Lucky New Year’s Greens and Rice

The tradition in the South is to eat collard greens on New Year’s Day, for good luck. We are all for tradition, but sometimes it is nice to try something NEW that still honors tradition.

We feel lucky whenever we eat this rice dish, and it’s perfect for celebrating the New Year, or for any time at all. We love that it is super healthy, and that all of the ingredients could be grown in Florida, or in other nearby states in the South.

1 1/2 cups brown rice

1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch red turnips with tops
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 sweet pepper
5 oz raw pecan pieces

Set the rice to cook in a rice cooker or on the stove.

Tear any thick stems from the collard and turnip leaves and reserve for stock or another use. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces and wash away any sand. Wash turnip roots and slice, then chop, into bite-sized pieces.

Combine leaves and roots on a half sheet baking tray (or on two quarter sheet trays). Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt. Use your hands (with kitchen gloves if you prefer) to distribute the dressing, coating all of the greens and roots.

Bake in oven at 450 F and watch it until greens wilt and roots are sweetened and softened but still firm, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan.

Place the contents of the baking pan into a large bowl, along with the rice, once it is done and slightly cooled. Chop the sweet pepper and add it to the bowl, stirring gently to combine all ingredients. Add salt to taste. If you are in the mood for a little kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

Top with pecans, and serve at room temperature. You will start feeling your good luck after your first bite!

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