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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a New Year!

It's a new year with more fun food adventures for me!  I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but I will try to post more on my blog.

January 1st in the U.S. is a day for eating certain foods and watching football.  Through friends from other countries, and different parts of the U.S., I'm learning many new traditions.  I think my favorite is from my friend from Colombia who will carry a suitcase around the street to signify more travel.  Not that I'm superstitious or anything, but I HAVE to have certain things to eat on January 1st.  It was well after midnight and I was reading a book.  I had the sudden thought about the suitcase! I looked in my closet, picked up my suitcase and put it back... ok, so perhaps I'll just take a few short trips.

In the south it is customary to eat greens (spinach, kale, collard, or turnip) for money in the new year.  Black eyed peas are eaten for luck.  Lucky for me, I really like these foods.  It has been a cold and rainy day, so I thought I would make some soup incorporating the ingredients.  I usually don't measure ingredients for soup, but I can give a rough estimate of everything!  I cheated and used canned black eye peas....

1 can (gasp) 15 oz black eye peas -unseasoned
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp lemon pepper (I put this in just about everything)
1/2 cup carrot slices
3 stalks celery
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 of a large bag of Kale (probably 6 cups of the leaves)
water (or vegetable/chicken broth) to cover
tabasco sauce to taste

Simmer the sweet potatoes until tender (so much easier to peel after they are cooked). You can also microwave, or bake them. Set aside, peel, and add just before adding the kale.

In a large pot (I love my Le Creuset with the heavy lid), sautee the onion, celery, carrots until onions and celery are tender.  Add tomatoes, broth, spices and simmer until the carrots are tender.  Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and add to pot.  Add the kale, reduce heat to low and cook until the kale is just tender.  Add more broth to desired thickness is desired.  I like it more like a stew than soup.  This soup is loaded with vitamins.  Guess what?  I (the person who used to salt pickles) didn't even put salt in the soup!  It really doesn't need any at all!  That is a huge milestone for me!!

What do you eat on January 1st?


Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar