Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hoppin' John Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas Recipe

I'm trying to keep parts of meals somewhat separate at first in case someone doesn't like a component of the dish (less meals thrown away), but I mixed mine together after I tasted everything.

Day 1.

How is it 2011 already? Regardless of the bizarre nature of the space-time continuum after you have children, it is New Year's Day. Happy New Year! And, gulp, Day 1 of my New Year's Resolution to make an ominvore-friendly vegetarian meal Every. Single. Day. this year. Eep. 

OK, so here we go. It's New Year's Day, so we're going to do the traditional good luck food. The most prevalent of which include black eyed peas and collard greens (at least here in the South). Other options are New Year's eternity rings (fancy doughnuts), grapes and legumes of many varieties. Check out this post at epicurious for more details. 

I'm particularly fond of the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight. How cool!

Crockpot Vegetarian Hoppin' John

  • serves 10 and can be frozen

    1 pound dry black eyed peas, soaked overnight
    4 C chicken-style or veggie broth
    1 pound vegan smoked sausage, sliced
    1 7 oz. can chopped green chiles
    1 bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped and ribbed
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dried hot pepper or 1 tsp. chipotle pepper seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. "bacon" salt, hickory smoked salt (in spite of the name this is meat-free)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 C cooked rice

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Soak your black-eyed peas overnight, drain and rinse in cool water. Alternately, you can put the beans in salted water and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. 

Put peas, broth and sausage in the crock-pot. Stir in the chiles, hot pepper and onion. Add greens, and sprinkle on the salts and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours, or until the beans are soft. Stir well and serve over rice. You can also serve the beans over the rice and the collards or kale on the side (in case you have picky eaters). I chose this method because my toddler can't really chew the large bits of leafy greens well yet.
Zoey ate this Bento-style so she could try the kale.

For this recipe, I combined and converted two different recipes, one from epicurious and one from crockpot365. I think Stephanie O'Dea has a crockpot recipe for everything. It's awesome. If you ever want to crockpot-ize a recipe, check her site first. Chances are, she's already done it.

The Results
Did I mention I am not fond of collard greens or black eyed peas? No? Well, I don't particularly care for either. But, tradition is there to torture sometimes. It was actually pretty good all together (I cheated a bit and used kale). The kale is a little dry if you don't mix it into the beans. But, once you mix it, it's great. I might suggest mixing it during the cooking process instead of waiting until the end so it stews in all the juices. The meatless sausage was yummy! I could just pick that out and gobble it up. I think on non-New Year occasions, using kale and white northern beans would be fantastic. If you aren't superstitious, I'd go with that. 

And PS: If you didn't buy the "bacon" salt for this recipe, go buy some! It's a little pricey because there's no store brand ($3.79), but it is so yummy and smoky delicious it's completely worth it and will last a long time as it only requires a tiny bit to flavor a huge dish like this one.

This post is linked at Bento Lunch.


  1. Looks yummy

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  2. Looks yummy!
    I'm your newest follower, happy hopping!