Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grain Free Hoppin' John

I actually eat this stuff for breakfast.  The inspiration came from a few sources actually.  The first was my mother who suggested that I start thinking outside the box in terms of breakfast food.  Restrictions on eggs, grains, and dairy left me with few good, quick options in the morning.  This has bacon in it so it totally counts as breakfast.  The second inspiration came from my sort-of southern roots.  I've known about Hoppin' John since I was a kid.  I loved the American Girls series and my parents had gotten me some of the cookbooks for Christmas.  Traditionally it's made with rice, but since that wasn't an option, I decided to add more beans.... plus some veggies and spices.  After living in Virginia for 4 years and then going on an allergen friendly diet, I was actually craving some good old Southern cooking.  Unfortunately in the South, everything gets breaded, fried, dipped in cream, and smothered in butter.  While all of these things make Southern cooking the wonderful cuisine that it is, they are not on the approved allergy list.  That made Hoppin' John, a good option for a blog post.  Just a side note, I'm presently attempting to think up a recipe for fried chicken with Kamut flour and no dairy.  I'll let you know how that works out.  Until then, enjoy some grain-free Hoppin John for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or all three.  This dish is both easy to make and budget friendly so you can eat a lot of it and feel great about it because it's good for your body, and your pocketbook.

 Traditionally, Hoppin' John is made with rice.  If you would like to add rice feel free.  Just substitute any amount of beans for an equal amount of rice.  I also use pickled jalapeño.  It adds a great flavor to the dish, and it tends to be a little milder than fresh jalapeño.  It also keeps for long periods of time (we aren't big jalepeno eaters here).  However, I have used fresh jalapeño in a pinch and it came out great.

Grain Free Hoppin' John
3 slices bacon
1 clove garlic
1 green pepper
1/2 cup onion
1 Tablespoon pickled jalapeño (or fresh)
3 cups black eyed peas (2 cans)
1 cup black beans (1 can)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste 
  1. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon until it is crispy.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, pepper, jalapeño, oregany, thyme, salt, and maple syrup to the pan and sauté until tender.  I just use the bacon grease to sauté the veggies.  It really enhances the flavor of the whole dish.  However, if you are looking for a leaner option, you can just use a little olive oil. 
  3. Drain off the extra grease.
  4. Add the beans, and heat through.

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