Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Vegetarian Hoppin’ John (Rice & Bean Stew) – Taste of Nashville

I’ve got ‘Nashville’ fever good and proper! 

I’m totally addicted to the hit US drama series based on the trials and tribulations of the fictious Nashville country singers who sing their hearts out and bear their souls each Thursday (as is screened here in the UK).

Dreaming of singing with my ‘gee-tar’ whilst the Nashville soundtrack blares from my stereo, I got to thinking about what Nashville is all about and what kind of food is synonymous within the state of Tennessee.

The good old internet brought up quite a few options, things like: meatloaf, peanut butter pie and spare ribs.  But one recipe caught my eye which was easy enough to adapt for vegetarians and that is ‘Hoppin’ John’. 

Packed with rice, beans/black eyed peas and vegetables, it can be eaten in that way or if copying the Tennessee method, vegetarian-style bacon can be added (or pork bacon if making a portion for meat eaters).

Although eaten traditionally on New Year’s Day as a symbol to bring in good fortune (the black eyed peas  symbolising coins), it’s good enough to eat at any time.  Let’s face it, we all need good fortune whatever time of year it is!

Black eyed peas are somewhat difficult to find in the mainstream supermarkets of the UK, as was in my case, so I used tinned haricot beans instead. 

Just to note, I made a 2-person portion , I changed the seasonings slightly to suit my preferences (I put in a heaped tablespoon of paprika and a heaped teaspoon of ground ginger).  Do note the quantity stated on the recipe and if required, divide accordingly.

Hoppin' John
Photograph:  c/o

NB: Add veggie bacon/pork bacon if you wish.  Remember to keep meat and veggie portions separate and see my note above about portion sizes and seasonings.


It’s extremely tasty, it keeps you full, packed with goodness and is a great dish for single portions or placed on the table as a large pot for the whole family to share.

After the meal, volunteer someone to do the washing up, put your feet up and catch up with an episode or two from Nashville series 1 (you know you want to....) ! :)

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