Apron Strings http://www.apronstringsblog.com Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:58:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Roasted Garlic Guacamole Bar http://www.apronstringsblog.com/roasted-garlic-guacamole-bar/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/roasted-garlic-guacamole-bar/#respond Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:32:31 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8505

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Roasted Garlic Guacamole Bar

There is no such thing as the “perfect” guacamole recipe. And everyone likes their guacamole a certain way. Onions/no onions. Cilantro /greens free. Lime or Lemon? That’s why a guacamole bar is genius for Game Day or other gatherings.

To me, guacamole is one of those dishes that is – and should be – a unique creation every single time. My guacamole depends on my mood, the occasion, who the eaters are, and what is in my fridge and pantry. Avocados are good for you and have such a mild, creamy texture that they pair well with, well, pretty much anything.

I have used the basic recipe of Rick Bayless, a south-of-the-border anthropologist/chef I admire. Hat tip to you, Chef Bayless – the addition of roasted garlic is genius!

Just set this out in a bowl surrounded with toppings and let everyone scoop up the guacamole onto chips and then sprinkle with toppings of choice: diced cilantro, diced red bell peppers or jalapeno chiles, sliced green onions, crumbled queso fresco, grated pepper jack, pepitos (toasted pumpkin seeds), etc., etc.

Arriba! Arriba!

– posted by Donna

Roasted Garlic Guacamole Bar
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 3 cups
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large ripe Haas avocados, mashed
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • A dash of Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut garlic bulb across the diameter of the bulb about ¼ inch from top of bulb to expose all the cloves. Drizzle olive oil over top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap bulb in aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from foil and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Holding bulb in your hand with cut side up, squeeze bulb from bottom, letting cloves ooze out into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mashing with a fork as you go. Taste frequently!
  4. Serve with chips, and make toppings available. I used diced red bell pepper, thinly sliced green onions, diced jalapenos, crumbled queso fresco, toasted pumpkin seeds.

Other creative guacamoles I must try before I die:

Grapefruit Guacamole, No Recipes
Chipotle Mexican Grill Guacamole, CopyKat Recipes
Bacon Guacamole, Closet Recipes
Cilantro Lovers Guacamole, Kalyn’s Kitchen

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Paleo Paella with Shrimp, Sausage and Cauliflower Rice http://www.apronstringsblog.com/paleo-paella-with-shrimp-sausage-and-cauliflower-rice/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/paleo-paella-with-shrimp-sausage-and-cauliflower-rice/#respond Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:45:27 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8428

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A savory, spicy, paleo version of paella using cauliflower rice. 

Paleo Paella with Shrimp, Sausage and Cauliflower Rice

Paleo Paella with Shrimp, Sausage and Cauliflower Rice

What do you think: Paelleo? Paleolla? Regardless, this paleo rendition of paella using cauliflower rice is truly every bit as flavorful as the original, with shrimp, chorizo and jambon, finished with a spicy garlic sauce that’ll knock your socks off. Perfect for low carb, paleo, or any other grain free, whole foods approach.

This is also a great use of Aneto’s Paella Valenciana Broth! Super rich with flavor. (Chicken or other stock works perfectly well here too, of course, but the paella base really does go the extra mile if you can get it!)


Paleo Paella with Cauliflower Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Summary to come . . .
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper (save ¼ cup for the finishing sauce, below), diced
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon (save remaining lemon to be sliced for serving)
  • ¼ cup paella broth, or chicken or fish stock
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced
  • ¼ pound ham (I used jambon royal) diced
  • ½ pound shrimp, deveined (and peeled if desired)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • Spicy Garlic Finishing Sauce (see additional recipe below)
  1. Cut cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until the size of couscous or grains of rice. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high. Add onion and saute until softened, then add bell pepper and garlic. Cook until lightly golden browned. Stir in cauliflower, then add spices, stock or paella base, and white wine. Stir in chorizo, ham of your choice and saute all together for about 5 minutes. (If chorizo was not fully cooked, add another 5-10 minutes cooking time here.)
  3. Add shrimp and parsley, and cook until shrimp has cooked through.
  4. Serve! Drizzle finishing sauce (recipe below). Serve with lemon slices on each plate.

Spicy Garlic Finishing Sauce

1/4 cup diced red pepper
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, divided

Blend all ingredients except half the parsley. Stir in parsley and drizzle over paella (or anything else you can think of!).

– posted by Anne

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Blender Cooked Scrambled Eggs http://www.apronstringsblog.com/blender-cooked-scrambled-eggs/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/blender-cooked-scrambled-eggs/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:47:23 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8434

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Blender Cooked Scrambled Eggs
Light, fluffy scrambled eggs are just a flip of the blender switch away. Yes, I did: Put my eggs in my blender and let it rip for 5 full minutes. Kitchen magic, really.

The blender action makes the eggs light and fluffy and the heat from the blender is just enough heat to gently cook the eggs.

When you first add the eggs to the blender, you will watch for several minutes and start thinking – This is idiotic. This will never work. What was I even thinking? But then, wonder of wonders, the clumping will begin. At exactly 5 minutes, I saw it.  Then, I opened up my blender and saw a beautiful sight – light and fluffy clouds of eggy goodness!

You won’t need any added fat in the pan – sticking is not an issue – but I did add a little S & P and an extra egg yolk for flavor.

Throw caution to the wind! Make 2015 a year of kitchen adventures!

– posted by Donna

Blender Cooked Scrambled Eggs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Light, fluffy scrambled eggs are just 5 minutes away!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2 servings
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper sauce
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Put all ingredients into blender in the listed order.
  2. Blend for 5 minutes on high setting (in my blender it is the "soup" setting). Stop as soon as eggs clump.

Other scrambled egg wonders;

Slow Scrambled Eggs, I am a food blog
Baked Scrambled Eggs, Buns in My Oven

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Un-Rolled Eggroll Stacks http://www.apronstringsblog.com/un-rolled-eggroll-stacks-wonton-squares/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/un-rolled-eggroll-stacks-wonton-squares/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:12:46 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8412

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Wonton squares – not just for making wontons anymore.

Unrolled eggrolls

Unrolled Eggrolls – in pretty stacks.

Egg rolls. UNrolled. And in pretty little stacks. These little stacks are a unique way of making egg rolls – with less fat and less hassle than making old school eggrolls. They are just plain FUN to make.

And there are so many possibilities coming up for festive foods: You could make these for upcoming Game Day treats. You could make these for Chinese New Year on February 2. You could make them for Valentine’s Day. I made them to take a walk down memory lane with my sweetie. And just because he deserves them.

You see, there are at least two things I love about Chinese restaurants: egg rolls and fortune cookies. I have had many fortune cookie prophesies fulfilled in my life. No, really. My favorite was right after I was engaged to my sweetheart in 1976. We went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate and my fortune proclaimed: “You are doomed to be happy in wedlock.” I still have that little strip tucked away in a scrapbook. And that prophesy has been exactly right so far: 37 years of wedded bliss and counting. My marriage is the best thing about my life. By far. Nothing else even comes close. Jim makes me laugh every single day. And think. And weep. And be a better person. I still perk up every single time he walks into the room!

So, just between us, Chinese food is always a special unstated celebration food for us. We love being reminded that we are “doomed” to be happy!

I decided Jim deserved some egg rolls today. But simpler. And prettier.

I used the Nasoya brand and I love them – they never stick together and bake up golden and crispy and light. Baking instead of deep frying saves calories, fat and increases the crunch factor of wonton squares. I baked the wonton squares after brushing them lightly with just a touch of oil until they were brown and crunchy.Then, I just made shrimp eggroll filling and layered it all in cute little stacks. Cinchy!

Here’s to you, Jim. I’m so glad we have eternity together. One lifetime is not nearly enough.

Eggroll Stacks

 — posted by Donna

Un-Rolled Eggroll Stacks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 8 ounces uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 12 ounce package of Nasoya wonton wraps (3¼ inch squares)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place shrimp in a small bowl and cover with water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Let sit on counter top for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Brush wonton squares lightly with a little oil on both sides. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. In a large skillet, saute bell pepper in oil for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger. Add green onions and cabbage and saute another 2 to 3 minutes, until all vegetables are softened.
  5. Stir together stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. Pour into skillet, and cook for a minute or two, until thickened. Empty skillet.
  6. Add shrimp and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet. Saute shrimp for a few minutes, until opaque. Stir into vegetables.
  7. Layer the baked wonton squares with the skillet mixture in three layers per serving.

Other food bloggers creations using wonton wraps:

Tofu, Broccoli and Kale Tacos, Eats Well with Others
Wonton Jalapeno Poppers, CopyKat Recipes
Crispy Southwest Wontons, Damn Delicious
Shrimp Wonton Soup, Closet Cooking

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Fire Cider: Extreme Health Tonic http://www.apronstringsblog.com/fire-cider-extreme-health-tonic/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/fire-cider-extreme-health-tonic/#respond Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:47:17 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8417

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Fear not! This bold home remedy is not only packed with health-supporting properties, it packs a flavor punch you just might love.

Fire Cider

Homemade Fire Cider Health Tonic

Everything old is new again, right? If you’ve never tried a health tonic, there’s no time like the present, what with all manner of viruses and other seasonal maladies flying around. This potent fire cider is reputed to be warming and energizing, immune-boosting, great for relieving congestion and even a digestive aid. But on top of its health-enhancing properties, throngs of fire cider lovers enjoy its flavor enough to not just throw it back like a shot, but mixing it into lemonade or OJ, putting it in salad dressings in place of vinegar alone, using a few dashes in cocktails, adding it to chili, soups and stew for an extra kick.

If you like video tutorials, check out old school herbal goddess Rosemary Gladstar brewing up a batch. She recommends taking a tablespoon or two when you feel a cold coming on, and then if it sets in, repeat every 3 or 4 hours until symptoms begin to subside. To get the benefit for cold an flu season, make this now, since you want this to steep for at least a few weeks to get the most bang out of it! (And wear goggles when you grate the horseradish. YOW!)  


1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
1/4 cup fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup fresh turmeric root, grated (or 1 tablespoon ground turmeric)
1/2 cup fresh horseradish, grated
1 or 2 habanero chiles, chopped
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
approximately 3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw honey

Add all vegetables, orange and lemons, herbs to a quart-sized mason jar. Pour the apple cider over it all – Bragg’s is the best if possible, as it has “the mother” (all the fermented goodness),  but any brand will work. Cover top with wax paper and secure the ring around the top. Steep for up to 4 weeks, giving the mixture an occasional shake and making sure the vegetables are still submerged in liquid (some like to use a weight for this).

When you’re ready, strain the liquid into another container and stir in the raw honey. Refrigerate and use however you like! It’ll keep for up to a year.

Other health tonics from fellow food bloggers:

Lemon Cold Remedy from Healthy Blender Recipes
Beet Kvass from Nourishing Gourmet
Happy Tummy Tonic from Kellie’s Food To Glow
Turmeric, Ginger and Lemon Tea from Sense and Serendipity
Spring Tonic Soup with Wild Greens from Healthy Green Kitchen

– posted by Anne

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Easy Savory Falafel Waffles http://www.apronstringsblog.com/savory-falafel-waffles/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/savory-falafel-waffles/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:33:04 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8376

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Savory Falafel Waffles

Falafel in waffle form for the new year

For me, the best part of falafel is the crispy outsides, so I figured I could make these in waffle form and increase the crispiness – times 1,000.

These are a win, and I will be making them a lot in the New Year – not just for Meatless Mondays. I like them slathered with a Greek or Aussie yoghurt. We are currently obsessed with Noosa at our house, just FYI.

These would be great frozen and then heated in your toaster for a quick meatless meal any day of the week.

The ore veggies, the better, I say!


1 can (15 ounces) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup diced parsley leaves
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
Oil for brushing waffle iron
Cucumbers, tomatoes, dill as a garnish

Process to very small bits  in the food processor the beans, eggs, olive oil, onion, parsley, cumin, coriander, baking powder, lemon zest and salt.

Stir in the bread crumbs. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Heat a waffle iron to high heat. Brush with oil. Spoon on the falafel batter and cook to desired doneness.

Other bloggers do falafel:

Falafel, Closet Cooking
Falafel Bean Patties, Eat Live Run
Southwestern Falafel with Poached Eggs, The Curvy Carrot
Vegan Falafel, The Perfect Pantry
Herb and Pistachio Falafel, Eats Well with Others


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Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce http://www.apronstringsblog.com/cilantro-veggie-curry-with-veggie-sauce/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/cilantro-veggie-curry-with-veggie-sauce/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 15:30:45 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8384

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Nothing but goodness in this all-veggie curry with veggie sauce, plus extra veggies.

Cilantro Veggie Curry

Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce, plus extra veggies with veggies on top.


This is the perfect warm, mildly spicy dish for January, as it fits into just about ANY health-conscious approach to eating you can think of. It’s vegetarian. It’s vegan. It’s gluten and dairy-free. It fits with paleo, Whole 30, and all other manner of dietary reset plans. Even if your only resolution was to eat more vegetables, period, this fits the bill and then some. Bottom line, it’s absolutely packed with vegetables and vegetables only, save for the spices and broth – the sauce itself is made from pureed veggies that are incorporated into the dish itself.  You cannot go astray with this one.

I fist discovered a version of this in Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat, and have been tinkering with it for years. My latest additions are golden beets and cilantro, plus a touch of turmeric, all of which brighten the dish up. This iteration isn’t terribly spicy – you could certainly add more cayenne if you like, or more heat in another form. Add it to your meal in any of the aforementioned approaches. 

Be warned: this does take a good amount of veggie prep – nothing complicated at all, just requires a leisurely-afternoon-in-the-kitchen-with-podcasts-or-good-music-playing approach. This recipe makes a huge batch, so expect to freeze some of it for the future.



2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon each cumin, coriander, and paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon each allspice, cardamom, and ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth plus 2 cups water
3 red bell peppers, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 ounces crimini mushrooms (a.k.a. baby bella), sliced
1 rutabaga, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and diced
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste at the end)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
8 ounces green beans
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Combine the onions, garlic, spices, and 3 cups of the broth in the biggest cooking vat you’ve got (see above re: recipe yielding a huge batch). Bring to a boil and cover to cook for 5 minutes. Add in peppers, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for another 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Cool just a bit.

Puree half the mixture in a blender or a food processor (I’m a fan of immersion blenders for hot stuff in many cases, but this wouldn’t work as well here; just make sure to hold the top of the blender on firmly, using a towel to be safe). Using the Ninja here was perfect, done in seconds flat and totally secure for blending hot stuff!

Return to the pot. Add rutabaga, cauliflower, parsnip and fennel, stirring to combine well, and pour in the rest of the vegetable broth and the water – this should be just enough to ALMOST cover the vegetables. Add salt and bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and zest, zucchini, green beans and cilantro. Simmer all together uncovered for another 10 minutes, making sure all the vegetables are tender but never soggy. It makes a HUGE batch, and I recommend dividing whatever’s left into a few individual portions and popping them in the freezer for posterity.

– posted by Anne

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Saturday Morning Low Sugar Green Juice http://www.apronstringsblog.com/low-sugar-green-juice-recipe/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/low-sugar-green-juice-recipe/#respond Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:26:36 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8394

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Green juice – a Kelly family weekend tradition!

Green Juice

Don’t you feel healthier just looking at this juice?

Most juice recipes call for using lots of high sugar fruits – like pineapple, melons, etc. And many smoothie recipes have tons of sugar.

At our house, however, we have a weekend obsession ritual tradition that uses low carb veggies – with just a touch of sweetness from a few apple slices. (Note: You can use a juicer for this, but we have tried it in a good blender – we have a Blendtec – and it works just as well with more fiber added in.)

So, here’s the combo we love: 3 parts celery; 3 parts cucumber; 5 parts spinach; one part apple; a few slices of ginger. DON’T skip the ginger – it gives the juice a kick that is so refreshing. The wonderful thing about juice recipes is that you can have fun experimenting and going crazy with the veggies and fruits – it took us about a year to develop this combo and we are crazy for it!

I have been reading lots about anti-inflammatory diets and how beneficial they are in reducing risks of heart disease and cancer – and this juice has lots of alkaline foods and ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory. You can drink it just for the deliciousness, of course, but I love drinking in powerful healthy nutrients as well.

I drink this green drink pretty much every Saturday. I miss it and crave it when I don’t get my Saturday Green Juice. It fills me up and makes me feel so good. Saturday Morning Zen. In a glass.

Happy New Year, All~

Other food bloggers do green juice:

My Favorite Green Juice, Lauren’s Latest
Benefits of Green Juice, Healthy Green Kitchen
Happy Herby Detox Juice, The Blender Girl
Green Juice Recipes, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Kale Grape Ginger Lemon Juice, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

– posted by Donna

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Fried Black Eyed Peas for a Happy New Year! http://www.apronstringsblog.com/fried-black-eyed-peas-for-a-happy-new-year/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/fried-black-eyed-peas-for-a-happy-new-year/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 21:46:05 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8363

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Surprisingly delicious fried black eyed peas!

Fried Black Eyed Peas

It’s not too late to have a happier New Year!

Really, it’s not too late. Black Eyed Peas are a traditional food in the south and the tradition is that they will bring you luck in the new year.

The tradition started during the Civil War. In those times, black eyed peas were grown only to feed livestock and slaves, and so the Northern army left these fields alone (no pillaging or burning). So, Southerners were “lucky” to have black eyed beans to eat even when other crops were destroyed. So, the humble bean became a hero.

I watched an episode on Food Network where my culinary crush Alton Brown described eating deep fried black eyed peas. And, yes, in case you were wondering, I do have a poster of my crush Alton hanging in my pantry. He loved the “ca-woosh” of crunching down on them and the crispy salty exterior with the soft creamy interior.

I am not normally a fan of these legumes, but after I saw this I just HAD to make these for New Years’ Day.

I must say they are a hassle to make but SO worth it. The crispy crunch is delightful and the flavor is superb when these beans are tossed with salt and Old Bay. DO make these and you will forget all about luck and get lost enjoying a big ole bowl with your lucky friends and family.

Happy 2015 to us all!


One 16 ounce bag of dried black eyed peas
Water and salt
32 ounces of vegetable stock
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
Salt and Old Bay seasoning

Soak your peas in about 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt overnight, up to 24 hours. Drain the beans about halfway through the soaking time and add fresh water.

In a large stockpot, boil the beans in the stock with the onion and jalapeño until they are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain beans and discard the onion and jalapeño. Spread out beans on a baking sheet and let cool and dry completely.

Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry beans in small batches and drain on paper towels. Toss with salt and Old Bay seasoning to taste while beans are still hot.




For a fabulous looking collection of dishes using black eyed peas, check out the black eyed peas recipe collection from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Other Lucky recipes:

Black Eyed Pea Chili, Fat Free Vegan
Black Eyed Peas with Pancetta and Pickled Okra, In Sock Monkey Slippers
Cajun Black Eyed Peas and Cabbage, Real Cajun Cooking

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Hoppin’ John Salad for a Lucky New Year http://www.apronstringsblog.com/hoppin-john-salad-for-a-prosperous-lucky-new-year/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/hoppin-john-salad-for-a-prosperous-lucky-new-year/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:29:25 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8358

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A salad spin on the traditional New Year’s Day dish

Hoppin’ John Salad to start your New Year off right!

Even if cornbread, collards and blackeyed peas with bacon or ham weren’t reputed to bring one wealth, luck and overall prosperity in the the year to come when eaten on New Year’s Day, I’d still enjoy eating them all. Hoppin’ John is the component of the  New Year’s meal from the American South that brings prosperity, and if you save some for leftovers the following day, it becomes “Skippin’ Jenny”, which demonstrates your commendable frugality and further increases your chances of manifesting that prosperity.

We though we’d try a salad variation of Hoppin’ John, and since it’s a bean salad, it definitely keeps well and even improves for a next-day reprise. There’s one collard leaf in there, less for flavor and more for tradition, though I love any extra green in a salad like this. You could also omit the ham for a still-totally-flavorful vegetarian version. 


2 cups blackeyed peas, soaked overnight
1 collard green leaf, rib removed and finely chopped
3 red bell peppers, roasted and chopped
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
3 green onions
2 thick sliced of ham, diced into 1/2 inch cubes


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)

Rinse the soaked peas. Cover peas with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a boil, cooking for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Shake all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar, set aside.

Once beans have cooled, toss all remaining ingredients together and serve, preferably with cornbread on the side. If you want to pull out all the good-luck-tradition stops, place a coin underneath each plate or in the serving dish itself.

– posted by Anne

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