Get Your Luck and Your Money: Hoppin’ John and Greens

30 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

You have to have Hoppin’ John and greens on New Years Day, my mom insists.  It’s a shame this kind of good eatin’ comes around only once a year, it makes me realize that a simple meal of beans and rice is very satisfying and very, very frugal. I will definitely be making an effort to explore more beans and rice recipes.  Okay, for a little food nerd briefing, Hoppin’ John has African roots, the black eyed pea is from central Africa.  The dish has been a Southern tradition since the mid-1800’s.  It is unknown how or why Hoppin’ John became a New Years tradition but it certainly is good eating on New Years day and if it’s lucky, why not?

I did a little cost breakdown for this meal because it was very inexpensive.

Costs for this meal:

– 1 lb black eyed peas – .79 cents

– 1 onion – .50 cents

– 1 carrot and 1 stalk of celery – I already had

– rice – I already had this too but let’s say $1

– broth – .50 cents – I used leftover chicken broth we had in the fridge and some water

– organic chicken sausage – $2.50  – ok, this is a splurge but we wanted a little something extra in our hoppin john, we split the package in half

– red pepper flakes, garlic, bay leaves – I already had

– mustard greens, organic $2.00

So that is $7.29 and this meal will feed 6-8 people.

See, those greens are already saving you money.

Hoppin’ John


Garlic, 2 large cloves, minced

Organic chicken sausage, 2 sausages (I used one with apples in it), kielbasa would probably be good too

1/2 a large onion, chopped small

1 medium carrot, chopped small

1 stalk of celery, chopped small

2 bay leaves

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 lb bag of dried black eyed peas – soaked for 6-8 hours

3-4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

green onion or parsley – garnish

Start with a glass of red wine, for yourself of course, now proceed.


Soak your beans overnight or all day while at work in a large pot with about 8 cups of water.  They will soak up the water and expand so you want plenty in there so the beans will be covered at all times with water.

Heat olive oil in a large pot, on medium, add the onion, celery, carrot, saute until soft and the onions are becoming translucent.  While this is cooking chop your two sausages into small 1/2 in. pieces.  Add your sausage, diced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes to the pot.  Stir every now and then and try to brown the sausage.  Add your beans, bay leaves, and broth.  Stir it all up, turn the heat to medium-low.  I have read, who knows where, that you do not want the beans to boil because then they will split, you just want them to cook nicely and become tender not mushy.  Let this simmer away for about 45 minutes.  Check it occasionally to see if you need to add more liquid, if so add a little more broth or water.

I serve this over rice, but some recipes throw it in with the beans.  If you do that you will need to include a lot more broth.  You could also just throw some greens in this pot and call it a day.  But I love garlic greens and the garlicy, vinegary flavors work well as a compliment to the creamy black eyed peas and rice.

Garlic Greens – Get Your $

I used mustard greens, because I like them and we’ve been eating collards a lot lately.  But any greens will work for this.


2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp vinegar, to drizzle on at the end

as much mustard greens as you can fit in your very large pot


I usually use a large pot for this because the greens will start out all leafy and luscious and then will wilt as you cook, but they will take up a lot of space initially.  This time I only had a medium sized pan so I used that and did one serving at a time.  We do not want to overcook them though, stop cooking when they are a little crisp and still look green and are not completely wilted.  Add your olive oil and your crushed or diced garlic to your pan on medium heat, let the garlic start to release its delicious aroma while stirring it, then add your greens and your crushed red pepper.  Stir them around quickly, they will cook fast.  Then sprinkle a little vinegar over the top and serve.  I like the hot pepper vinegar but the crushed pepper will add some heat too.

You could serve your greens on the side with your Hoppin’ John and rice, like I did, or mix it all together.

To print these recipes:


8 Responses to “Get Your Luck and Your Money: Hoppin’ John and Greens”

  1. Haywood December 30, 2010 at 9:14 AM #

    I usually don’t like New Years Day meals, but if I can make it look like you did in these pics, then I might be getting lucky and rich afterall 🙂 If I’m not too hung over to cook on New Years Day, I will follow this post and then post the link to your blog for directions and such. Thanks K! Look out for it!

  2. Monica December 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM #

    Love the price breakdown! Love knowing that I can cook, eat, and impress on the cheap!

  3. Cindy Fuhrmann December 30, 2010 at 11:26 AM #

    I can see that I don’t need to plan meals anymore. I signed up for your emails and now all of “my” planning is done by you! Sadly I have never made Hoppin’ John before. I guess Matt had a deprived childhood! Looks delicious!

  4. Ryan December 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM #

    I just happened to stumble across this blog, and these recipes are great! Keep the posts coming!!

    • thegreengourmets December 31, 2010 at 9:52 AM #

      Thank you Ryan! Please share with friends, and we love the feedback.

  5. Barbara Nunn December 30, 2010 at 8:37 PM #

    Thanks for this easy recipe! I’ll bet combining Hoppin’John with a couple of your recommended sparkling wines will bring us all a rich and lucky 2011!!

  6. Jane January 2, 2011 at 8:51 AM #

    Cooked and ate the Hoppin’John on New Year’s Day. It was great- we really enjoyed the chicken sausage addition.

  7. D. Dudley January 2, 2011 at 9:08 AM #

    Made your Hoppin John last night and everyone loved it! Used plenty of garlic and organic vegetable broth. We have lots of leftovers too!! Thanks and Happy New Year to you and all of the Green Gourmet readers too!!

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