Click Here to get free weekly recipes and exclusive giveaways.

Healthy Hoppin’ John Recipe and a Roundup of Healthy Recipes for the New Year

by Jeanette on December 30, 2010 · 2 Comments
Don't miss out on any recipes! Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter. Simply click here to subscribe. You can also subscribe to my cooking videos on YouTube here.
A Healthier Hoppin’ John

Around the world, people will be celebrating the New Year with their own special, symbolic foods, which they believe will bring them good luck in the New Year. Here are some of the foods enjoyed around the world in celebration of the New Year. Interestingly, these traditional New Year foods also happen to be healthy!

  • In Japan, soba noodles are eaten for New Year’s, the length of the noodles symbolizing long life (don’t cut them!). Sweet black beans (kuro-mame) are also eaten, symbolizing the wish for the ability to work diligently and stay well and healthy throughout the year.
Soba Noodles Symbolize Longevity (These are Green Tea Soba Noodles)
  • In the southern United States, black-eye peas (Hoppin’ John) when served with collard greens, are believed to bring prosperity. Black-eye peas resemble coins and greens are the color and shape of money.
  • In Germany, Ireland and parts of the United States, green vegetables, including cabbage, collard greens, kale and swiss chard, are associated with luck and fortune since the leaves are green and resemble folded money.
Sauteed Rainbow Chard
  • Lentils, which are flat and round like coins, are eaten in Italy, as well as in Brazil (with rice or in soup), for good fortune in the New Year.
Yellow Lentils 
  • Black beans and rice (Moros y Cristianos) is a popular Cuban dish eaten for New Years for good luck.
Black Beans are High in Antioxidants and Fiber
  • Pomegranates, which are associated with good luck (the round seeds resemble money and prosperity), abundance and fertility, are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries.
Pomegranates are Beautiful and Full of Antioxidant Phytochemicals

Although I can’t guarantee that eating any of these foods will bring you financial prosperity in the New Year, I do believe that these foods will certainly bring you good health and well being in the New Year.

Cheers and wishing you all a year of healthy living and looking forward to sharing more healthy recipes with you in 2011!

Here’s a roundup of auspiciously healthy recipes for celebrating the New Year, along with a healthier recipe for Hoppin’ John.

Long Life Soba Noodle Recipes

Cold Soba Noodles
Cold Soba Noodles, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Toshikoshi Soba or Year-End Soba, Just Hungry
Soba Noodles, Just Jenn Recipes

Black Bean and Black Eye Pea Recipes

Turkey Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Turkey Black Bean Chili, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Brazilian Black Beans and Rice, Feeding Groom
Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Collard Greens, Food.com
Vegan Cuban Black Beans & Rice, The Alchemist Chef

Black Eye Pea Masala, Fat Free Vegan

Lentil Coin Recipes

Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

French Lentil Soup with Barley and Swiss Chard, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Italian Lentil Chicken Stew, Cooking With My Kid
Martha Rose Shulman’s Warm Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese, Fit Sugar
Lentil Tomato Soup, Italicious

Green Money Vegetable Recipes

Simply Sauteed Collard Greens with Cherry Tomatoes

Sauteed Rainbow Chard, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Simply Sauteed Leafy Green Vegetables, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Kale Avocado Salad, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Wilted Greens with Spicy Thai Peanut Vinaigrette, MomClick, Daily Herald Newspaper

Pomegranate Recipes

Festive Clementine Avocado Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Festive Clementine Avocado Salad, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Persimmon Pomegranate Salad, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Butternut Squash Salsa, How Sweet It
Pomegranate Salsa, Lauren’s Latest on Tasty Kitchen

Now for the Hoppin’ John recipe:

A Healthier Hoppin’ John

Traditionally, Hoppin’ John is cooked with ham hock and served with collard greens on the side. Rice is also sometimes cooked with the black eye peas.  I’ve used turkey bacon to add the smoky flavor without the fat, and cooked kale, another leafy green vegetable, right  into the Hoppin’ John.  This is delicious served over brown rice.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices turkey bacon (uncured, with no antibiotics or nitrates), cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups cooked black eye peas (if using canned beans, rinse and drain well)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stem removed, leaves thinly sliced


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add turkey bacon and cook until browned.  Add onion, celery, garlic and crushed red pepper.  Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the black eye peas, 1 cup of chicken broth, fresh thyme and bay leaf.  Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes.  Add kale and remaining ½ cup of chicken broth, and mix well. Cook, covered, for another 5 minutes or until just tender.
  2. Serve over brown rice.
  3. Serves 4-6.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Great recipes here! I can't wait to try them out! Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks Maria, love all the recipe roundups going on at the end of the year. Happy New Year!

Leave a Comment