I grew up in the South and for as long as I can remember our family has eaten Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day…
Traditionally, the dish consists of slow cooked black-eyed peas, white rice and sautéed greens and it’s believed that when you eat Hoppin’ John on New Years Day it will bring prosperity and luck in the New Year, adding some sort of pork is said to symbolize progress and moving forward. Besides being just down right tasty…why tempt fate by not partaking in the tradition?
Enter Paleo/Primal living…half the dish is wiped out!
Today was no different from any other New Year’s Day for my family, black-eyed peas, rice, fried cabbage and kielbasa graced our kitchen table and everyone was pleased. My plate, however, looked a little different but was just as (if not more) tasty and I didn’t leave the table with a huge ‘ol carb bomb in my tummy!
My Hoppin’ John…diced sweet potatoes oven-roasted in coconut oil, stir-fried cabbage and kielbasa. I skipped the grains and legumes and guess what? I’m still gonna have a prosperous New Year filled with happiness, health and progress!
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes (serves 6 generously)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place peeled and diced sweet potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Return sweet potatoes to bowl and toss with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and season according to your taste.
1 large head of green cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. fat of choice (olive oil, coconut oil, bacon drippings, ghee etc…)
3 scallions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat fat of choice in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, scallions and garlic and stir-fry until desired tenderness, or until just slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
2 pounds nitrate/nitrite and sugar-free pork kielbasa
Slice kielbasa diagonally and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add kielbasa to the heated pan and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve warm.
This dish can be cooked separately and then mixed all together as shown in the photo above or served as individual dishes…I ate it both ways and they are equally good!
The kielbasa I used was pork and it was pre-cooked so it only needed browning, some kielbasa is fresh so it will require boiling first before slicing and frying, check the package to be sure. You could substitute chicken or turkey sausage but the theory is that eating winged fowl on New Year’s could make your good luck fly away! ;)
We always use cabbage as our greens (symbolizing economic fortune) on New Year’s Day but you could substitute any greens you like for this prosperous dish!
I haven’t been able to find any good information on whether or not sweet potatoes represent anything lucky or prosperous for New Year’s traditions but they are just darn good so they made the cut…butternut squash would be yummy too!
Here’s to 2012…I wish you all a year of health, happiness, love and peace!
This recipe is shared at: