Recipe for Health: Hoppin’ John Stew

By Sandy Todd Webster
Dec 11, 2015

This dish of rice, black-eyed peas and greens is Southern comfort food that is said to bring good luck and prosperity when eaten on New Year’s Day, because the peas represent coins, and the leafy-green collards or kale suggest dollar bills. This version, from You Have It Made, the new book by celebrity chef and nutrition expert Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, will help you and your clients kick off the year in style. And because it is so tasty, filling and easy to make, it can help you stick to your resolutions throughout the year. Makes 8 servings.

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 oz Canadian bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-1⁄2 t salt
  • 1⁄2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1⁄4 C brown rice (uncooked)
  • 7 C low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 lb fresh collard greens or kale, ribs removed and discarded, chopped (about 8-1⁄2 C); or 1 (10 oz) package frozen, thawed, collard greens or kale
  • 2 (15 oz) cans low-sodium black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • For serving: hot sauce, optional

Recipe Key:
C = cup
T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon
lb = pound
oz = ounce

Heat oil in large, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes.

Lower heat to medium. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, thyme, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, for 8–10 minutes. Add rice and stir until well coated, 1 minute. Add 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.

Stir in collards or kale, in batches if necessary, and cook until wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add black-eyed peas, remaining 3 cups of broth, vinegar and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer to warm through; and serve.

To refrigerate and reheat: Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in an airtight
container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in a pot over medium-low heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 8–25 minutes, depending on the amount. Alternatively, place a single serving in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on full power for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

To freeze and reheat: Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Transfer into freezer bags in the portions desired and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator for 24–36 hours and reheat as above. Or, to thaw quickly, run the bag under hot water for 30 seconds to release the stew from the bag, then transfer it to a pot, cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed though, 15–45 minutes, depending on the amount.

Alternatively, after running the bag under hot water, transfer the stew to a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on the defrost setting for about 7 minutes, then heat through on full power for about 2 minutes for one serving.

Nutrition information: Serving size: 12⁄3 cups; per serving: 260 calories; 6 g total fat (2.9 g mono fat, 0.8 g poly fat, 0.8 g sat fat); 13 g protein; 42 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 5 mg cholesterol; 650 mg sodium; excellent source of fiber, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, protein, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K; good source of calcium, iron, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin B6, zinc.

Source: Excerpted from You Have It Made, copyright 2016 by Ellie Krieger. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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