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Lentils and Ham New Year Traditions
Happy New Year! Lentils and Ham is the perfect recipe to ring in the New Year. Not only is this dish satisfying and delicious, it’s made with several lucky foods too. Lentils and Ham is a great way to use up any or all of that leftover Christmas ham.
Six Lucky Foods
When the last of the party guests have finally gone home and your left with a headache and a mess. Why not take a few ibuprofen and prepare a “lucky” meal to enjoy on New Years Day. You can increase your luck and good fortune with any or all of these six lucky foods. Grapes, Cooked Greens, Legumes, Pork, Fish and Noodles and Grains are all considered “lucky” Start your New Year off right and have a Happy New Year!!
In Spain, Portugal, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru it’s custom to consume 12 grapes at midnight. The goal is to eat 12 grapes before the last stroke of midnight. 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the year.
Cooked greens including cabbage, collards, kale and
chard are consumed on New Years for a very simple reason, their green leaves look like folded money, thus symbolic of good fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture, Germans eat sauerkraut (cabbage) and in
Southern United States collards are the greens of choice.
Legumes include beans, peas and lentils. Legumes are symbolic of money/coins. A very lucky dish could include pork, legumes and greens. In the Southern US, its traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cowpeas in a dish called hoppin’ john. Hoppin’ John is made with pork, beans and greens.
Pork is symbolic of progress, wealth and prosperity.
Roast duckling is served in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungry and Austria. Pigs Feet are eaten in Sweden and Roast Pork or Sausages are preferred by Germans.
Fish is believed to be lucky because their scales resemble coins and fish swim in schools which symbolize abundance. Pickled herring is consumed at midnight in Poland and Germany. (A ritual my hubby partakes in every year) Dried salt cod is also eaten in many countries.
Noodles and Grains
Noodles are symbolic of long life and grains like rice and quinoa stand for abundance. Long noodles are to be slurped up whole, without breaking the noodle for added luck.
- 2 1/2 cups
low-sodium beef broth or water
- 1 cup
dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 6 ounces
smoked cooked ham, chopped
- 2 large
potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 large
yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves
- 2 large
carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 stalk
- 1 teaspoon
dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
- In a large saucepan, bring beef broth to a boil over high heat.
- Stir in the lentils. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
- Add the sausage, potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, basil leaves, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender.
- Serve with collard greens.
For this recipe we used Goya Lentils