Ingredient: instant brown rice

Chakra Balanacing, Crown, Fall, Heart, Main, Root, Sacral, Sides, Solar Plexus, Spring, Summer, Third Eye, Throat, Winter

Hoppin’ John

Serve with braised collard greens-

“Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace”. This is a southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day to ensure a prosperous year filled with luck.

This is my quick, vegetarian version (the original Hoppin’ John calls for dried black eyed peas soaked overnight and a ham hock). While I like to make this on New Year’s Day (we all want prosperity and luck for our families, right?), it is also a great dish that I prepare almost year round.

Allow that energy of prosperity and luck to permeate through your energy centers. You’ll activate all of them if you serve southern braised collards along with your Hoppin’ John.

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Black Eyed Pea Salad with Sweet Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

Serve with brown rice and summer’s stewed tomatoes and corn-

One of my favorite bean dishes is Hoppin’ John, a comforting stew of rice, tomatoes and black eyed peas. It is one of the best dishes to eat in the south on January 1st as black eyed peas signify good luck for the coming year. Well, as the weather starts to warm up I want to prepare beans in a way that are cooling not warming. This is my take on a southern black eyed pea salad which is usually tossed in Italian vinaigrette. I think you’ll find the caramelized sweet onion dressing elevates it to a whole new level and paired with an equally southern side, stewed tomatoes (with a couple surprise ingredients), y’all be talkin’ with a drawl by the last bite.

Crown, Heart, Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Third Eye, Throat

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Served with Columbia Restaurant’s 1905 salad-

When I first moved to Tampa, Florida, I had never heard of black beans, let alone tasted them. A staple of Cuban food, black beans are very versatile and used almost everyday. Now I eat them on a regular basis, and this is my version of Moros Y Cristianos (Moors and Christians), by far my family’s favorite recipe for this humble bean.

The name of this dish refers to the wars between the Moors (blacks) and the Spaniards (whites). It is a reminder of the Spanish influence on Cuba.

The Columbia is a famous Spanish restaurant in Tampa. It is known for its flamingo dancers and authentic Spanish/Cuban cuisine; the 1905 salad being one of its specialties. This is my vegetarian version, as I have omitted the meat and changed out the iceberg to butter lettuces.