Week 1: Happy New Year 2014!

Somewhere around Week 42 of 2013’s Julie & Julia inspired project there came the realization that the weeks left in 2013 were approaching single digits and I started thinking about what to do with Dandelion Wishes for 2014.  The initial thought was to move the blog towards posting my own new recipes weekly; this would be a giant leap from preparing and testing new to me recipes written by others.  When considering the steps needed to make this plan a reality – conceptualizing a dish, testing, tweaking, re-testing etc – I decided this was too substantial an endeavor for a weekly post, but monthly…

Christmas arrived quite suddenly and I had new tools to add inspiration.  I received an Instant Pot programmable electric pressure cooker and Isa Chandra’s new book, Isa Does It.  As I was writing the 2013 Challenge Report Card post I was still contemplating what next, but think I’ve finally settled on a plan.  The goal is quite simple and remains the same as 2013: to live healthier through eating better, try new foods and recipes, and do more of what I love.  The Plan for 2014:

  1. Write (at minimum) a weekly blog post
  2. At least 12 posts will be dedicated to my own recipe attempts, Test Kitchen posts.  I imagine the remainder will continue to be new to me recipe/cookbook reviews as the 2013 posts were (I did just receive Isa Does It after all, and Happy Herbivore Light & Lean was not that long ago either), or Instant Pot (or other technique driven) posts
  3. Master a vegan, and (this is the big one) whole food plant based Jam Thumbprint.  I know, it seems silly but the Jam Thumbprint and I have been together for a long time and this will be the year to recreate my signature cookie.

My first recipe of the new year?  Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens of course.  I am not one to believe in luck or superstition.  I believe we make our own luck and that we have to work and persist through the failures to achieve our goals.  That said, as I near the two-year mark of this plant based lifestyle change creating new food traditions is symbolic of how far I’ve come (and good meal plan inspiration).

Last year, I made Creole Black Eyed Peas and Spicy Greens.   As I was perusing Isa Does It after Christmas I saw a recipe for Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Tacos with Apple-Avocado Salsa and my Lucky Dinner was chosen.  Don’t get me wrong, I did not think these words (or these foods) belonged together in a recipe – black-eyed pea and collard…tacos, apple with avocado…hmmm.  I was, however, very intrigued.

As odd as the recipe sounded to me, it was amazing.  There is not a spoonful left nor was a bite thrown away.  The black-eyed peas are seasoned with everything you would expect of a taco – cumin, garlic, and coriander.  Hot sauce adds some spice.  The texture is creamy, not quite a taco “meat” texture like you would get from a lentil taco, but quite nice nonetheless.  The black-eyed peas are topped with collard greens that were cooked down simply with garlic in broth.  The salsa on top adds crisp and acid from sour apple and fat and flavor from avocado and green onion.  Initially, I served Happy Herbivore Arroz Amarillo on the side.  Leftover, I decided to make a burrito with the rice as the base then layering the other ingredients. This was also delicious and a little less messy and more texturally pleasing.

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New Recipes 2014: 1

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