Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hoppin' John

So, why start a food blog during one of the most busy times of my life? I'm the head Special Olympics soccer coach for our school, it is 1 month into the school year, I'm heading a huge service learning project, and drowning in IEP paper work... I have to do something to get myself away from work.

I've been cooking for the past 3 years, but only in the last few months have I been making dishes and sharing them with anyone other than my husband (which is weird to write since we just got married after 10 years of being together and 13 years of knowing each other). People in my family were so impressed with my dishes that I have been sending them recipes for the past few weeks. This is one way to make it easier to get to them. I also love food blogs. The fact that I cant eat, or wont eat, most of the food on them is funny. I have a very specific diet, that is why the blog is called "What Can You Eat?" because there are so few things that I can eat. 4 years ago I developed Gastroparesis, a condition where my stomach does not contract any more, so that food just sits in it for hours. A year ago it we finally found a cause... allergies. However all the tests say that I'm not allergic to anything! However I have found, through elimination diets, that I have strong allergic reactions to gluten and cola nut. So between the allergies, not being able to digest heavy foods, and being a picky eater... you end up with a very interesting collection of food.

I wish I could say my first post is some amazing dish.... I made one the day before, but didn't take this is the dish you get! I got this Hoppin' John recipe from I have found in the past two weeks that eating vegetarian makes me feel alot better. Meat is very hard to digest. However, I have been a self-proclaimed carnivore since age 5 and eating just vegetables kinda freaks me out! I am trying though.

I found the dish to be a bit bland when I followed the recipe from so I increased the spices in this recipe. Enjoy!

Hoppin' John

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup medium or long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 (20-ounce) bag frozen black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Chopped scallions
  • Halved grape tomatoes

Heat a bit of olive oil. Cook your onions and garlic for around 5 minutes until soft. Add your rice and stir it frequently for 1 minute to roast it. Then add the paprika and stir it for around 30 seconds until it is fragrant. Add your frozen peas, water, beer, chile and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes without disturbing. After 25 minutes, check rice for doneness. Mixture should be moist, but not soupy. If mixture appears dry, add additional liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, folding gently with a wooden spoon after each addition until desired consistency is reached, up to 1 additional cup liquid. Return lid and allow to cook for additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with soy sauce. Serve immediately, topping with scallions and tomatoes.

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