbox well after my grocery shopping ::swoon:: Buuut, I’ll definitely give my luck a boost soon!
Have a fantastic 2017,Cheri!
Boooooo!!!!! Yes, I tried to get this recipe up as quickly as I could today…but I couldn’t get it done any faster than this! Don’t worry, you can just have any greens tomorrow and that will represent the money!!!! :D :D And have the black-eye peas as soon as you can and I’m sure you’ll be lucky as a duck!! :D <3 Happy 2017 to you as well!!!
Yay! I was actually thinking of making something like this – a good luck New Year’s day meal – and then, lo’ and behold, this popped up in my email. I’m making it tomorrow. Thank you Cheri! 😊
YAYYY Kelly!! Perfecto!! I had mine for lunch yesterday and then we had it for breakfast again this morning…super good! :d Hope you love it, you’re so welcome!
Exactly what I was looking for: Nutritarian AND in my new Instant Pot. Thank you!
FANTASTIC, Celeste!! So glad you loved it. Hope it turns out GREAT!! <3
She’s telling you that it’s hunting time and she wants you to open those cupboard doors so she can stalk some mice. My kitty does that as well and she just wants to get in the cupboard and look around to make sure the area is secured and we’re all safe! She’s doing her kitty job. lol
Omg Shelly THANK YOU for telling me this!!! This is so darn helpful. She does this to the closet door as well every night after I’ve fed her and it’s so confusing because I think she always means to say she’s hungry but I’m always like YOU JUST ATE! Searching for mice and securing the house makes so much more sense! THANK YOU!!! :D :D <3
This turned out great. My version wasn’t vegan, but it was amazing.
Will basmati rice work with the time as a sub for wild rice? It’s all I have and no budget to get wild. *fingers crossed* that the luck and prosperity vibes work 🤞🏻
Hi Grace! I haven’t tried basmati rice in here so I’m not sure. But basmati rice cooks in about half the time as wild, so it might become mushy, but htat might be fine for this recipe. It won’t be bad either way, I think. Give it a try and let me know! Other option would be to make it without the rice and add the cooked rice in later. :) Happy New Year and I wish you all the luck and prosperity! <3
Yay Nicki! I’m so glad the hear that….!!! <3
It came out more porridgey with the basmati rice than normal but it is delicious!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Awesome Grace, I am so glad you loved it! And so glad it worked with the basmati!! <3
Say vegan then talks about how killing and eating pigs brings you luck and prosperity GTFOH
Hi Brandon, did you read the post? I was giving the historical reason behind why many people eat this dish for the New Year, but then I offered the alternative recipe to cut down on the cruelty and make it a completely plant-based dish.
What could I use instead of the vegetable base?
Why do you need a substitute for veggie base? That will help me figure out a good substitute. Otherwise, water or veggie juice!
I don’t have any veggie base…I’m using better than bouillon veg base for the veg broth. What can I sub for veg “base” if anything?
I see you’ve already answered the “sub for veggie base” question. I didn’t have veggie base so I added another tsp of better than boullion (I know, sodium) but I was out of salt free broth. Anyhow, the soup came out delicious! This was only my 2nd time using the IP!
Excellent dear Susie!! So glad you loved it yay!! And GO IP!!! :D
Sorry I missed this one, Susie!! I have a great post on YouTube about how to flavor soups without salt, that one might help a lot!
If you’re making this in on the stove top instead of the IP, how much of the 1-3 cups of water would you add since the beans are canned? Thanks.
I made this stove top today for our New Years dinner. So delicious!
Ahh so glad Devon, happy new year!
If you’re using precooked rice too, then you probably don’t need any additional water, and maybe even a bit less stock too. Good luck!
How can I make this in my slow cooker? I’d love an Instapot but there’s no more room in my kitchen!
Love your site!
Hi Diane!! so sorry, I don’t use a slower cooker so I’m not sure, but I’d think just use canned black eye peas and cook like you would any other veggie soup!
I absolutely didn’t want to watch someone eat..and hear them talk while eating. Sorry I clicked on.
I made your Hoppin John today. It was amazing. I used 1 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes and diced them-no sodium. It’s what I had. I used collards instead of kale. Since I’m a Nutritarian I added it all! A friend made me corn bread. This recipe is AWESOME! Thanks!
I forgot to mention I used aquafaba instead of water or vegetable broth. I avoid anything with msg or copycat msg because I used to have terrible vertigo so I stopped using any kind of boullion. I haven’t had vertigo since I’ve been Nutritarian. I cooked all on the stove top. No burning and a nice stew texture, not too dry. I never thought of adding nutritional yeast! Gave it a nice flavor. I didn’t have fresh rosemary so I subbed dried thyme. Yum!
Yayyyy MARY!! I’m so glad you made it and loved it!! Wahoo!! Also great with the polenta!! xoxox Happy New Year!
I’m always searching for a recipe I made years ago from a lost cookbook whose name I can’t remember. It was a healthy eating book, and had a vegan hoppin John recipe in it, the only one I ever made. Yours has more ingredients in it, but I’ll give it a shot, though I don’t have wild rice on hand. I’ll try with plain rice instead.
Hope you loved it! <3
do you have anymore instant pot recipes?
Nope I don’t have a lot here. <3
Turned out great, thanks!
So glad you’re welcome!