It is hard to believe that it is time to bring in the new year! 2018! I vividly remember so many things a year ago like it was yesterday. Whatever happened to time standing still?

I have an appetizer recipe that you can use for New Year’s Eve or even New Year’s Day. I made this simple salsa recipe and brought it to my family in Missouri for Christmas and they ate it right up. I also created a new celebratory drink to add to the festivities that I think is delicious! You can make it as a mocktail or add a little kick also with some sparkling wine. I have some champagne from Mumm Sparkling Wine in Napa that I got in Napa Valley last summer while I was visiting friends that I am going to open.

Black eyed peas are rich in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and folic acid potassium. Making them little super powerhouses which makes us lucky that they bring us so much health benefits. As a kid, I did not know about the legend of eating black eyed peas and good luck until I met my husband’s family. I tried to research a little about whey they were considered lucky. One story mentioned that during the Civil War, this was one food left from when the North stormed through South because they were considered unfit to eat. Another story I found was that blacks ate black eyed peas on New Year’s to celebrate their emancipation. I am not sure which story is where the tradition comes from but with all their nutrition benefits, they should be on the dinner table all year long!

I also found some interesting history about how Hoppin John got it’s name from the website What’s Cooking America and I thought you might enjoy learning a little more about it also. I like the fact that black eye peas may represent coins, greens might be dollars, cornbread is gold and if tomatoes are for health!

I always love to share something new and exciting in my kitchen. Last week, I felt really overwhelmed getting ready to pack and drive 800 miles for the holidays and did not feel real creative but I love this little black eyed pea salsa recipe and know that you may need something easy in the kitchen sometimes like me. This salsa will bring you all the luck you need without all the fuss!

New Year's Appetizer and Beverage

Celebrate your old year & new year in style with these sweet treats!

 

Black Eyed Pea Salsa

The black eyed peas served on top of a rice cracker is otherwise known as “Hoppin John Salsa”.  Having your lucky food as an appetizer that can be made ahead of time and easily served with whatever else you have is sure to make 2018 a great year! It has the black eye peas as the coins, the cilantro for your “green” and tomatoes for your health. You can add some corn chips for your “gold”.

15 1/2 ounce can black eyed peas

1 medium chopped tomatoes

1 small chopped jalapeno (with seed and ribs removed)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one lime

1/4 cup chopped purple onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Drain and rinse black eyed peas

New Year's Cocktail or Mocktail

Serve as a cocktail with sparkling wine or with club soda for a mocktail, this drink has lots of punch!

Cranberry Pomegranate Spritzer

This fizzy, fun drink can be made with champagne or club soda each with fabulous results! The phytochemicals from the vibrant red not only makes the beverage look beautiful but provides many health benefits also!

To make one beverage:

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

1/3 cup cranberry juice

1/3 cup club soda or sparkling wine

Garnish with frozen cranberries and fresh rosemary sprig

Here are a few more recipes using black eyed peas that you can try also if you are in the mood for a lucky, main dish!

Healthy New Year Black Eyed Pea Bowls!

 

In case, you have missed my holiday recipe collection, it has additional appetizers, beverages and desserts that may taste delicious while you are busy ringing in the New Year!

Holiday Recipe & Menu Ideas

You can hope that you love these two recipes to bring in the New Year! And I hope that good things are coming your way in 2018. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, living in Asheville, NC, I enjoy making and sharing recipe and menu ideas that taste great and surprisingly good for you! I am so glad that you found my blog and I hope that you stay tuned for more great things happening in the months ahead!

Bring on the New Year! I am ready!

Happy 2018

I am wishing you the best year yet!

 

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