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Another Shift In Perception: Vegetarian Hoppin' John

12:07 PM

For years we've wanted an electric car.  For even more years, I've read about all sorts of "green" living tips and philosophies... ranging from homesteading and "grow-your-own-everything (including children LOL)", to DIY sources of power, sustainable diets, carbon footprints, wabi-sabi style, "living small", re-purposing, wild-crafting... the list is seemingly endless. And over the years ideas have come, and ideas have gone by the way-side depending on where we were in life. 

Now we've finally come to a place where a BIG idea has been made an affordable reality.  We are now the proud owners (leasers, really) of an electric plug-in Nissan Leaf.   If feels fantastic to finally be in a place where it fits for us both in our budget and in our hearts.

After only having this car for 1 day, my "green" sensibilities have been peaked once again by one mind-blowing fact:   This car is plugged into a standard  (USA) electrical outlet for 12 hours and has enough charge drive 17+ miles to work, and back.  That's an entire commute, and with some leftover in reserve.  We're leaving lights and appliances plugged in 24 hours per day.  I finally understand the amount of energy we're using up... more than enough to power several cars!

And, of course, this gets me thinking about tons of "green" things and my plans to do better and what can be done first.  Replace old appliances... sure...   insulate the farmhouse better... you bet.  But probably the easiest is to eat lower on the food chain a few days per week.  The statistics are out there and blatant about how many millions of tons of grain and gallons of water go into sustaining our 1st world meat-eating habit.   Am I going vegan?  Nope.  But I AM being more mindful and actually employing it weekly in my grocery shopping list.

Hoppin' John is a Southern (U.S.) black-eyed pea dish usually made around New Years Eve and is thought to impart good luck on the household.  I made it in hope of good luck in out transition to an electric car:

Lucky Vegetarian Hoppin' John
1 lb dried black-eyed peas
1 bayleaf
1tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp dried basil
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper (to taste, if desired)
 Sea Salt to taste

2 tbsp Olive oil
2 cooking onions, chopped small
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28oz) tomatoes
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Hot sauce (optional)

Rinse and soak black-eyed peas overnight.  Drain and rinse again.  Put peas into a heavy soup pot and cover them with fresh water.  Bring to a boil and add bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cayenne, sea salt, and black pepper.  Lower the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally and add water if needed.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute' onion until translucent.  Add the pepper, celery, and garlic.  Saute' until tender.  

Add veggies, canned tomato, and cooked brown rice to the pot of peas.   Stir well and heat through.  

Serve and enjoy (Mark and I liked it with hot sauce!)

I apologize that the picture is in terrible focus...
Here's a couple "Spring's Trying Real Hard To Get Here"  shots:

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