We love Hoppin' John, but I wanted to add a healthier version to my holiday cooking repertoire. I developed this new (and faster) version for those of us who need to start the New Year on a healthier note. I like to mix my chopped green onions in with the cooked hot rice before serving. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma
"I was trying to use up some ingredients I had in our pantry one day and threw this bean salad together," related Marilyn Gonsman of Blairsville, Georgia. "I served it the next night with chicken, and everyone enjoyed it."
I often change the variety of beans in this classic recipe, using whatever I have on hand to total five 15- to 16-ounce cans. The sauce makes any combination delicious! It's a gluten-free side dish that's popular with everyone. —Peggy Gwillim, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan
I really love African flavors, but you don't really encounter them much in America. Here the combination of native African ingredients, all of which are readily accessible to Americans, really transports you to a new culinary place. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California
A real Southern favorite, black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. My mother's recipe with bacon, garlic and thyme makes them extra special. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
I've always wanted to try black-eyed peas, and I happened to have smoked sausage on hand one night, so I invented this full-flavored stew. It's the perfect way to heat up a cold night without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I usually doubled with seasonings because we like our food spicier.
This recipe is from a bean soup gift pack I developed as a fund-raiser for our church. We provide it along with the beans and a packet containing all the spices. The recipient just adds water and a can of tomatoes for a delicious pot of savory soup.
-Doris Cox, South Orange, New Jersey
My neighbor gave me a container of this zippy, tangy salsa one Christmas and I had to have the recipe. I fix it regularly for potlucks and get-togethers and never have leftover. I take copies of the recipe with me whenever I take the salsa. —Kathy Faris, Lytle, Texas