Happy New Year everyone!

2010 was pretty great, but I’m hoping 2011 will be even better. In order to ensure good luck in the coming year, I ate a great big bowl of black eyed peas this morning. This is a Southern US custom I’ve never followed before, but hey…there’s a first time for everything. I also learned recently that it’s bad luck to do laundry on New Year’s Day (a superstition that also originated in the American South, I believe), so my big ol’ pile will wait until tomorrow. If you know of anything else I should be doing to make sure 2011 is a terrific year, please share in the comments section :)

Black Eyed Peas with Sweet Potatoes and Greens

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
*2 large organic carrots, chopped
*1 medium organic sweet potato, chopped
*2 cups chopped organic greens (collards would be the most traditional choice as they symbolize prosperity; I used cabbage because it's what I had on hand)
*2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, picked over, and drained
*1 small ham hock, preferable local/pastured- optional (this adds nice flavor to the beans, but you can certainly leave it out)
*5 cups vegetable, chicken, or turkey stock, preferably homemade (or use water)
*sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
*crushed red pepper flakes or your favorite hot sauce- optional

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two over medium heat.

2. Add the chopped carrots and sweet potato. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then add the greens.

3. Add the black eyed peas and the water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1.5-2 hours, adding more liquid if necessary, until the peas are very tender.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the optional crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce before serving.

I had planned to share my top 10 of 2010 yesterday, but time got away from me, so I’ll do so now. These are the 10 posts deemed most popular by Google Analytics (in no particular order). I am happy to see a few of my personal favorites made the list:

Homemade Granola
Homemade Nutella
Chap Chae with Tempeh
Healthy Pumpkin Shake
Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Roasted Tomato Soup
Caramel Popcorn with Rosemary
Sweet and Spicy Pecans
Leftover Turkey Pho
Our First Eggs

Before I go, please know that I am extremely grateful that you choose read my blog. I may not always have time to respond to every comment, but I do appreciate each one, as well as all of the wonderful friendships I have made, both virtually and in real life, because of this blog during the past year.

One of my goals for the coming year is to make sure my content lives up to the title of the blog, so look for many more nourishing whole foods recipes, as well as more focused content about holistic nutrition and green living in the months to come. I am always open to hearing what you would like to see here, so please feel free to let me know about any suggestions you may have.

I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, and I look forward to sharing lots more with you in 2011.

Related Black Eyed Pea Posts You Might Enjoy:
New Years Black Eyed Peas from Thru The Bugs on My Windshield
Hoppin John Recipe from She Wears Many Hats
Smoky Spiced Black Eyed Peas with Bacon from Pinch My Salt
Spiced Black Eyed Peas from Babble/The Family Kitchen
Black Eyed Pea Hummus from Kalyn’s Kitchen

More “Best of 2010″ Posts I Recommend:
@Two Peas and Their Pod
@Gluten Free Goddess
@Modern Comfort Food
@Jenn Cuisine
@Amanda’s Cookin’
@Spain in Iowa
@Celiac Teen
@NoRecipes
@The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
@The Daily Dietribe