We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: Southern food, vegan style.
There's no point denying it: There are a lot of meat- and seafood-heavy Southern specialities. But that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of vegetarian and vegan Southern favorites, too. Hoppin' John, while traditionally made with bacon, can be just as hearty and flavorful without it. The key to a satisfying vegan version is the addition of one secret ingredient: smoked paprika.
Complete your Southern supper with a glass of sweet tea. Now all you need to do to finish the experience is find a porch and play some country tunes.
Black tea bags, Lipton or Luzianne (or a decaffeinated option)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
One 14-ounce can black-eyed peas
1 medium yellow onion
2 medium green bell peppers
1 large stalk celery
4 cups vegetable broth
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups long-grain brown rice or brown basmati rice
2 green onions, green parts only
It’s likely that you already have sugar, olive oil, dried thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce. If not, add those to the list, too.
1. For the sweet tea, use 1 cup of water, 1 tea bag, and 1 tablespoon of sugar for each person. Boil the desired amount of water and toss in the tea bags. Brew it for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the sugar while the tea is hot and stir to combine. Chill the tea while you make dinner.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Chop the onion, pepper, and celery, add to the hot oil, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed dried thyme, the smoked paprika, and the peas. Then pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the peas are tender but not mushy, about 35 to 50 minutes. If excess broth remains, gently pour it out of the pot.
4. Strain the diced tomatoes and add them, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, to the bean mixture and heat through. Check and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
5. While the beans are cooking, cook the rice according to package instructions. Divide the rice into bowls, top with the pea mixture, and garnish with chopped green onions. Add a dash or two of Tabasco, if desired.
6. Fill glasses with ice and pour in the tea. Stick a wedge of lemon in the side and eat with the hoppin’ john.
Photos by James Ransom and Beth Kirby