I have 3 things to share with you this month.
#1: (By the time you read this, I’ve already enjoyed my Hoppin John with Okra and Kombu! Yum!)
I am cooking some Black-Eyed Peas for New Year’s Day right now! They smell so good, and I LOVE how creamy and mild they taste. Today, I am making a Vegetarian Hoppin John with Okra and Kombu. In Southern traditions, black-eyed peas are served with greens for good luck on New Year’s Day. This plant-based version uses another Southern favorite (and one of mine), Okra! As I sit here, the black-eyed peas are bubbling on the stove, their savory earthiness filling my kitchen with such a comforting aroma. Okra is amazing (like seaweed!) Do you know that slimy part? Okra is an unusual vegetable with mucilaginous properties. Okra has been found to soothe the digestive tract and improve detoxification, blood sugar, and cholesterol balance. Also, like seaweed, okra is full of nutrients! It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K1 and is high in magnesium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin A. I am using frozen okra today, as it only grows in very hot weather. I have included my recipe here using Kombu to soak my beans, and I also cut it up and cook with it! Kombu adds IODINE, vital for healthy thyroid function, metabolism, immune system, and energy levels.
#2: It has been two years now since I have been writing this blog.
It has been two years now since I have been writing this blog. To celebrate 2023, I want to offer 15% off all seaweeds through January! You can just use code NewYear23 when you check out.
It has also been two years since we raised our prices, so get your seaweed for the year NOW before we have a slight price increase on some of our seaweeds in February. Remember, seaweed stores very well if you keep it dry and in a dark container. I have some nori that aged like fine wine, and the umami taste is even more pleasantly piquant! I store my seaweeds in gallon or ½ gallon glass jars in my pantry.
#3: TASTE SOMETHING NEW!
If you are genuinely looking to up your game on the healthy foods you eat, try Veganuary this month. (Eating more seaweed is a great place to start that healthier journey!)
Did you know that going vegan is one of the most impactful things you can do for the environment, animals, and your health? With a little bit of guidance, anyone can successfully make the transition to a vegan lifestyle.
Last year 629,000 non-vegans signed up for the 31-day challenge at www.veganuary.com. Of those, 48% were motivated to participate because of animal welfare, 21% because of environmental concerns, and 22% for their own health.
More than 1/3 (36%, or over 200,000 people) planned to stay vegan when the challenge ended! Most found it easier than expected!
If you are interested or want to know more, check out www.veganuary.com for tips, support, and information. Remember, even reducing the amount of dairy, eggs, and meat you eat has an impact!
May your new year be blessed with love, light, and the best health ever!
PS Use NewYear23 for 15% off all seaweeds in January- Veganuary!
HOPPIN JOHN BLACK-EYED PEAS WITH OKRA AND KOMBU
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1–1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 1/3 to ½ ounce Ocean Harvest Kombu
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 6 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra
- Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in enough cold water to cover them. Add 2-3 whole strips of kombu to the soaking water.
- Drain the peas and put kombu seaweed into your compost, which will continue to be beneficial.
- Add 3-4 strips of scissor-snipped kombu (no longer than ½ to 1 inch) to black-eyed peas. Add fresh water and cook until just tender, about 30-45 minutes. They will continue to cook with the vegetables, so you don’t want them to be too soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot (I use a large cast iron skillet). Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, carrots, garlic, cayenne, thyme, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Drain your cooked peas, and add them with 2 cups broth, bay leaf, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.
- After the peas and vegetables have cooked for 20 minutes, add the okra to the mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Check for tenderness and remove the bay leaf.
- Serve the Hoppin John black-eyed pea mixture immediately over hot brown rice or quinoa. Add salt or pepper to your liking.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator. Even better on day 2 or 3!