The New Year is here, and with that comes new beginnings. We solidify resolutions for ourselves, and there is magic in the air! Can you feel that, gorgeous? We wipe the slate clean, and get to start anew. What an awesome feeling! Making resolutions for the new year is a ritual in which most people partake. Eating better and exercising are always the favorites (they’re definitely on my list). Spending more time with family, managing time more efficiently, loving yourself more, and planning better are all noteworthy resolutions.
Another ritual is eating specific foods to bring in the new year. My mom and grandpa always make a kielbasa and cabbage/sauerkraut dish. It doesn’t really have an exact recipe, but it starts with cabbage and kielbasa. Since they are of German heritage and from Pennsylvania, a pork brat and kraut make sense! The pork symbolizes forward progress because pigs root forward as they eat. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that is (or once was) green, symbolizing money.
Black eyed peas are a Southern tradition said to bring prosperity as they plump up while cooked, symbolizing growing wealth. Most legumes are viewed this way, because most of them plump up while cooked, but some other varieties of legumes such as lentils or split peas resemble coins. There are a few stories of alternate origin for the black eyed pea – one being Jewish. In the Talmud (a Jewish text), they list foods to be consumed on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and due to an error in translation, black eyed peas made their way onto the New Year’s table. The name for Black Eyed Peas is lubia, and the original, and correct word from the text is rubia, meaning fenugreek. Zing!
Black Eyed pea tradition is also rooted in the Civil War, where Union soldiers ate up Southern crops, but left behind the black eyed pea as they thought it was livestock feed, and not suitable for troops. The townspeople were left crop-less, but the black eyed pea remained, providing sustenance to the people as they re-built their towns.
Another tasty tidbit about the black eyed pea crop – they replenish the soil with nutrients, drawing nitrogen back into the soil. I love learning about this stuff! Nitrogen is used by all plants to produce more chlorophyll, resulting in darker green growth, which in turn provides much needed nutrients for our bodies! More knowledge than ever on the Black Eyed Pea, eh? Knowledge is power, babe!!
Because we’re at the start of the new year, I wanted to make a prosperous dish that was complete with starch, protein, and veggies. Black eyed peas were the base, followed by an economical bone-in chicken thigh, and some veggies for nutrients and color. Add a special honey/lime/chipotle glaze, and you have a dish worth clamouring over! Cheers to delicious prosperity and happiness in 2015!
Do you have any traditional New Year’s foods that you eat? Tell me about them in the comments!
With Tons of Love,
- For The Glaze
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
- Zest of one Lime
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Organic Ketchup
- 4 Organic Bone-In Chicken Thighs, skin removed
- For The Black Eyed Peas
- 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Diced Onion
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Chipotle
- One 11oz Box of Melissa’s Produce Steamed Black Eyed Peas (about 1 1/2 Cups cooked)
- For The Veggies
- 1 Tablespoon Pineapple Preserves
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Garlic Clove, finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Bunches Baby Carrots, clean, stemmed, and peeled
- 12 Green Beans, ends snapped off
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place all the ingredients for the glaze (except the chicken thighs) in a small saucepan, and turn on the heat to low, just enough to melt the honey. Whisk everything together, and set aside.
- Put the chicken thighs, bone down on a cookie sheet, and using a basting brush, coat all sides. Place in the pre-heated oven, and cook 30 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the thighs, re-apply more glaze and turn. After 10 more minutes, repeat. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove from the oven.
- While the chicken cooks, heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat, and add the olive oil and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent, and add the chipotle and black eyed peas.
- Reduce heat to low, and cover, stirring occasionally until ready to plate.
- Preheat a large skillet over high heat.
- Add the preserves, vinegar, garlic and water to a small bowl, and stir to combine.
- Add the olive oil, carrots, and green beans to the pan, and turn heat down to medium-high. Cook until the beans are bright green and the carrots bright orange, about 5-7 minutes. Add the glaze to the veggies, and cook until no liquid remains, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the black eyed peas to the plate, making a well in the center for the chicken. Carefully add the chicken thigh, making sure to keep the beautiful glaze in-tact. Scatter the veggies on top of the black eyed peas, and serve!
*The black eyed peas for this post were provided by Melissa’s Produce. All opinions are my own.