Happy New Year! Welcome, 2016! Can you believe we have waved “goodbye” to 2015 and are moving onward and upward! The New Year is a fantastic time to start fresh, re-focus, write out your goals and make some changes. I mean…you can do it anytime of the year, month, week, day, etc. but their sure is something about that January 1st date that seems so new and exciting.
Start by taking in the year of 2015 – the ups, the downs, the stretches in areas that may have been uncomfortable, but have helped you grow.
Be grateful for it all.
Reflect on it and then remember that it has passed.
Hold on to the positive. Release the rest.
And make this NEW year everything that you want it to be.
We started this year like we have the last three with a delicious Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage and Ham Soup. This year we added some brown rice on the side too. There seems to be a lot of different thoughts on how this tradition goes, but really…they are all pretty awesome, so no matter if it is “peas for peace and rice for riches” (hence the rice add on this year) or “black-eyed peas for good luck and cabbage for financial prosperity” or any other breakdown…you just can’t really go wrong. That and it is just plain delicious.
Here is what ours looked like:
New Year’s Day Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Cabbage & Ham Soup
* 1 Ham Shank (unless really little, then two…though they contain more meat than it looks)
* ½ Large Onion – diced
* 3-4 Cloves of Garlic – minced
* 3 Cans of Black-Eyed Peas (or 3-4 cups of dried, soaked, and cooked ones – ideal scenario)
* 1 Large Cabbage Head – we used Savoy (yum), but any would likely work.
* 8ish Cups of Broth – divided (ideally homemade stock, but we used Organic Chicken from a box)
* 1 Cup Brown Rice
* Seasonings (optional): We didn’t add any and it was amazing, but you could always add a little garlic powder, onion powder (or flake), sea salt (really not likely needed with the ham), black pepper, and/or bay leaves.
1. Dice onion and mince garlic. You could sautee them a bit to richen the flavor, but we used ours raw and they were great too.
2. Place ham shank in bottom of the slow cooker. We bought ours from Whole Foods. It was packaged in the fridge section by the butcher, but not processed with a bunch of nastiness. 😉 Get the cleanest version you can find. You wanna start out the year on a toxin-free note, yeah?
3. Rinse beans and place in slow cooker.
4. Add onions and garlic slow cooker.
5. Pour in 6 cups or so (really up to you) of the broth, making sure you leave room to fit the cabbage in later.
6. Turn on low for about 6 hours.
7. Somewhere within that 6 hours, you’ll want to get the cabbage out and prepped. Remove the first layer outer leaves and toss them. Cut out the heart, if it is big and obnoxious. Chop it into pieces roughly the size of a torn piece of lettuce for salad…or slightly bigger.
8. Add the cabbage to the pot and continue cooking on low for another 1-2 hours.
9. With an hour-ish left of the cooking of your soup, rinse your rice and place it into a medium sized pot. Add two cups of broth and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, toss in a touch of avocado oil or a ½ tsp of butter, reduce it to low, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 50 minutes.
10. When you are ready to eat, turn off the slow cooker and remove the shank. Remove the meat from the bone and return the meat to the soup. Stir to combine all the deliciousness and serve!
11. You can add the rice to the bowls of soup at the end or serve it on the side, whichever you prefer. Enjoy!
For a printable PDF, click the link below! Yay!