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Traditional Foods for the New Year

Traditional Foods for the New Year

Whether it is black-eyed peas for luck or cabbage and greens to symbolize wealth, most cultures have traditional foods they enjoy on New Year’s Day. One such traditional food is pork which represents prosperity or progress; whereas, eating fish or seafood is considered lucky for some. Twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight might represent luck for each of the 12 months of the year or a full table might mean a blessing of abundance in the New Year.

So how can you incorporate some of these potential “lucky” foods into your New Year’s Day? Try black-eyed peas cooked with lean pork or ham, boiled or steamed cabbage and tuna fish salad with grapes or try the recipes below.

One half cup of black-eyed peas provide 15% of the recommended daily requirement of fiber, 15% of vitamin A, and 10% of calcium. No wonder they are considered good luck!

Consult your doctor before making changes in your diet. If you have a medical condition certain items may need to be reduced or eliminated. Seek the advice of your physician and Registered Dietitian before making any changes in your diet or lifestyle. E-mail questions on NUTRITION KNOW-HOW to

Black-eyed Pea Salad – Serves 12


  • 6 c. cooled & drained black-eyed peas
  • 2 Tbs. grated onion
  • ½ c. each: red bell pepper, diced
  • yellow bell pepper, diced
  • green bell pepper, diced
  • green onions (both white & green parts), diced
  • celery, diced
  • 2 Tbs. basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 c. fat-free Italian dressing


  • Mix ingredients well and cover with Saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Serve cold.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 111
  • Carbohydrate: 21 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Fat: 0.7 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 145 mg
  • % Calories from Fat: 4%