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3 Hoppin’ John Recipes – Black-Eyed Peas With A Twist

When you have a large group to feed, whip up a pot of Hoppin’ John. This classic Southern meal of black-eyed peas and seasoned rice doesn’t have to wait for your annual New Year’s Day menu. The dish that symbolizes prosperity and good fortune is perfect any night of the week when you want a filling option that everyone from kids to elders will enjoy.

Classic Hoppin’ John is prepared by cooking rice and field peas, or black-eyed peas, with butter, seasonings, meat fat such as fatback bacon, ham hocks, or sausage, and a few flavorful vegetables including onion and bell peppers. Leftovers are called Skippin’ Jenny by January 2, one day after the dish is traditionally served.

Black-eyed peas, a member of the legume family, are low fat, cholesterol free, and nutrient dense, according to the Mayo Clinic. The peas are a wonderful source of folate, potassium, iron, and insoluble fiber to make you feel full longer.

It’s easy to make this Southern meal friendlier on the waistline and every bit as delicious by omitting or replacing the butter and meat fat with vegetable stock and lean meat cuts, such as turkey bacon or chicken sausage. Here are a few recipes to inspire a new way to cook black-eyed peas and rice in your kitchen.

Healthy Hoppin’ John

When you want flavor without much fuss, try using chicken sausage flavored with Cajun seasonings as the anchor for your meal. This recipe from Taste of Home also uses several fresh vegetables, including carrots, celery, and onion, to add color and vitamins to the dish. You’ll never miss the calorie-heavy butter or bacon fatback.

Barley Hoppin’ John
Tired of rice? Try this healthy recipe from Eating Well that uses barley as the base with black-eyed peas. This recipe uses vegetable broth and fresh minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice to add an extra zesty flavor. As a bonus, this recipe for Hoppin’ John is vegetarian, if anyone in your family has special dietary needs. If you want to add extra protein, top this recipe with grilled shrimp or crumbled turkey bacon.

Hoppin’ John’s Cousin

If you’re looking for a spicy side dish to go with Southern barbecue, this diced tomato- and pepper-studded dish from is perfect. The classic blend of black-eyed peas and rice is seasoned with minced jalapeƱos, sliced green onions, ground black pepper, and just enough andouille sausage to wake up your taste buds. To keep things light, this recipe uses lower-sodium, fat-free chicken broth and fiber-rich long-grain rice.

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