The Meal Plan for the Week of December 31, 2022

Ring in the New Year with These Food Traditions

Happy (almost) 2023! Food traditions are common across the world with hopes that these dishes will bring luck, health, prosperity, and fortune in the new year. Take a look at the recipes below and incorporate them into your new year’s traditions!


Hoppin’ John aka Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

My family makes Hoppin’ John every year for New Year’s Eve. We eat this dish, hold a dollar bill in our hand, and go crazy using the noise makers and party horns to ring in the new year. In this traditional recipe, the black-eyed peas symbolize coins, cooked greens for the color of money, and it’s often served with cornbread which is the color of gold. It’s also said to bring you luck in the new year! This recipe is a healthier twist on the classic, packed with fresh vegetables and spices. You could add a little bit of bacon into this dish for extra crunch.


Soba Noodles with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

In Japan, it’s tradition to eat soba noodles on New Year’s Eve. The long noodles are supposed to bring longevity and prosperity for the new year, especially if they are made without being broken. Edamame is the source of protein in this recipe, but you could always add chicken or tofu! I like this recipe because it’s packed full of fresh vegetables and plant power and is covered in a delicious ginger and sesame sauce. Happy New Year!


Pork Dumplings

The Chinese New Year is also called Lunar New Year since it follows the phases of the moon. Dumplings are one of the foods typically eaten during this 15-day festival. They represent prosperity since their shape resembles ancient Chinese money. Sometimes, a gold coin is placed inside one of the dumplings for someone to find and will bring them luck and wealth in the new year. Making dumplings may sound like a daunting task, but this recipe keeps it simple. They can be prepped and cooked in about 30 minutes! Recruit family members to make assembly even easier.


Italian Lentils

Lentils are a traditional food to eat in Italy thought to bring good fortune and wealth in the new year, as their shape resembles little coins. Many families serve them on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck as well. Lentils are a type of legume and a source of plant-based protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, and a few other important nutrients! Use brown or green lentils for this recipe since they are firmer and keep their shape when cooked. As the author of this recipe describes, you could top this with slices of lean sausage and parmesan cheese and be sure to repurpose lentil leftovers! These lentils go great with eggs, on top of crusty bread, or mixed into a salad.


Sugared Champagne Grapes

In Spain and Mexico, there’s a tradition to eat 12 grapes as fast as you can when the clock strikes midnight! It represents good luck for each of the 12 months of the year. This “recipe” is a fun twist on this tradition! These are great to make for small or big New Year’s celebrations since they are festive, delicious, and easy. Simply wash grapes, place in a freezer friendly bowl, marinate in champagne for at least 12 hours, toss in sugar and freeze! Use sparkling juice in place of champagne for little ones or those who don’t drink alcohol.

About the dietitian

One of the Health Coaches at CHP, Lizzie completed her Dietetic Certificate and Internship at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Her interest in nutrition and exercise field comes from a passion for helping people meet their goals. Being a part of someone’s health journey by listening, providing them with accountability, and encouraging them every step of the way has been the source of her coaching success.

Lizzie Waldo

Corporate Health Partners