It’s a little late this year to tell you what to eat so that you can get good luck, but I will tell you anyway. In the South, and, seemingly, in New York City, as well, black-eyed peas are an important good luck food to eat on New Year’s Day. How do I feel confident about this assessment? Number 1, I am from the South, and I just KNOW the first thing my Mom will ask me, when I call her to wish her a Happy New Year, will be “Have you eaten your black-eyed peas?” It won’t matter what time I call her.
When I was growing up, we knew that you eat black-eyed peas and collards on New Year’s Day for good fortune and prosperity, because black eyed peas mean good fortune (there’s a story behind that) and green is the color of money.
Most people go to the supermarket and buy a can of beans and cook up a “mess” of collards. (if you wait until New Year’s Eve to buy your canned black-eyed peas, you might be out of luck)
Being raw vegan might seem to to throw a wrench in the works, but… not to worry. If you buy organic dried black-eyed peas (or even just the regular dried black-eyed peas), and soak them overnight (like at least 8 hours), you will be well on your way to *sprouted* black-eyed peas, full of all sorts of nutrition, in addition to that good fortune.
Black-eyed peas take a bit of time to sprout. First, you soak them for @ 8 hours (overnight), rinse, drain, leave alone, then repeat again in the evening with “rinse, drain, repeat, until you see 1/4 inch sprouts, at which time you can choose to stop and eat, or to wait another day or so, and then stop and eat.
Once you have black-eyed pea sprouts that are at least 1/4-1/2 inch long, you can chow down.
My New Year’s black-eyed peas and collards dish goes like this:
1 cup black-eyed peas sprouted one to two days (until they have a 1/2 inch tail)
approximately 1 cup chopped collards, massaged with salt until they start to seem juicy
Mix the collards and black-eyed peas together.
Add in finely chopped red bell pepper, finely chopped onion, finely chopped jalapeno (if you desire), finely chopped garlic to taste, paprika (if you choose) , soaked sun-dried tomatoes or fresh chopped plum tomatoes, onion, if you choose.
Toss, eat, and feel virtuous.
Okay, what if you didn’t make the black-eyed pea sprouts?
Depending on how serious you are about keeping raw, (or if you still have a vegan bone) … you could cover your eyes and raid the local supermarket to find that last can of black-eyed peas. Then you follow the recipe above.
This year, I am going to put in chopped red bell pepper, minced garlic, minced onion, olive oil, (probably a dab of apple cider vinegar – no guarantees, – but, most often, apple cider vinegar takes a welcome part in whatever I am making — we’ll see!), and an organic Cajun spice blend of paprika, celery, garlic, red pepper, thyme, and oregano. I didn’t want to buy a huge bunch of collards, but I found a “mixed greens” package which includes spinach, kale, mustard greens, collards, chard, and beet greens, so I will chop them up in my new food processor, massage them with a little Himalayan sea salt and apple cider vinegar, and throw them in the mix.