Lucky Black Eyed Peas & Collard Greens

Eating black eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day is a longstanding tradition in the southern US. Am I a Southern Belle? Nope, not even close. But I can sure eat like one.

Black eyed peas are said to bring prosperity because they become larger when cooking, and the greens represent money. Cornbread is said to represent gold - so I will definitely be adding it to this meal next time (I like to add jalapeños to mine!).

Whether superstition or not, I absolutely choose to believe that a tasty and hearty dish can bring luck in 2018. Like my mom always said about Santa: “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.” Kind of a “build it and they will come” philosophy. As if I needed an excuse to eat traditional Southern food....

Is this a dish your family eats on January 1st? Did it bring the luck you hoped for? Tell me everything in the comments!


Olive oil
4 slices tofu bacon (optional)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
5 small (or 2-3 large) dried red chiles, broken up (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 quart veggie stock
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bell pepper, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
4 green onions, chopped

1 large bunch collard greens, roughly chopped and ribs removed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 drops liquid smoke
Salt and pepper, to taste

5 cups cooked white or brown rice (a little more than 1 ½ cups uncooked)
Your favorite hot sauce (mine is Ninja Squirrel Sriracha)

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tsp of oil and tofu bacon and render until crisp. Remove the tofu bacon and set aside. To the same pot, add the garlic, chiles, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, oregano, vinegar and dried peas and stir to combine. Pour in the veggie stock and add the tomatoes. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour until peas are tender. Pull out the bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once warm, add the bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes or so, until tender. Add to the peas, along with the diced tofu bacon.
  3. In a new skillet, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Once warm, add the sliced onion. Once the onion starts to soften, add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion begins to caramelize.
  4. Add the collard greens and stir everything to combine. Once the greens begin to wilt, add the liquid smoke and vinegar. Cook until the greens are completely wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Now we plate! Add cooked rice to a plate or platter, along with black eyed peas and collard greens.
  6. Just before serving, squeeze lemon over the pea mixture and sprinkle green onions over the entire dish.
  7. Happy New Year!

Black eyed peas recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens and Tyler Florence.