Start the year with a breakfast of Hoppin’ John tofu scramble for a prosperous new year! Made with black eyed peas, collard greens, and diced tomatoes along with tofu, it contains the ingredients of the traditional Southern dish in breakfast form. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
What Is Hoppin’ John?
Hoppin’ John is a southern dish that’s supposed to bring good fortune to the new year. It’s traditionally made with black eyed peas, greens such as collards or kale and some sort of pork or bacon.
The black eyed peas are symbolic of coins, and since the greens are the color of money they’re supposed to add extra wealth. It’s often served with cornbread, which is the color of gold, for added good fortune.
Hoppin’ John for a Prosperous New Year
Over the past few years, I’ve started the custom of having Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day – or at least some sort of meal that contains black-eyed peas and collard greens. To quote Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious.”
In past years, I’ve celebrated the new year with plain old Hoppin’ John as well as Black Eyed Pea Burgers. This year I thought I’d serve Hoppin’ John for breakfast, in the form of a tofu scramble. Loaded with tomatoes, collard greens, and black-eyed peas, this breakfast dish is sure to help you start the new year on the right foot. You don’t need to wait until New Year’s Day to make it though. It’s delicious any time of the year!
Make sure you press your tofu before cooking with it. Pressing tofu removes excess water, and it helps the tofu to absorb the flavors of what it’s cooked with.
To do this, wrap your tofu in a towel and put something heavy on top of it, such as a cast iron pan or a cutting board topped with a few cans of bean., and leave it for about 30 minutes to an hour.
If you give yourself enough time in advance, you can wrap your tofu in a towel and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. There’s no need to place anything heavy on top of it if you do it this way, as the towel will absorb the excess liquid over time.
You can also use a tofu press, if you have one. I’ve found that tofu only needs to be pressed for about 15 minutes when I use my TofuXpress.
How to Make Hoppin’ John Tofu Scramble
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you cook the onion in the oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it’s begun to brown.
- Next you crumble the tofu and add it the pan along with the nutritional yeast, herbs, and spices. You stir it all together to coat the tofu.
- Then you add the garlic, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and collard greens to the pan, and cook it for 10-15 more minutes, until it’s heated throughout.
Planning on staying up late to watch the ball drop? You can make your scramble the day before and reheat it in the morning!
Serving Your Scramble
- Serve your scramble with cornbread or cornbread muffins to represent gold.
- I like to serve my scramble with tempeh bacon, too.
- Make sure you have lots of hot sauce on the side to spice things up!
Here’s to a prosperous year ahead!
Hoppin’ John Tofu Scramble
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 14-ounce block tofu (firm or extra firm) drained and pressed
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon black salt kala namak
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch collard greens stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups)
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to brown, about five minutes.
- Crumble the tofu and add it the pan along with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, oregano, thyme, basil, and black salt. Stir to coat the tofu in the herbs and spices.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. Cook for 10-15 more minutes, until heated throughout.
- Serve hot, with lots of hot sauce.
Originally posted December 26, 2016. Updated December 26, 2021