It’s New Year’s Eve..
10 Foods To Partake Of  (And 2 To Avoid) For A Prosperous 2013!

Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re are just hours away from the start of another year and I’m putting it out into the universe right now; we are gonna rock it H-A-R-D!

But in order to do that we need to start off on the right foot. So along with New Year’s Resolutions (more about that tomorrow) we have to decide what palate-pleasers will prompt prosperity in 2013 (Yeah I had to think long and hard on that one; hope you enjoyed it).

When I was a kid growing up in Sacramento, California, every New Year’s Day found my father in the kitchen cooking up a mess of black-eyed peas, corned beef and cabbage and some sort of dark, leafy greens too (and we thought the fireworks the night before were bad).

After Buff and I  got married,  we  established our own traditions, a mix of old and new. So I thought it might be fun to run through some of the things people traditionally eat on New Year’s Day, what we plan to eat and then let you guys weigh in with your own.


Greens are supposed to be part of the New Year’s feast because, uncooked, they look like folded money. They were (and are) always a staple of our holiday table. Heck they’re a huge part of our weekly table too, come to think of it. Buff cooks them in a pressure cooker, so they’re done faster and not as many of the nutrients are left behind in the pot. At the rate we consume them, we ought to be rolling in more dough than Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.

Recipe: Tasty Collard Greens



In European countries and some part of the United States, cabbage is eaten instead of the cooked greens. The theory, again, that it represents money, fortune and prosperity.

Recipe: Cabbage with Ginger and Cumin


Who DOESN’T eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day? When I was a kid, there was always a pot of peas cookin’ on the first day of the year and it’s a tradition I’ve carried over into my own home. I’m not a fan of them so much but I do make to choke down a couple of bites. The peas are said to resemble coins when  uncooked and represent prosperity, especially when served with greens.

Recipe: Hoppin’ John


Here’s one I didn’t grow up with but Buff and I incorporated into our celebration after he went to work for Univision communications. The tamales are  traditionally a family affair; everyone gathers and makes them the day before. In our case, we pile the kids in the car and find some place selling them. Last year it was a Chinese food restaurant. Not kidding.

Recipe:  Hot Tamales For A Crowd


I’ll admit, this was a new one to me. At midnight in Spain, revelers eat 12 grapes, one for every month of the year. This tradition dates back to early 1900’s when Spanish farmers were looking for ways to deal with a grape surplus. Rumor has it that if say the 3rd one is bitter than March could be a tough month.

Recipe: Do you really need me to tell you how to eat 12 grapes?



Like a lot of New Year’s Food Traditions, this one was borne of availability. Cod in particular, became a tradition during the Middle Ages because  it could be preserved and easy to transport to far off places. That coupled with the Catholic Church’s ban on red met during the holidays helped to make it a must eat on this day.

Recipe: Baked Cod with Cranberry Sauce



Now this is interesting. Who here has ever seen a pig eat? They plant their hooves in place and then root with their noses in a forward motion, never looking back (I know this from all my years on the farm. Or Wikipedia). That motion, the single-minded, undeterred search for food is why pork is supposed to be on your New Year’s Day table.  When I was a kid, Dad would just throw a ham hock in with the greens; Buff is much more fancy.

Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin 


When you think celebration you think cake, right? So it would stand to reason that cake would be a part of the welcoming ceremony for a new year. Traditionally, emphasis is places on the rounded aspects of cake or baked goods; in other countries trinkets are baked inside. Check out the recipe below for a cool cake to do with kids!

Recipe: New Year’s Cake



Noodles are eaten in many Asian countries to ensure a long, happy, healthy life. One note: make sure the long noodle doesn’t break before you get the whole thing in your mouth!

Recipe: Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Snow Peas and Carrots



A symbol of fertility and abundance, the seeds are commonly eaten in Mediterranean countries. They will also be part of a suburban New York table this year.

Recipe: Pomegranate Salad



BUT WAIT! There are two foods that should NOT be eaten on this day. Do you know what they are? Turn the page for the answer!—->



NO, NO NO! Lobster is a no no because it crawls backward and chicken because it scratches backward. The New Year is about moving forward so save these for another day.

Recipe: I’m not going to leave you a recipe for something you’re not supposed to eat on this day. Duh!


So there you have it; Buff has already informed me that we are going to have a bite of each one of the them, minus the chicken and lobster. How about you; what’s going to be on your dinner table on New Year’s Day and why?

More from GEM:

Our Story Begins: The Difference A Year Makes

Life Lessons: ME!

Go At Your Own Pace!