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December 31, 2010

New Year's Stew

It was just last year that I learned of the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day for good luck. Lucky or not, count me in for any tradition that involves eating these most adorable, delicious little beans!

This stew is hearty, with a rich beef flavored broth. The beans and greens meet in the pot with pearl onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, turnips, and fresh herbs. You may sub chopped onion for the pearl onions, and potatoes for the turnips, if you prefer. My stew is inspired by the seitan based Beefless Stew on Vegan Good Things.

Much love, and a little luck, to you and yours in the New Year!

New Year's Stew
Serves 4 generously

2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz pearl onions, peeled (use pre-peeled frozen onions for super convenience)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
10 cremini or or white button mushrooms, quartered
2 ribs of celery, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried, chopped)
2 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tbsp flour
3 cups vegetarian beef broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup dry red wine
4 medium turnips, peeled and chopped
2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce 
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
5 collard green leaves, center rib removed, and chopped (or turnip greens, or kale)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in celery, carrots, and herbs and saute for 3 more minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, and then slowly stir in the broth and red wine. Turn up heat to bring to a boil.

Add turnips and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the turnips and other veggies are tender to your liking. Stir in the black-eyed peas, greens, and worcestershire sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a side of brown rice.

Making this stew was a good excuse to try out a few of my new toys from Christmas. Check out this beauty that Steve gave me, my first piece of enameled cast iron cookware! *Swoon* This 6 quart dutch oven is made by Lodge, and is much more affordable than Le Creuset. You can even fool everyone if you buy the Le Creuset knob! Amazon recommends the Le Creuset knob as an accompanying purchase to the Lodge dutch oven, which made me laugh! No new knob for me, I am a proud Lodge owner.

To accompany my stew I made a pot of brown rice in my new rice cooker. What a handy fun little gadget! The rice turned out perfect.

I also got to play around with my favorite gift of all, a hand-me-down digital SLR from my little brother! He has moved on to bigger and better cameras, so he decided to give me his older Canon 30D. I have so much to learn about using the camera and editing the photos, but I am on my way! I am looking forward to some serious photography in the coming year!

Well, and some not so serious photography, too..

Am I a horrible person?
Signing out for 2010. I hope you have a very Happy New Year, and I'll catch you in 2011!


  1. I'm all for reasons to play with new toys. I'm making a stew tomorrow as well just so I can use my new crockpot. Happy New Year!

  2. Ha! I think you're getting a lump of coal from SantaCat!

  3. Oh my gosh!!!! That photo of your cat is the icing on my year!! HA!

  4. My mom always made black eyed peas on New Years. She's from Oklahoma. I had not thought abou that for so long. Enjoy!

  5. happy new year! the stew looks fantastic - and I love your green pot - I think the colour is much more important than the name on the knob - but cutest is your pussy cat - I don't know how he posed for that

  6. Turnips! Wonderful. This sounds hearty enough to keep you going the entire new year. Happy one to you.

  7. I got a DSLR for XMas also and am definitely still trying to figure it out!

    This stew looks like a wonderfully healthy way to kick off the new year!

  8. I love the picture of Arnold but he doesn't look so thrilled. Mine would never sit still long enough for me to get a pic like that. ;-)

    The stew sounds wonderful and hearty. A perfect cold weather dish.

    I love my enameled cast iron pots I think you will too.

    Have fun playing with the camera.


  9. This tradition is news to me but I really like the sounds of it! That dutch oven looks beautiful, name brand or not...I can't believe you can buy the knob hahah. I'd like a rice cooker. How many cups is that one? I want a mini one or two cup cooker. Small batches are best in our house.

  10. Oh the cat picture. Mr. Bran would have mauled me.


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