I ate the best vegetarian Hoppin’ John at a restaurant in Lexington, KY called Alfalfa’s.  I went home and tried to make the Hoppin’ John off of taste alone.  It turned out pretty good.  I’ve made it over the years and have since added hamburger meat to it as I am not vegetarian anymore.  I have served it with cornbread in times of lots of company, and I have made it when we needed something cheap, fresh, and lively.  I hope you all enjoy it.

East KY Style Hoppin’ John

  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soaked and prepared black eyed peas (if vegetarian omit hamburger and use 3 cups prepared peas)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 limes
  • Enough soaked and prepared brown rice for 4 servings (basmati rice also works really well and adds more flavor)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • grated Parmesan cheese or sharp cheddar to use as topping
  • salt and pepper
  1. Soak and prepare both the brown rice (with butter and salt) and black eyed peas.
  2. In a large heavy skillet or wok saute minced garlic in the olive oil.  Add hamburger meat and cook through until brown and crumbly.
  3. Add the chopped green bell pepper and onion.  Continue to cook until just tender.
  4. Add juice of one lime and cilantro.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add black eyed peas and diced tomatoes.  Cook on medium heat until very warm.
  6. Serve the meat, pea, and veggie mixture on top of a bed of the brown rice.  Top with cheese to taste.
  7. Enjoy!  Goes really good with cornbread.

If you make it, let me know how you like it.  It is one of my favorite meals in any season.

Some of my favorite food blogs and places to get recipes:

I hope everyone has enjoyed this little discussion on food.  It’s got me thinking quite a bit.  I’ll end this “topic of the week” over the next two days with a blog on exercising with children, and one on eating away from home.  Please, feel free to share whatever is on your mind whether it’s a recipe, ideas, experiences, advice, failures, or successes.  I’d love to hear from you.