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TIP OF THE DAY: 12+ Good-For-You Snacks For The New Year

Four days into the new year, we can’t stop nibbling on the empty calories.

So we put this list together, as a reminder that good-for-you snacks taste good, too.

These are some of our grab-and-go favorites. For the sake of brevity, we’ve left off the most obvious—fresh and dried fruits, crudités, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, lowfat/nonfat plain yogurt, pepitas, pickles, popcorn, sugar-free Jell-O and pudding, tuna pouches, etc.—to present other ideas.

For total convenience, they’re all grab-and-go.

Enjoy them with a low-calorie beverage: flavored water or seltzer, hot or iced coffee or tea, bone broth, etc.

SAVORY SNACKS

  • Edamame warm or dried: Edamame are green soybeans. They have a powerhouse mix of protein, slow-digesting carbs and nutrients like folate, iron, magnesium and vitamin K. If you have a microwave at hand, heat frozen edamame. The ones in the shell are better for snacking: They take longer to eat.
  • Jerky: While this meat treat does have some sugar, it is packed with protein. Our favorite brand is Krave, which has tender meat and nine delectable flavors. If you want a shot of caffeine with your jerky, we’re fans of Perky Jerky, with several flavors each in beef and turkey jerky.
  • Leafy green chips: Look for them at health food stores, or make your own. You can buy snack packs from companies like Rhythm Superfoods (which has five flavors of kale ships, plus beet chips). Here’s a recipe for microwave kale chips. We also like to make cabbage chips). You can also make chips from collards and any leafy green tops you may throw away, like beet tops and broccoli leaves.
  • Nut butter packets: individual servings in almond, hazelnut and peanut butter from Justin’s. You can simply squeeze the treat from the packet, or get the Snack Pack dipping package with pretzel sticks.
  • Other Vegetable chips: You can find carrot chips, green beans and mixed veggie chips in plastic containers at many retailers. Seek, and ye shall find.
  • Pistachios in the shell: Nuts are a nutritious snack, but it’s too easy to wolf down more than the recommended one-ounce portion. Pistachios are the best, because it takes time to remove them from the shell. Plus, pistachios have only 3 calories apiece, about half the calories of most snack nuts (example: for 100 calories you get 30 pistachios or 14 almonds). For a full ounce (the recommended portion):
  • *Almonds: 20-24 almonds have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.
    *Cashews: 16 to 18 cashews have about 160 calories and 5 grams of protein.
    *Peanuts: 28 peanuts have about 170 calories and 7 grams of protein.
    *Pistachios: 40 to 45 pistachios have about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein.

       

    Crunch-Dried Edamame

    Pistachio Snack Packs

    Olive Snack Pack

    [1] Edamame, steamed warm or dried, are packed with nutrition (photo courtesy Sensible Foods). [2] Pistachios are the best nut for snacking if you want the shell to slow you down (photo courtesy Wonderful Pistachios). [3] Load up on snack packs of olives—black, green, plain, flavored (photo courtesy Gaea).

    *Walnuts: 14 walnut halves have about 190 calories and 4 grams of protein.

  • Olive snack packs: heart healthy with fiber, individual snack packs are available in black and green, plain or flavored. There’s no liquid, no mess.
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    Healthy Sweet Snack

    Red Grapes

    [4] Justin’s sweet or savory snack packs combine different flavors of nut butter—almond, hazelnut, peanut—with banana chips or pretzels (photo courtesy Cooking Light). [5] Easy peasy: freeze grapes or banana chunks (photo courtesy Only Gluten Free Recipes).

     

    SWEET SNACKS

  • Apple chips: One of our favorite sweet snacks just happens to be good for you: crunchy apple chips from Bare Snacks, in three varieties (Fuji, Granny Smith and Cinnamon). Naturally sweet with no added sugar, a half-cup serving is 110 calories.
  • Flavored nut butter packets: Justin’s has squeeze packets and Snack Pack dipping snacks with banana chips and chocolate, honey, or maple nut butter.
  • Frozen grapes: High in fiber, vitamins and minerals, frozen grapes are like a bite of an ice pop. One cup, about 32 seedless grapes, has about 100 calories. Red and purple varieties have more antioxidants. Wash seedless grapes, let dry, and freeze on a baking sheet. Store in an airtight zip-top bag. Frozen banana chunks are another option.
  • No Sugar Added Fruit Leather: The Stretch Island Fruit brand has no added sugar, and 45 calories per snack pack. There are six different fruit flavors.
  • No Sugar Added Popsicles: These may be grab-and-go, but you have to eat them on the go or they melt. Still, they’re one of our favorite ways to enjoy a frozen treat for 15 calories. There are also Creamsicles (30 calories) and Fudgsicles (80 calories). More information.
  • Sugar-Free Caramels: Werther’s makes sugar free hard caramels in original, caramel chocolate and caramel coffee. But our personal favorites are the soft, chewy sugar-free caramels.
     
    If your favorite good-for-you snacks are missing here, let us know!
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Back To Butter, Now OK To Eat

    Butter - Lard

    Butter A Rich History

    Bowl Of Butter

    Bread and Butter

    [1] Butter and lard: out of the shadows and back onto the table (photo courtesy A Canadian Foodie). [2] Butter lovers will enjoy Butter, A Rich History. Also check out Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness.

     

    If your new year’s resolution includes cutting back on butter, you might re-think it. After years of being shunned as a contributor to heart disease, butter is in again.

    Recorded use of butter dates to 2,000 years B.C. (the history of butter).

    At butter’s peak in the 1920s, annual per capita consumption in the U.S. was 18 pounds about 72 sticks. At its nadir, in 1992, with research reports giving it the thumbs-down, per capita consumption dropped to 4 pounds.

    As recently as 2006, margarine sales outpaced butter’s. For those on a budget, margarine was/is $1 to $2 per pound less expensive.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MARGARINE

    In 1913, French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul discovered margaric acid; but it was not turned into a foodstuff until much later.

    Commercial margarine was invented in France in the 1860s, when Emperor Napoleon III offered prize money to whomever could find a cheaper substitute for butter, to feed the army and the poor.

    A French chemist, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, took the prize by inventing oleomargarine, an imitation butter made from refined vegetable oil and water. He patented it in 1869.

    Yet, while margarine was served to the army, it never took off in France: The French knew which side their bread was buttered on (the history of margarine).

    The good news: He sold the patent to the U.S. Dairy Company in 1871. Butter became very expensive during the Great Depression, and World War II rationed the supply, as dairy farmers went off to war. Margarine came into its own.
     
    LEAVING BUTTER BEHIND: THE 1980s

    Margarine never passed through the doors of our mother’s house. Her palate would only accept the best creamery butter, plus lard for her lauded pie crusts.

    When we first tasted margarine on bread in the college cafeteria, we agreed: Better no bread spread than one of vegetable oil.

    To those who can taste the difference, there is no substitute for butter in baking. We could tell at first bite if a cookie or cake was not made with butter…and tossed it.

    But it was the attribution of heart disease to animal fats that caused many people to back off of butter. Beginning in the 1980s, Americans were programmed by mass media reports to equate butter and fat with heart disease and poor health, and to head to low fat diets.

    Fortunately, research pointed to heart-healthy olive oil as an alternative, and many of us decamped to EVOO.

    But over the past few years, new research has deflated the biggest myths about cholesterol. It’s OK to eat an egg every day, and to butter your bread. And you need at least a tablespoon a day of butter or oil for skin and hair health. Add a second tablespoon of EVOO for heart health.

    These studies have shown that consuming butter (within reason, as with any food) is not bad for you, but is actually beneficial (source).

    Butter is full of vitamins and healthy fatty acids that help prevent tooth decay, cancer and even obesity (!). [NOTE: THE NIBBLE is not a medical expert. Consult with yours if you have questions or issues.]

    Animal fats are no longer demonized, at roughly the same time as plant-based trans fats were removed from the marketplace. The result: an animal fat renaissance.

    Americans have responded to the news. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, per capita consumption rose to 23 sticks of butter, the highest quantity since World War II.

    And many restaurants never left it behind. Today, animal fats are more popular than ever. Chefs are cooking with not just butter, but with beef tallow, duck fat, even schmaltz—rendered chicken fat that was a mainstay of European Jewish cooking.

    Yes, chefs know that the secret to great flavor often lies in animal fat. So consult with your healthcare provider, and safely enjoy your share in the new year.
     
    OUR FAVORITE BUTTERS

    Do your own taste test; but in ours, the winners were, in alphabetical order:

  • Cabot Creamery (Vermont)
  • Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (imported)
  • Plugrá (European-style butter made in the U.S. with 82% butterfat vs. the standard 80%)
  • Organic Valley (U.S.)
  • Vermont Creamery Cultured* Butter (our personal favorite)
  •  
    Depending on your preference for unsalted or salted butter, your favorites may vary.

    There are other great butters made in the U.S., including regional and artisan butters such as Kate’s Homemade Butter from Maine. But they are made in small quantities and hard to get ahold of.

     
    MORE “BUTTER IS BETTER”

  • Check out the different types of butter in our Butter Glossary.
  • European-Style Butter, an even richer version.
  • Butter Conversion: How to substitute salted butter for a recipe that calls for unsalted.
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    *After each milking, the cream is set aside and natural, lactic bacteria ripens it into cultured cream, a.k.a. crème fraîche.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Try These 2017 Food Trends

    What’s trending in 2017? Every expert has an opinion, but here are some from the James Beard House.

    CAULIFLOWER IS THE NEW KALE

    Hmmm…we thought kale was the new cauliflower, back in 2013.

    But we’re so over kale and still in love with cauliflower, that we won’t fight this one! Cauliflower is so much more versatile. It can be mashed, instead of potatoes; it can be riced; it can be grilled like a steak. Each of these recipes is a treat:

  • Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
  • Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
  • Cauliflower Risotto
  • Cauliflower “Steak”
  • Crispy Fried Cauliflower, Indian-style
  • Masala Cauliflower: Spiced Cauliflower & Cauliflower Salad
  • Riced Cauliflower/Cauliflower Rice
  • Whole Roasted Cauliflower
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    SO ARE KALETTES!

    What do you get when you cross kale with Brussels sprouts?

    Kalettes, a dual cruciferous powerhouse. Combining the best flavors of both “parents” results in a fusion of sweet and nutty, which can be prepared in endless ways.

    It’s the first new vegetable to hit the market since broccolini.

    They grow on tall stalks like Brussels sprout, but have leafy heads—as if that solid Brussels sprout turned into feathery kale.

    And they’re much more tender than kale, which is so much more appealing in salads. Here’s more about kalettes.

    Recipes:

  • 16 Kale Recipes, from breakfast through dinner
  • Colorful Kalette Skewers
  • Crispy Roasted Kalettes With Parmesan Dip
  • Kalette, Tomato & Onion Frittata
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Kalettes
  • Sesame Chili Sautéed Kalettes with Berkshire Pork and Jasmine Rice
  • Thai-Spiced Kalettes
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    WHEY TO GO

    Whey is a by-product of cheese-making. In fact, after centuries of feeding it to the farm animals, a clever cheesemaker figured out how to re-cook it into ricotta (which means “recooked”).

    Why is a byproduct of yogurt-making, too. In Greece, the acidic and delicious whey is used to marinate lamb; in the U.S., it is sold as whey powder in health food stores. But much domestic whey is discarded.

    At last: Bottles of whey for drinking and cooking have been spotted at health food stores and natural foods chains like Whole Foods. In 2017, look to say “Way!” to whey.
     
    SORGHUM: THE ANCIENT NEW “IT” GRAIN

    Sorghum is an ancient grain and a nutritious whole grain; but for the last century or so in the U.S., which is the world’s largest grower, it has mostly been grown for animal feed.

    Made into a syrup, was the most popular sweetener in 19th century America. On-trend chefs have been using it to glaze and braise.

    But until recently, we had no idea that it was sold in grain form. Now, it’s poised to become the latest “new” gluten-free grain of the moment.

    Sorghum resembles Israeli couscous in shape, but is sweet, not earthy. We had our first bite recently, and it is delicious!

    Sorghum can cooked in any grain recipe; it can be popped like popcorn. You can bake with sorghum flour (it’s often part of GF flour mixes).

    Start with Bon Appétit’s delicious recipe for Roast Chicken with Sorghum and Squash.

    Here’s more about sorghum, plus two (of the soon to be numerous) dedicated sorghum cookbooks:

  • Sorghum’s Savor
  • Sorghum Treasures: A Compilation of Recipes Old and New
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    Kalettes Hybrid

    Kalettes

    Spiced Kalettes

    Sorghum Grains

    Roast Chicken & Sorghum

    [1] The newest vegetable in years, kalettes (center) are a cross between kale (left) and brussels sprouts (right—photo courtesy Modern Farmer). [2] Look for packaged qualities (photo courtesy Ocean Mist). [3] Turn them into salads or delicious dishes like Thai Spiced Kalettes (here’s the recipe from One Tomato Two Tomato). [4] Make sorghum your new grain. You can buy it at Whole Foods and other natural foods markets, or online (photo courtesy Easy Me World | Blogspot). [5] Roast chicken with sorghum. Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetít.

     
    WHERE’S THE BEEF?

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the consumption of red meat peaked in the 1970s.

    But until recently, at restaurants around the country, it was rare to find a menu that didn’t offer a juicy steak or other red meat.

    With increased costs, more concern about sustainability (forests are cut down for grazing land, steers generate tons of methane, and both contribute to greenhouse gas), or a change in tastes due to international cuisines that don’t focus on red meat, restaurants and homes alike are using less beef.

    Except for the ubiquitous burger.

    Vying to take beef’s place: duck, lamb, venison, pork, and more vegetarian and grain mains.

    Do your part: Instead of beef, choose something else—preferably a nice veggie burger. Pick up a book on vegetarian entrées.

     

    Tuna Tataki

    Pickled Watermelon Rind

    Waste Free Kitchen Book

    [1] Make this beautiful tuna tataki recipe from Just One Cookbook. [2] Alton Brown’s watermelon pickles, a.k.a. pickled watermelon rinds. Here’s the recipe. [3] Start the year with a mission to stop wasting food, with this wonderful book (photo courtesy Chronicle Books).

     

    VEGETABLES TAKE CENTER STAGE

    For nutrition, weight control, sustainability, easy of clean-up and for flavor, vegetables are becoming the star of the show for non-vegetarians. Vegan restaurants are gaining popularity with mainstream eaters.

    Perhaps this is the year to re-think Meatless Monday, which sounds like abstinence, to Voluptuous Veggie Day.

    And have fun doing it!

    FERMENT YOUR WAY TO HEALH

    Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha are very healthful.

    And fermentation has fascinated chefs for years, as they’ve tried to uncover new ways to create naturally complex flavors, nuanced textures, and other gastronomic excitement.

    The new magazine Cured focuses on aging and fermenting food, and cookbooks like Bar Tartine give explicit instructions about how to ferment your own condiments.

    Fermented foods have been made for millennia. So before you think new, think old: older, bubbling, cultured and fermented. And check out this book.

     
    TIME FOR TATAKI

    Move over crudo and carpaccio. From fish to beef, toro to kobe, tataki is an appetizer expected to sweep the nation.

    The protein is quickly seared, then thinly sliced, brushed with a bright vinegar, and presented with a host of east-meets-west accompaniments.

    Recipes are beautiful, healthful, and very tasty. Start with these:

  • Tuna Tataki
  • Beef Tataki
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    With beef, the benefit with tataki is that with thins trips of red meat, you eat less of it—and spend less on it.

    Never had tataki? Head to the nearest Japanese restaurant for a starter of tuna tataki. Then, pick up some tuna or salmon and make your own at home.
     
    Finally, but perhaps most important:

    WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

    With nearly half of all food produced in the U.S. going to waste, concerned restaurants, professional chefs and even home cooks are learning to create delicious dishes with parts of the animal, fruit, or vegetable that would normally end up in the trash.

    Top chefs are focusing on it; Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and others are speaking out about how we can all reduce waste in our kitchens. Introductory recipes for waste-less cooking are popping up everywhere.

    It’s not hard: Instead of throwing out watermelon rinds, pickle them! Here’s a recipe.

    Start with this book.

    Seattle is the city pioneer in waste not, want not: In 2014, it began to impose fines on households and restaurants. Here’s the scoop.

    For the health of our planet and our legacy to our grandchildren, this is a trend we hope will have staying power.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Baked Brie With 21+ Festive Toppings

    Holiday Brie

    Baked Brie With Olives

    Santa Margherita Sparkling Rose Wine

    Packaged Olives

    Pimiento Strips

    Peppadews

    [1] Holiday baked Brie with liqueur-accented cranberry compote, walnuts and thyme (here’s the recipe from Liren Baker of Kitchen Confidante). [2] Baked Brie with olives, recipe below (photo courtesy DeLallo). [3] Whatever bubbly you serve, Baked Brie is a delicious companion (photo of sparkling rosé from Santa Margherita). [4] Pitted, chopped olives make an already easy recipe a breeze (photo courtesy DeLallo). [5] For a red accent, use pimiento strips (photo courtesy Conservas Martinez)… [6] or or chopped peppadews (photo Biozinc | Wikipedia).

     

    Some foods pair better with champagne and other sparkling wines, and are our New Year’s Eve go-to foods. Caviar, pâté, seafood and smoked salmon are the luxury foods are simple made to be enjoyed with bubbly (more).

    And then there’s cheese.

    Double- and triple-creme cheeses are sumptuous with sparkling wines:

  • Brie and Camembert are popular double-crèmes (here’s the difference between Brie and Camembert).
  • Also consider a Brie fondue.
  • Triple-crèmes like Brillat-Savarin, Explorateur and St. André are even richer and creamier than double-crèmes.
  • Mild Cheddars and nutty Goudas pair with toasty, nutty Champagnes (among sparkling wines, Champagne is unique in its toasty, nutty qualities).
  •  
    Served with slices of fresh baguette or specialty crackers, these are the cheeses to usher in the new year.
     
    WANT MORE PANACHE?

    Baked Brie with holiday panache is impressive, yet so easy to make. You can top it with something sweet or savory; for example:

  • Cranberry Baked Brie
  • Cranberry-Pomegranate Holiday Brie
  • Baked Brie With Kiwi Compote
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    MORE SWEET TOPPINGS

  • You can also mix nuts and honey as a topping, or honey and a dried fruit medley of blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins and sultanas.
  • Or use a festive jam or preserves like cherry and fig, or chutney (you can also mix in a bit of liqueur).
  • Leftover cranberry sauce or relish also works. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar for a tangy counterpoint.
  • Herbs and honey: Spread on the honey and sprinkle with herbs, and even a few edible flowers. We like lavender and thyme.
  • Marinate canned or frozen cherries in a balsamic reduction, wine or a liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or kirsch.
  • Spread the Brie with apple or pumpkin butter and top with salted nuts, for a sweet-and-salty effect.
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    FOR “DESSERT BRIE”

  • Top with candied walnuts or pecans, a praline topping or dulce de leche and chopped nuts.
  • Popular and colorful: sliced fresh strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier or other liqueur.
  • Ditto, honey and fresh berries.
  • Yum: diced apples and/or pears mixed into salted caramel.
  •  
    Next up: savory toppings for Baked Brie.

    RECIPE: BAKED BRIE WITH OLIVES

    DeLallo created this recipe using their Olives Jubilee, a colorful medley of Kalamata, Niçoise-style, Picholine and plump green olives in an herb marinade. Pitted, chopped, marinated: All you need to do is drain and spoon the olives over the cheese.

    Instead of adding tart, uncooked cranberries—which look great but aren’t so palatable—we chopped a small jar fire-roasted red pepper strips (pimiento, piquillo, etc.).

    You can also chop peppadews or grape/cherry tomatoes.

    For more color and flavor, we also tossed in some pink and green peppercorns we had at hand—mild, not spicy like black peppercorns—and some shredded basil.

    This recipe is for a small “baby” Brie; but if you’re having a large crowd, you can buy an entire 17-inch wheel (and adjust the amount of toppings accordingly).
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 baby Brie (8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, pistachios or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries or substitute
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Optional: capers, minced fresh basil or thyme
  • Bread, crackers, toasts
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Place the Brie on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, onto a serving plate.

    2. TOP with olives, nuts and cranberries/peppers. Drizzle with honey and serve with bread/crackers and cheese spreaders.

     
    MORE SAVORY BRIE TOPPINGS

  • Bacon jam (recipe).
  • Caramelized onions (recipe—use a small dice) and chopped thyme.
  • Curried diced vegetables* with optional chopped bacon.
  • Greens: baby arugula, baby spinach and watercress wilted in garlic oil.
  • Ham and cheese: Spread grainy mustard or Dijon and top with minced ham and optional chopped herbs.
  • Olive-oil marinated sundried tomatoes, capers, garlic and parsley: a classic.
  • Pesto; consider half green pesto, half red pesto.
  • Sautéed wild mushrooms and thyme.
  •  
    We deliberately left out jalapeño and other “heat” because Brie has a subtle flavor; but you can add a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes if you like.
     
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    *Raw bell peppers, carrots, celery, fennel, onions, etc.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Good Luck Foods For The New year

    Yesterday we recipes for a particular “good luck” food to celebrate the new year: black-eyed peas, a southern U.S. tradition.

    Today’s tip: Check out more lucky foods from around the world, and enjoy some on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

    Some are ancient traditions, others relatively new. Pick, choose and adapt your own lucky food traditions for the new year.

    COOKED GREENS

    In parts of Europe, cabbage, collards, kale and chard are consumed for luck because their green leaves look like folded money (who doesn’t want good fortune in the new year?). In Denmark, stewed kale is eaten, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon (hmmm….). In Germany, sauerkraut is the veg of choice. In the southern U.S., it’s collards.
     
    Suggestion: Pick your green, and make it a tradition; or feature a different one each year. You can start with a crisp spinach salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette.

    FISH

    Cod has been a traditional feast food since the Middle Ages; and the Catholic Church’s policy against red meat consumption on religious holidays helped make all fish commonplace at feasts. For the new year, boiled cod is popular in Denmark. In Italy, baccalà, dried salt cod, is a traditional food. Herring is consumed at midnight in Poland; in Germany, it’s likely to be carp.

    In Sweden, the smorgasbord provides a variety of fish dishes. In Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest (sardines were once used to fertilize rice fields).

    Suggestion: With so many delicious fish and seafood dishes, you can present a new one each year. That includes sushi or sashimi and caviar (we purchased salmon roe and wasabi tobiko).

    GRAPES

    In Spain, each celebrant consumes 12 grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock. Each grape represents a different month; the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight. It’s not an ancient practice, but dates to 1909, when grape growers had a surplus of inventory. They promoted the idea, and it became a tradition, spreading to Portugal and some parts of Latin America.
     
    Suggestion: Consider ramekins of mixed grapes, frosted (sugared) grapes. Or perhaps start your own tradition with grape granita or a frozen Grape Margarita.

    LEGUMES

    Popular from Europe to Asia, legumes—beans, peas and lentils—are symbolic of money. An Italian double-lucky new year’s tradition, sausages and green lentils (cotechino con lenticchie), features a second lucky food, pork. Germans have lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In Brazil, the traditional first meal of the new year includes lentil soup or lentils and rice. In Japan, sweet black beans (kuro-mame) are consumed during the first three days of the new year.

    Suggestion: Along with yesterday’s black-eyed pea recipes—all of these are delicious choices, but we’re going for red bean ice cream instead of the kuro-name. You can also add beans to a spinach salad.

    PORK

    Pigs came to symbolize progress: They push forward, rooting themselves in the ground before moving. With its rich fat content, pork also signifies wealth and prosperity. That’s why roast suckling pig is popular new year’s fare in Austria, Cuba, Hungary, Portugal and Spain. Austrians even decorate the table with marzipan pigs. Swedes choose pig’s feet, Germans feast on roast pork and sausages. We wouldn’t turn down a pork roast, porchetta or a baked ham.
     
    Suggestion: For an easier path, add bacon or pork belly to the spinach salad.
     
    FOR DESSERT

    Cakes and cookies. Cakes and other baked goods are served around the world, with a special emphasis on round or ring-shaped items. In Italy, that means chiacchiere, honey-drenched balls of dough fried and dusted with powdered sugar. In Hungary, the Netherlands and Poland, donuts are customary (Holland also has ollie bollen, puffy, donut-like pastries filled with apples, raisin and currants. Some cultures hide a special trinket, coin or whole nut inside the cake; the person who gets it will be lucky in the new year.

    Suggestion: Avoid broken teeth and choking hazards. Serve cookies or an easy bundt cake. What could be more appropriate than egg nog bundts?
     
    WHAT NOT TO EAT

  • Chicken: It scratches backwards, symbolizing setbacks.
  • Flying birds (duck, pheasant, etc.): Good luck could fly away.
  • Lobster: It moves backwards.
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    Spinach Salad

    Lentil Soup

    Porchetta

    Egg Nog Bundt Cakes

    Carstens Marzipan Pigs

    Lucky foods for the new year: [1] Start with a spinach salad, with bacon for extra luck (photo courtesy Evolution Fresh). [2] For the soup course, lentil or bean soup with ham or pork sausage and mustard greens (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] For the main course, porchetta, or a simple roast pork loin (photo courtesy Il Buco | NYC). [4] Something round for dessert: mini egg nog bundt cakes. Here’s the recipe from Eat Wisconsin Cheese. [5] Marzipan pigs for everyone (photo Premier Food & Beverage).

     

      

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