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Amelia Islander

A New Year's Day Picnic

Dec 28, 2012 11:24AM
Uh, oh, the New Year is rolling in and it’s time to make those resolutions - you know the ones - get more exercise, more sleep, and eat healthier food. What better way to begin the New Year than with a healthy picnic at the beach? Even if you stay up late to welcome 2013, you can still make it over to Peter’s Point in time for a picnic and beach walk with your family.

We like to eat the traditional collard greens and black eye peas on New Year’s Day, in order to insure our good luck for the coming year, the peas representing coins, and the greens representing paper money. Cornbread, another Southern favorite, represents gold. And if you want to have good luck every day of the New Year, it is essential to eat at least 365 black eye peas in one sitting!

For our New Years Day picnic, we suggest a healthier, new twist on the usual meal, which includes a raw collard green salad and a chilled black eye pea dish. Grilled chicken goes well with these side dishes, and homemade lemonade is a thirst-quenching treat. The following recipes can be made in no time at all, so pack up your picnic hamper and start the New Year off right.

Raw Collard Green Salad


1 bunch collard greens rinsed and dried (approx. 12 large leaves) and 1 large red or yellow pepper, diced


¼ cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (about 6 pieces) ¼ cup sliced sweet onion

1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 teaspoon sea salt, divided ½ teaspoon black pepper 1/8 cup olive oil


In a large bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Set aside. Take several collard leaves and roll into a cylinder the shape of a fat cigar. Using a knife, cut the through the collard cylinder, making strips. Place strips in a large bowl with the red pepper.  Pour olive oil on collard strips and peppers, and sprinkle on the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips until all are well coated. Transfer the collard strips and peppers to the bowl with the apple cider vinegar marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

Chilled Black Eye Peas


1/2 onion, chopped 1 bunch green onion, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 6 jalapeno chilies, minced 1 tbsp. garlic, minced 2 tomatoes, diced 8 oz. bottle of your favorite Italian dressing 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 can corn, drained 3 cans black eyed peas, drained


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill until serving time.