photo from vegan caliente
A few years ago I met some true southern cousins. One of them mentioned having Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Day. I had heard of the dish, had never had it, and did not know it was traditional for New Year’s. But let’s start at the beginning, more or less:
Hoppin’ John is a dish of black-eyed peas, rice, tomato sauce, and traditionally pork sausages and other pork cuts. There are several different stories about the name, some of which you can read on this history page. Eating the dish on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring luck for the rest of the year. Whether it does or not, my cousin said she loves the dish and looks forward to New Year’s Day because of it. I thought it was worth looking into.
For the next New Year’s day, then, I made a vegan version of Hoppin’ John. The veganized version can use vegan sausages or leave them out. Either way it’s inexpensive, hearty, delicious. And a nice tradition for vegans to appropriate.
Some recipes you might like to try:
In a Vegetarian Kitchen (Nava Atlas)
You can also find one in Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen, a terrific book for capturing what’s important about southern cooking.
I plan on making some for this coming New Year’s Day. How about you? And don’t forget the cornbread.