Happy New Years!

I will try not to make this a post about resolutions, eating better, working out  more and things like that; BUT, I have committed to adding more vegan meals to my diet, eating leftovers (I usually avoid leftovers, I know, silly), and generally trying to improve my overall health ( I had a rough few months at the end of 2014).

So, to start off 2015, I took a long overdue spin class at Boho Cycle Studio, one of my favorite placed to work out (if you haven’t been your first class if free!), signed up for a barre class at Pure Barre, as well as buying a package of classes for Pound from CO2 Fit  ” POUND™ is a great effective program that can appeal to people at every fitness level.  Similar to the popular Zumba classes, in POUND™ you can get fit while feeling like you are at a party.  But you don’t even have to be a good dancer, you just need to POUND the Ripstix™ while rocking out to great music.” Also, I am really looking forward to new fitness classes as well as the Monument Avenue 10K with the awesome folks from Strangeways Brewing.

For New Year, in the Southern Tradition, I made Collards and Hopping John with cornbread; it is supposed to bring money and prosperity for the new year, plus it is darn tasty. I did make mine vegan, of course more traditionally you would use pork or ham hocks. I hope your New Years celebrations were wonderful and luck and prosperity comes to you in 2015.

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Vegan Hoppin’ John

– 2 cups dried black eyed peas

– water to cover

– 2 carrots diced

– 1 large onion diced

– 1/2 green and red bell pepper diced

– 2 ribs celery diced

– 2-3 cloves garlic minced

– 1-2 TBS red pepper flakes

– 1 TBS Italian seasoning

– salt and pepper to taste

– 32oz veggie broth

– 1 large can diced tomatoes

You can soak your black eyed peas overnight (discard that water when done) or simmer on medium until fork tender (about 60-90 minutes) stove top ( drain and discard cooking liquid). Saute veggies, garlic and spices. Add soaked black eyed peas and veggie broth and tomatoes simmer for about 2 hrs or until the black eyed peas are tender. If needed throughout cooking you can add a little water. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Collard Greens

– 2 large bunched of wash and chopped collard greens

– 1 medium onion diced

– 2-3 cloves garlic minced

– 2 TBS red pepper flakes or you can use a diced hot pepper (make it as spicey as you like)

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Apple Cider Vinegar to taste (I would start with a 1/4 cup)

Wash the collards in a large sink full of water, letting any grit fall tot he bottom of the sink. Saute the onion, garlic, pepper until translucent. Add washed greens to the pot, do not worry about drying them off, the liquid will help form the “pot licker”. Saute until the greens are tender (45 or so minutes). about 1/2 way through I add the vinegar, you may want more at the end. Serve hot with your Hoppin John and cornbread and ENJOY!

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