Did you know there are certain foods that are supposed to bring you luck in the new year if you eat them? I think it’s a tradition mainly followed in the south. While I’m not Southern, I did learn about this concept and thought it was a fun idea so I’ve been incorporating it in my family for the past several years. I think most southerners that follow this eat collard greens with black-eyed peas cooked in ham. This is my own interpretation of lucky food for the new year. Our New Year’s Day tradition is to eat African Groundnut Stew, although this is yummy to eat at any time, so don’t just limit it to one day.
- Eating greens is thought to increase wealth
- Black eyed peas represent prosperity, I’ve heard because they resemble coins (in someone’s mind.)
- Grains are supposed to represent long life and/or abundance.
My husband really likes this, it’s great because it’s not tomato based. He hates tomatoes, there are too many tomato based soups! (I love tomatoes though.) And I’m happy with it because it has a rich, thick feel without being cream/dairy based. I’m not a chef or a food photographer, but here’s the recipe! Enjoy!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces green chiles
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas (a can drained and rinsed would work)
- 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, chiles, ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon and cumin. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with the spices.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Put the peanut butter in a small bowl and slowly 1/4 cup water, stirring until smooth. Add the peanut butter mixture into the stew. Simmer about 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
- Add the black-eyed peas and spinach. Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes.
- Before serving, taste to adjust the seasonings.
- Garnish with peanuts, chopped or whole.
Serve with cornbread on the side.