Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feeding the Hungry Ghost:Dishing Up Soon

Dear Reader, 

I've missed you.   Yes, I've been posting Meatless Mondays every week on Huffington Post's Green page, but it's not the same as the quirky posts I do here.  I've also been writing a book (see above).  Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner comes out next month through fabulous New World Library and you can preorder RIGHT NOW. 

Here's the recipe for hopping john, straight from my heart (and from the book), the best way to start the new year. 

May 2013 be abundant and spectacular, may you begin it sans hangover and with a pot of hopping john ready to greet you New Year’s Day.
Hopping John

Make it on New Year’s Eve or even the day before. Flavor improves over time and hopping john reheats like a dream.  Serve with hot sauce for a happy, lucky, abundant New Year.

1 cup black eyed peas
3 cups of water
6 cloves garlic
1 dried hot pepper 
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 big bunch collard greens, sliced into thin ribbons
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Soak beans in a bowl of cold water for 4 hours or up to overnight.  Drain peas.

In a large pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil over high heat.  Add black-eyed peas, 2 cloves of garlic (whole), pepper and bay leaf.  Skim off any floating beans.

Reduce heat to low.  Simmer beans uncovered for an hour and a half until beans are tender, not mushy. 

Add brown rice and the vegetable broth.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, jalapeno, celery and the remaining 4 garlic cloves, chopped.  Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables soften.

Reduce heat to medium. Add greens by the handful, and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  

Fluff rice and beans, remove whole garlic, dried pepper and bay leaf.  Fold in collard mixture.  Squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  

Serves 6.