For those of you who don't know, I am a transplanted southerner. To get back to my Carolina roots, each New Year's Eve I whip up a batch of collard greens (because the leaves resemble greenbacks), hoppin' John, and sometimes a red velvet cake, too.
But this year, I'm sticking to my paleolithic grounds and keeping the hoppin' John bean- and rice-free. I've also decided since 2012 marked the start of my love affair with kale to nix the collard greens and go for the other green leafy substance
...and no red velvet cake. Of course, there are paleo versions of red velvet cake, but I'm spent after chowing down on the sweet stuff over Christmas (besides, I have a cruise to go on and a bikini to fit into in just a couple weeks).
If you are so inclined, however, you could make paleo red velvet cupcakes. I found a lovely little recipe over on the TGIPaleo blog (though the frosting does have dairy in it):
Red Velvet Cupcakes from TGIPaleo.com
- 2 Eggs, separated
- 2 1/2 c Almond Meal
- 1/2 c Coconut Oil, melted
- 1/2 c Honey
- 1 1/2 T Vanilla
- 1/2 t Sea Salt
- 1/2 t Baking Soda
- 3 t Cocoa Powder
- 2 T Red Food Coloring or Beet Juice**
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/4 c Honey
- 3 T Heavy Whipping Cream
- For the cupcakes, mix all the dry ingredients together until blended. Add the egg yolks, food coloring, honey, vanilla, and coconut oil and beat with an electric mixer.
- Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (this is key for the cake-y texture, people!!). Fold into the rest of the batter. Spoon batter into paper cupcake liners.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Make sure they are cool before frosting.
- For the frosting, beat all the ingredients until smooth and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 2-3 minutes total.
- Share with someone you love!
**If you’re like me and you get wigged out using conventional food coloring, do what I did and use beet juice. Just cut up a large beet into cubes and boil in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. You can also just take some from a can of beets. The color isn’t as vibrant as the stuff from the little plastic tubes, but it gets the point across!)
The idea behind eating something sweet, like the red velvet cake, is to promote a sweet new year.
Or you could take a hint from the food traditions of Rosh Hashanah and chow down on the natural sweetness of an apple and maybe a dab of honey. Up to you, of course.
Typically, Hoppin' John, a southern dish, includes black-eyed peas on New Year's because the beans resemble coins and promote a profitable new year. Below, you'll find the recipe I've adapted to paleo so I can continue on my southern tradition (even if I am living amongst
- 4 tablespoons organic butter from grass-fed cows or coconut oil
- 1 whole large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup all-natural chicken broth
- 1 lb all-natural country ham, diced
- 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- freshly ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Heat butter or coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery and stir. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add chicken broth, ham, tomatoes, pepper, and cayenne to taste (since country ham can be quite salty, be judicious in how much extra salt you add. Be sure to taste as you go).
- Bring the entire pot to a low simmer, then reduce heat and cover the pot for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in vinegar, then taste for seasonings. Serve with a side of kale chips.
MMmmm!! Kale Chips
- 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Sea salt, for sprinkling (kale's naturally pretty salty so, as with the hoppin' John, add salt judiciously)
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- Roughly tear kale and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with the grapeseed oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.