Happy New Year!
I love the first day of the year; there’s so much potential, so much joy, so much hope.
The best part is that the clock striking midnight or the calendar page turning over isn’t the only way to signify a new beginning. It’s my personal belief that we are constantly renewed by the grace of the Lord, and that can happen at any hour of any day!
Back to New Year’s Day… Even though I grew up in the South, I had never been introduced to the traditions of eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day until I moved to Germany, of all places. My friends in the apartment across the hall were invited for New Year’s, and I asked them what they wanted to eat. “Collard greens and peas” was the answer. I was shocked. I’d never heard of this! I opened up my red and white-checked Betty Crocker cookbook and went to work.
That year, I thought the collard greens stunk to high heaven when simmering all day in my small apartment, and I didn’t eat any of the black-eyed peas. I think I still had a lucky year regardless of what it was I ate, however.
I’ve come to appreciate black-eyed peas so much more. Collard greens, well, not so much, but I can always swap it out for spinach, which is still leafy green and a promise of good fortune in the new year. In fact, this recipe originally didn’t call for the spinach, but I added it in and it worked just fine, not to mention killing two traditions with one stone. Or something like that.
Happy 2016, friends!
Spicy Black-eyed Peas with Spinach
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) pkg dried black-eyed peas, washed
1 (12 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
3 cups fresh baby spinach
4 Tbs hot sauce
In a large heavy saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, reserving the grease; crumble bacon. Set bacon aside.
Add the onions to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté until translucent and tender. Add the peas, tomatoes and green chilies, salt, chili powder, pepper and water.
Cover and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, or until the peas are tender. Add spinach and hot sauce; cook until the spinach is wilted.
Serve topped with crumbled, crispy bacon.
Note: You can even serve this over rice for a heartier dish.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 280, Calories from Fat: 117, Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 31 mg, Sodium: 1949 mg, Potassium: 560 mg, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 4.5 g, Protein: 18 g.
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