As like most of you, one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to eat healthier. To live a healthier lifestyle. This is an ongoing attempt in life that most times I succeed, passing the test with flying colors. Then other times I fail miserably. This year, however, is not the diet resolution but the better lifestyle change. 2011 will be full of learning. We plan on joining a CSA, shop at as many local farmers markets as possible, depend less and less on traditional groceries, learn how to can these fine vegetables so we can bask in their aroma through the winter, start a small garden at home focusing on herbs for cooking and canning the fine CSA veggies in, as well as finding healthier alternative recipes for some of our favorite foods. And what a better time to start than on New Year’s Eve. In the south the Southern New Year tradition is to eat as many Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens as possible to assure you a year full of luck and prosperity. I remember my grandmother Iris and mother serving this traditional meal to me on new year’s day on many a new year’s day. Except the traditional, southern style of cooking these yummy legumes and greens is with ham hocks and fatback. I have sought out, tried and succeeded in finding healthier alternatives that I encourage you to try with your friends and family this coming New Year’s. May you all have a happy, healthy, lucky and prosperous new year! Cheers!
Black Eyed Pea Salad
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black-eyed peas or dried peas soaked overnight and cooked till tender
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, toss together black-eyed peas, tomato, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, celery, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss into the vegetables. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
Vegetarian “Southern Style” Collard Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound collard greens, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Saute the onions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute. Add collard greens and cook another minute. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.