Lucky New Year’s Recipes to Bring You Good Fortune, Longevity, & Abundance December 26, 2017

by Eat

As you plan out your first meal in 2018, consider these lucky New Year’s recipes — folklore says they’ll bring you good fortune, a long life, and financial abundance!

Lucky New Year's Recipes-HelloFresh

The holidays tend to be steeped in traditions, many of which revolve around food. In particular, January 1 is often looked upon as an opportunity to start fresh, bring new energy to goals and aspirations, and re-establish priorities. To ensure that the beginning of the year starts off right, specific foods are cooked as representations of our optimistic hopes for the future. Across cultures, there are many similarities of symbolism around the shape (round = coins) and colors (green = dollars, yellow/orange = gold), as well as the inclusion of pork and foods that grow in volume as they are cooked.

While some may view foods deemed with good fortune as superstitious, the act of cooking lucky New Year’s recipes can also be fun and delicious. Believer or not, what’s to lose by manifesting your desires in a form you can literally devour? So as you gather together with friends and family to celebrate, set the table with these lucky recipes from across the world and let your taste buds guide you towards your best year yet.

Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens with Ham Hock and Cornbread

Lucky New Year's Recipes-Lucky Foods-HelloFresh-Black eyed Peas-Collard Greens-Hamhock-Cornbread

A classic, lucky recipe in the American South is to combine greens, beans, and pork together with a side of cornbread. Each of these foods represents different aspects of abundance.

Across cultures, pork is considered a rich and fatty meat symbolizing wealth and prosperity. Additionally, because pigs always move forward when rooting for food, they are also a symbol of progress without dwelling on the past. For this southern New Year’s recipe, smoked pork (preferably still on the bone) is used and combined with black-eyed peas. You can also double down on the pork, and cook up smoked bacon with the collards.

Speaking of black-eyed peas, these beans are a fiber-filled superfood signifying growth since they swell up when cooked — much in the same way we hope our wealth will expand. Some believe that you should eat exactly 365 black-eyed peas — one to bring you good luck for every day of the year. Also, when cooking up the beans, tradition holds that you should throw in a brand new coin (a dime or a penny) into the bubbling pot — the person who gets served the coin is said to have earned an extra portion of good luck.

For further financial abundance, the emerald colors of leafy greens symbolize dollar bills, also known as greenbacks. Following this same color logic, cornbread represents gold. You can increase the luck potential in your cornbread by including whole corn kernels (meant to symbolize golden nuggets) and topping with a golden crust of cheese.

When combined, greens, beans, and pork are a triple lucky power punch for abundance. And if you want to boost the luck even further, consider adding a penny underneath the bowl when serving your guests the delicious recipes below.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Collard Greens (4 Cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 15-Ounce Cans Black-Eyed Peas
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Smoked Ham Hock, bone-in (or 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Smoked Ham)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prep Veggies: Dice onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Remove stems from collard greens and roughly chop.
  2. Cook Black-Eyed Peas: Heat oil in a large pot, then add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook a few minutes until just tender and fragrant. Add black-eyed peas, water, and ham hock. Stir well and cook about 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
  3. Cook Collard Greens: Add collard greens and bring to a boil, stirring greens deep into pot (they wilt down a lot). Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer on low, about 2 hours.
  4. Finish and Enjoy: Remove ham hock to a plate, and let cool until you can handle it. Separate meat from bone and add meat back to pot, discarding the rest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cast-Iron Cornbread

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 ½ Cups Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Instructions:

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 425° F. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan in the oven until very hot, about 10 minutes.
  2. Prep Dry Ingredients: Combine cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and freshly chopped thyme in a small bowl.
  3. Prep Wet Ingredients: In a separate, large bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine and Bake: Carefully remove hot cast-iron pan from oven and add butter until melted. Pour hot, melted butter into wet ingredients and whisk until combined. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Pour batter back into hot cast-iron pan and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

Garlic and Ginger Long Noodles

Lucky New Year's Recipes-Lucky Foods-HelloFresh-Noodles-Tangerines

Chinese tradition holds that long noodles are symbolic of a long life — the longer the noodle, the longer your life will be. Folklore also says that it is bad luck if you break the noodle, so slurping from end to end is encouraged. The type of noodle doesn’t matter — it can be made of rice or wheat flour; however, buckwheat or soba noodles are most common.  When serving, Chinese custom says not to fill the bowl to the brim as that would indicate an already full life-span.

Asian culture also holds tangerines and oranges as symbols of happiness with their energetic, vibrant colors. Since they are round and golden like the sun, they also represent possibility, potential, and prosperity. Even the Chinese words for orange and luck sound similar! Because they are so favored, these citrus fruits are commonly used as decorations and also given as gifts during the holiday season. The bigger the better, and it’s best if the stem and leaves are still attached — which indicates freshness and symbolizes fertility.

For the noodle recipe below, we use some of our favorite spices to infuse a pop of Asian flavor: garlic and ginger.

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces Long noodles (rice, buckwheat, or even spaghetti)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger
  • 2-3 Stalks Scallion
  • 1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside in a large serving bowl.
  2. Prep Ingredients: Chop garlic, grate ginger, and dice scallion (keeping whites and greens separate).
  3. Cook: Bring a sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and scallion whites. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add noodles and soy sauce, tossing well to coat. Cook until sauce is absorbed by noodles, about 2 minutes.   
  4. Finish and Enjoy: Garnish with scallion greens, sesame seeds, and chili flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lentils and Sausage

Lucky New Year's Recipes-Lucky Foods-HelloFresh-Lentils-Sausage

All over Italy, people welcome the new year with lentils. They are representative of coins due to their small, circular shape and copper color, implying a future of wealth when you eat them. Additionally, since lentils plump up when cooked, they represent growth similar to other beans. Bonus: lentils are also an incredible brain food.

You can increase your good fortune by including pork sausage in the dish.  Similar to other cultures, Italian beliefs hold that pork gives richness to the dish meant to symbolize prosperity and the abundant bounty in life. Cotechino is the most common type of sausage used in Italy. After the sausage has been cooked up, you can slice it into rounds which, you guessed it, represent coins and thus the potential for increased wealth.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Handful Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • ¾ Cup Green Lentils
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3-4 Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Ounce Italian-Style Pork Sausages
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prep Ingredients: Dice celery, carrot, onion, and garlic. Rough chop parsley.
  2. Prepare Lentils: Rinse lentils under cold running water. Drain. Put lentils, bay leaf, and sage leaves in a pot and add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook lentils until al dente, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Drain, reserving any remaining cooking water from lentils to use later. Remove bay and sage leaves.
  3. Cook Sausage: In a large sauté pan, warm a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat, then add sausages. Cook until browned on both sides and cooked all the way through, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cook Veggies and Lentils: Using the same sauté pan as the sausages, add a drizzle of olive oil, then stir in garlic, celery, carrot, and onion. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in drained lentils. Add tomato paste and enough reserved lentil water to barely cover. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils have absorbed liquid and they are completely tender but not mushy, about 5-7 minutes. Add more reserved cooking water as necessary to keep lentils from drying out (consistency should be loose but not watery). Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Finish and Enjoy: Plate lentils, adding in sausage. Garnish with parsley leaves and enjoy!

Let these recipes be a reason to celebrate and also the inspiration to put your best foot forward January 1. And if you haven’t decided on any resolutions quite yet, consider cooking at home more often — in fact, here are 5 reasons cooking together is pretty much better than anything else!

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