2011 was not the best year. In the grand scheme of the universe and its problems mine don't even register, so honestly I feel a wee bit dramatic whining about it. But all the same, I hope 2012 has good things in store for me and the creatures I care about.
I'm not a superstitious gal, but I don't want to take any chances this year. So, I took a page from the book of southern cooking and made black eyed peas for dinner last night.
A tradition that dates back to the Civil War, black eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity and and good luck for the coming year to those who consume them on New Year's Day. When served with greens, the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. Combining the peas with tomatoes is thought to represent not only wealth, but health too.
So I covered all my bases and made a big batch of black eyed peas and collard greens, with a cup of cooked tomatoes mixed in for good measure.
The recipe comes from Appetite for Reduction and it is absolutely amazing. Amazing! I won a copy of the book during Vegan Mofo from the wonderful blog Vegan and So Forth and finally had my chance to try it out. I love it when the first recipe from a new cookbook turns out great because it lets me know that I didn't pick up a dud. Not that I've ever not liked an Isa Chandra Moskowitz cookbook. Anyway, much thanks to Vegan and So Forth for doing the giveaway!
(Wo)man cannot live on black eyed peas alone, so at the cookbook's suggestion I paired them with mashed sweet potatoes and apples that are steamed, sweetened with agave and flavoured with ginger and cinnamon. A perfect winter side dish.
You can find the recipes for both the black eyed peas and the mashed potatoes here.
The heartiness of this dish and the ease with which it comes together were very welcome after the insanity of New Year's Eve. We spent it with our friends on the dance floor of our favourite club, Starlight - here are some pictures of us all dressed up!
There is only one word to describe my December and it is a word that a woman my age probably shouldn't have to use: Bender. Along with the holidays, the bender is over for another year and it's time to get things under control once again.
I'm not typically one for resolutions, but this year I hope to continue to take my health and wellness seriously (far more seriously than I have in the last month), limiting (although not eliminating - let's not get carried away) sugar and gluten. January is going to be a completely alcohol-free month for both of us and we're also both starting new fitness regimes today.
Let's see how long this lasts.
And one more, fun resolution that runs completely contradictory to my other resolutions - every month, one weekend morning will be set aside for a big vegan breakfast feast.
Hope that the new year finds you happy and healthy. A special warm welcome to those of you who have resolved to go vegetarian or vegan for 2012 - I hope that you find This is Vegan useful as you transition!