I like to cook, but sometimes I crave my mom’s cooking. She is an excellent cook and always makes multiple dishes when she invites my family and my sister’s family over for lunch or dinner. Although my mom has lived in Illinois most of her life, she’s originally from Kentucky. So, many of the dishes that she cooks tastes just like they were prepared at a restaurant in one of our country’s southern states. And, some of my favorite dishes of my mom’s are her baked macaroni and cheese, cornbread dressing, and black-eyed peas.
Speaking of black-eyed peas, this beautiful bean is often the main ingredient in a dish called Hoppin’ John that is cooked by individuals who reside in the southern part of the United States. While there are several different theories or stories about the origin of the name of that dish–as well as the type of bean that can be used in it–there is no confusion about how popular and special it is to countless people. So, why is this protein-rich side dish so special?
Many people believe that consuming the beans–which symbolize coins to them–will bring about more money for them in the new year. So, they make it part of a celebratory New Year’s Day meal. To further increase one’s chance of having a prosperous new year, the dish is often paired with a side of dark leafy greens such as collard greens or kale, which are symbolic of dollar bills. My mom has never made Hoppin’ John, but her delicious black-eyed peas and cornbread–as well as my dad’s yummy collard greens with smokey turkey legs–are always part of our family’s New Year’s Day dinner spread. And, I have to admit that it is one of my favorite meals of the entire year!
Since we’re only half-way through the year, our family’s beloved New Year’s Day soul food meal is months away. But, it occurred to me recently that I could try right now to create a quick dish that would satisfy my cravings for the above-mentioned foods so I don’t have to wait until the beginning of 2021 to enjoy them. So, that’s exactly what I did! And, despite the fact that I wasn’t able to invest hours of time cooking my dish as my parents do when preparing theirs, my family and I are thrilled with how it turned out!
If you’ve been wanting to find a way to incorporate easy bean dishes into your recipe repertoire, keep reading to see if you might like to add my Easy Southern Beans, Greens and Rice Skillet to it. If you have a Pinterest account, please save the recipe using the pin I inserted at the end of it. You can also print out a PDF of the recipe using the above oval button if you’d like to have a hard copy of it.
For your convenience, my Easy Southern Beans, Greens and Rice Skillet recipe includes a few links that will enable you to order some of the ingredients I used online and have them delivered to you. If you place an order using my links, I will earn a small commission–at no additional cost to you–from qualifying purchases that will help me to continue to share content on my blog.
What You’ll Need To Make Easy Southern Beans, Greens and Rice Skillet (Six servings)
*3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
*6 Slices of Turkey Bacon, cut into bite-sized squares
*4 Cups of Frozen White Rice
*2 Cups of Frozen Kale (See the notes section to see a possible substitution.)
*2 Cups of Water
2 Cans of Black Eyed Peas, Drained and Rinsed
*1 Teaspoon of Oregano
*1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme
*2 Teaspoons of Unsalted Vegan Butter
*1 Teaspoon of Salt
*1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
*365 Cornbread and Muffin Mix (Will yield 12 muffins.)–Note: You’ll need 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil (which is what was used in ours) to make the muffins.
How to Make Easy Southern Beans, Greens and Rice Skillet
1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a deep pan and then carefully add the turkey bacon. Cook the turkey bacon for 7 minutes, remembering to turn it over a few times while it’s cooking to make sure it gets lightly browned on both sides. After 7 minutes, remove the turkey bacon from the pan and set it aside.
2. Turn the pan to high heat and add the water, greens, rice and beans to the pan.
3. Return the bacon to the pan. Add the oregano, thyme, vegan (or regular) butter, salt and black pepper. Stir all ingredients well to blend them.
4. Bring the dish to a boil. Cover and continue cooking it for approximately 15-20 more minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick.
5. You can mix together the ingredients for the cornbread muffins according to the package’s directions–or ask a loved one to do that for you–while the dish continues to cook. (You or a loved one could also make them beforehand, as my youngest daughter did for us prior to me heading into the kitchen to cook.)
6. Spoon approximately 1 cup of the dish into each serving bowl or onto each serving plate. Place a cornbread muffin alongside each serving and enjoy!
Possible Substitutions and Notes:
1. I used unsalted vegan butter since we sometimes try to minimize how much dairy we consume and that’s what we happened to have on hand. But, you are welcome to use regular butter in your dish.
2. Brown rice would also work well in this dish if you prefer that type of rice over white rice.
3. I used kale greens because I couldn’t find the collard greens that I’ve purchased in the past when I was shopping for my ingredients. But, the taste of these two types of greens is so similar when they’re cooked that you could use either when making this dish.