Monday, January 07, 2013

Get On The Good Foot

You gotta start the new year off right, y'know?? Let's get crackin'!

fun fact: once I got a speeding ticket while rockin' out to Mr. James Brown

Mellow Coconut-Tempeh Curry with zucchini, spinach & sweet potatoes
from Bean by Bean

Actually, my first order of business was a healthy and delicious farewell to 2012. This was our New Year's Eve dinner. We both really loved this dish so much -- it was light, delicious, packed with veggies and flavor.  The oven-baked marinated tempeh was especially rich and distinctive. Next time I will crumble it up after baking it so that the flavor intensity is more widely distributed. Also, the dish was both filling and light - which is one of my favorite qualities in a recipe. I'll definitely make this again.

New Year's Day, we slept in. Of course! Then, once we were roused, I whipped up a batch of one of my favorite recipes of all time: The Tofu Sesame Scramble with Yams and Greens from Vegan Brunch. It is such a joy for me that Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats has learned to love this recipe, and I don't have to wait for him to leave town before I make it. I am very much in love with this recipe. As you can see, we had a few clementines, some OJ, and a big cuppa joe to go with it. It was such a great way to start the year!

I didn't grow up with the "black eyed peas & greens" on New Year's Day tradition, but I'm happy to embrace it. For one, half my roots come from the south. For two, I love an excuse to eat black eyed peas. For three, I appreciate being told what to make for dinner.

I figured, we'd had kale for breakfast, so we'd already covered the greens issue. For dinner I made Black Eyed Peas and Corn in Tomato Masala (also from Bean by Bean). It was really delicious. Next time I will make it even spicier! I tend to be conservative the first time, because I really hate it when I make a dish way too spicy. So far, Bean to Bean is proving to be a really great cookbook!

After I'd already decided to make the masala black eyed peas, I saw Isa's post on the PPK blog about her Hoppin' John Bowl with Red Hot Tahini - and I just knew I had to make it the next day. So, maybe 2013 will be an extra auspicious year for us - seeing as how we had the black eyed peas and greens two nights in a row. 

We LOVED this amazing dish! Instead of steaming my greens, I cooked my collards with some caramelized onions and liquid smoke. Also, I loved cooking the b.e.p.s with liquid smoke and bay leaves. They had such a great flavor. And the whole thing was served over a bed of wild rice. I definitely won't wait until January 1st 2014 to make this again. If you're one of the 10 people who didn't make this for New Year's Day - it's not too late! Carpe diem!

I hope your 2013 is off to a good start!


  1. I made Isa's recipe on New Year's Day, too. I couldn't find black eyed peas, so I just ate black beans until I found a can of black eyed peas at the Persian grocery store the next day. Hopefully eating them a day late doesn't change their lucky properties. I didn't grow up with this tradition either. For me, the total star of Isa's recipe is the sauce!! I'm still working my way through it and it is fantastically delicious. I will definitely make it many times over to compliment steamed greens, beans, and anything else it might accompany well.

  2. Wow, so much deliciousness! But first, all of the pictures in this post are especially gorgeous! Did someone get a new, fancy camera for the holidays?

    I've never made that scramble from Vegan Brunch, but now I really want to. I love vegetable-heavy scrambles, and David is happy whenever I add sweet potatoes to anything. This would be an all around win!

  3. Anonymous3:35 AM


  4. My advisor told me a pretty great story about a James Brown drinking game they played in the Navy. Basically, they were playing a numbers game (switch directions on certain numbers, drink on certain numbers, etc.), except they made James Brown noises instead of saying numbers. There was more to it than that, but this comment is already getting long .. So, good luck in the new year! I might need some black-eyed peas (I missed mine at new years, but it's never too late. right?).

  5. I love James Brown! I love, even more, that you included this video in your post. I liked you before, but now I really like you.

    That, plus that you included that beautiful photo of Isa's Hoppin' John, which we made this New Year's Day, and was a gorgeous meal--dare I say 'perfect'?

    Thank you for your post, and best wishes for a good year.

  6. Yum to all! Jake was just mentioning yesterday that he wants "Amey's kale and sweet potatoes".

    From Bean to Bean I've made Spicy Syrian-style Lentil soup (it was okay, I like the AFR one better) and the Greek green beans (have made them twice - so good and it's such a weird cooking technique).

  7. The dishes look so bright! Great way of serving!
    If you want to cook weel and not to waste much money on this process, here're some tips for you:
    Efficient eating

  8. What a yummy start to 2013!


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