It’s officially 2012! No matter how you rung in the New Year, we are all looking forward to the upcoming year and hope that it will be the best year yet. You may partake in certain traditions to ensure that this happens. One of the most common of these is eating black-eyed peas, which are said to bring good luck and prosperity. 
There are many different stories of how black-eyed peas came to symbolize good luck. One story is that during the Civil War, one southern town was under attack and ran out of food. Luckily, black-eyed peas were soon discovered, and were thereafter considered lucky. Now it is a huge southern tradition to incorporate black-eyed peas into their New Years meal.
Black-eyed peas are considered legumes, and can therefore be substituted for meat due to their high protein content. A half-cup equals approximately 70 calories, and is therefore a low calorie option. They are also high in soluble fiber, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as improve blood sugar levels. Potassium is also found in black-eyed peas, which is an important mineral to the function of muscle function.
They are also extremely versatile, and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be added in salads and dips, eaten by themselves, or as a side with ham or other meats. Below is a quick and easy recipe that your family will love, and will bring good luck for 2012.
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped, drained
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cans (14 oz. each) black eyed peas, drained
- 1 can (14 oz.) hominy, drained
- 1 bottle (8 oz.) Italian dressing
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with chips.
Assistance Provided by Tori Thompson