Friday, December 20, 2013

Pot of Prosperity {Recipe ReDux}

I'm sure many of you are preparing for your holiday meals, but I'm going to jump ahead a bit and talk about traditions for the new year.  The Recipe ReDux theme this month is Good Luck Foods: What will you be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? Be it black eyed peas and greens, Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe you serve on New Year’s Eve or Day. 

I don't currently have a New Year's Eve/Day food tradition.  When I was young, my parents, brother, and I would have a fondue to help us stay up for the countdown.  I'm also a huge breakfast food fan, so a great breakfast is likely always on the menu for January 1.  With the challenge this month, I did a little searching for 'lucky' foods.  I'm not really a superstitious person, but I like the idea of a warm dish (for frigid Canadian winters), a variety of vegetables, some spice (to fight those winter colds/flus), legumes (for those who still aren't sure how to add them into their meals), and why not throw in the idea of foods that represent wealth and prosperity.  Sites like epicurious and women's day have similar lists when it comes to cultural foods eaten to celebrate a new year.  These foods include:
- grapes
- greens
- fish
- pork
- cakes
- long noodles
- round fruit
- lentils
- black eyed peas
- corn bread...

Perhaps you have a tradition or foods you eat for luck in the upcoming year (some people even have foods that they avoid for fear of having bad luck!).  Most of the 'lucky' foods represent money - greens represent cash, lentils represent coins, pork represents progress.  I chose to include as many of these as I could, and also chopped my carrots to look like coins and picked up a round sourdough loaf to accompany the soup - should be a great 2014!

1/2 - 1 lb pork sausage (I used hot italian, and the soup is spicy!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz (454g) lentils, rinsed
32 oz (946ml) reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cups (1 L) water
1 - 28oz (794g) can diced tomatoes (I found San Marzano ones - yummy!)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach...), roughly chopped

1. Place oil in pot and add sausage.  Cook sausage over medium high heat until browned.
2. Add carrots and onion, stir and cook about 3 minutes.
3. Add celery and garlic, continue cooking until onion is translucent.
4. Add lentils, water, broth, tomatoes, and spices.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 - 1.5 hours, until lentils are tender.
7. Add greens and cook another 5 minutes (or longer).  Serve and enjoy!

Good luck to you, good fortune, and good food,

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching