Hoppin’ into the new year

Hoppin’ into the new year

By: By LEANNE ELY The Dinner Diva

The new year seems to be the pinnacle point for fresh starts. This is the year I’m going to: lose weight, get organized, eat healthier … name that tune. Jan. 1 is the “Promised land of all dates.” It’s the beginning of the beginning. The alpha point of the year. The clean slate promise of what’s to come.
This is why in the South we start the new year off with black-eyed peas (which symbolize good luck) and greens (which symbolize prosperity). And while most down home southern cooks may wince at my suggestions for New Year’s, I promise you it is fast and easy and takes care of your luck and prosperity in a flash.
Hoppin’ John Soup is the delicious way to accomplish those goals — enjoy!
Hoppin’ John Soup
Serves 6
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound kielbasa, chopped
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 can navy beans, drained
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans chicken broth
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add kielbasa, peas and beans, rice, broth and seasoning. Stir well to blend and heat. Mash beans slightly to help thicken soup (use the back of your spoon or a potato masher). Serve when hot.
Per serving: 499 calories; 14g fat (25.7 percent calories from fat); 29g protein; 65g carbohydrate; 15g dietary fiber; 25mg cholesterol; 676mg sodium. Exchanges: 4 grain (starch); 2 1/2 lean meat; 1/2 vegetable; 2 fat.
Serving suggestions: Serve with corn muffins (make or buy) and a big spinach salad.
Don’t forget — spinach salad is the prosperity part. Happy New Year.
For more help putting dinner on the table, check out the Web site www.SavingDinner.com or the Saving Dinner Book series published by Ballantine and the New York Times Best Selling book “Body Clutter,” published by Fireside. Copyright 2007 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.
Published in The Messenger 12.28.07

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