I recently read (and highly recommend) the book, Blue Zones - 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, written by New York Times best-selling author and National Geographic Fellow, Dan Buettner, a man I became familiar with via podcast back in 2017.
Since then, I've followed the Blue Zones Instagram account, but didn't read the book until over Christmas vacation, because my sister was reading it, and I wanted to be like her:)
So, just FYI, Mr. Buettner is originally from Minnesota, and he's pretty handsome (but he's taken by the beautiful Kathy Freston), and he actually rode his bike across Africa a couple times and didn't wear sunscreen because he didn't have room for it. HOT!
So, back to Blue Zones ...
There are FIVE Blue Zones throughout the world - Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica and Okinawa, Japan. These five places are populated with more centenarians (people who have lived to be 100) than any other places on Earth. Just a side note - these Blue Zone centenarians still lead healthy, active lives. Why? How? Well - The good people at Blue Zones will explain it way better that I can, so please follow the links below to read a short history about the Blue Zones research project, as well as the NINE habits (Power 9) people who live in each of the Blue Zones share:
Finally - In an effort to do all the things my big sister does, I copied her and bought The Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook, which I absolutely LOVE! Be on the lookout for some Blue Zones Kitchen recipes to grace the Fresh Seven kitchen in 2020.
Peace, Love and Guttural Laughter!
In the South, a meal of Black-Eyed Peas and greens on New Years Day ensures prosperity and luck in the upcoming year. Being 50-percent southern, I do this. And I love it! My family is close, but definitely not steeped in tradition by any stretch of the imagination. However, every January 1, my New York-born and Arizona raised mama always makes a big pot of magical Black-Eyed Pea soup. This one tradition has persisted throughout my 41 years, no matter what was going on in our lives. Growing up, we ate Black-Eyed Pea soup as a family each year on January 1. Black-Eyed Pea soup has always been a representation of abundance and good things to come no matter what the present situation may look like. My lovely, 100-percent-southern sister, Carey basically came up with this recipe off the top of her head yesterday, (Tuesday, December 31, 2019), while we were talking on the phone. I made just a couple small Yankee tweaks by adding the potatoes, white pepper, black fig balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning. Not sure if those tweaks are in fact "Yankee", but it sounded good, so let's just go with it...Cheers to 2020!
Carey and Heidi's, "fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants" Veggie-Centric Black-Eyed Pea SOUP!!
1, 16-oz bag of black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 celery stocks, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
2 cups mushrooms
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 small russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups chopped kale, arugula and spinach
4 cups veggie broth
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp white pepper
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Prep all ingredients. Set Insta-Pot to saute mode. Add onions, seasoning, garlic. Allow to soften. Throw in all other ingredients, except for the kale, arugula and spinach. Mix around in pot. Add a half-cup water if needed. Hit cancel button on Instant-Pot. Press "Pressure Cook" button. Set timer for 1 hour, make sure vent is sealed. Allow pressure to release on it own. Add kale, arugula and spinach at the end and serve to the people you love! and this soup would still work if you don't have an Instant Pot, you would just have to use canned beans and a large soup pot. Happy New Year!