Healthy Hoppin’ John

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2 1/3 c water

1/2 t kosher salt

1 1/2 c brown rice or brown and wild rice blend (I like Lundberg brand best. Available in packages in most markets or in bulk at Whole Foods.)

2-3 slices organic smoked bacon, diced

1 c smoked sun-dried tomatoes, diced (The smoked variety is packaged dry. If you can’t find smoked, you can use regular sun-dried tomatoes, just sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika.)

1 t olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 T garlic, minced

3-4 jalapeno peppers, minced

1 t dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 lb. (2.5 cups) dried black eyed peas, rinsed well

6 c chicken stock (or 6 c water mixed with 1 1/2 T Better Than Bouillon Paste)

1 t dried red pepper

1/2 t black pepper

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1 large celery stalk, diced

1-2 t salt (amount depends on saltiness of broth you use)

Tabasco sauce to taste

Fresh chopped tomato, green onion, parsley or cilantro to garnish, optional.

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