“Gold Coins” for Good Fortune and Health

Posted by on December 30, 2008 | 12 Comments

If I were to guess the one thing most people are wishing for in 2009, I would have to go with good fortune.  Tough economic times have taken hold, and while hard work perseveres, a little good luck and some well wishes never hurt!  Having read quite a bit about traditional foods of good fortune consumed during the Chinese New Year, I was curious if we Westerners had any traditions of our own. Too my pleasant surprise, I discovered quite a few. Leafy greens signify, you guessed it, the almighty (or not so might, depending on the day) dollar, and black-eyed peas arose as a symbol of prosperity from a Civil War legend. Pork symbolizes progress and pushing forward; something that we could use a little of too. You will find many delicious New Year’s day recipes using these foods (see some of my suggestions below), but something seemed to be missing in my mind … the coins! …

Brilliant in color and packed with nutrients, these carrot and parsnip coins could not only be considered a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, but also of health and well being for the New Year.  Really, what more could we wish for?

Glazed Carrot and Parsnip “Coins”
Adapted from Recipezaar
These coins are lightly sweetened to help enhance their natural flavors.  Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of honey used, depending on your desired taste, and how sweet your carrots and parsnips are to start with. Though I haven’t tested it, you could always substitute maple syrup or agave nectar in place of the honey if you wish to make the dish vegan.

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or more as needed; can sub water)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon oil or margarine (I used coconut oil – goes beautifully with root veggies!)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/8 teaspoon salt, no pepper)

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.  Add the carrots and parsnips and allow them to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender.  Drain the vegetables and set them aside, but make sure to keep the liquid for another use;  You have just created double strength broth!

Heat the oil or margarine in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the onions and suate until tender and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the honey and the carrots and parsnips. Saute for just a minute or two, until the vegetables are glazed and heated through.  If desired, season with salt and/or pepper.

Yields 4 Servings

More Prosperous New Year’s Recipes

Foodie Words of New Year Warning

All good symbols can be counteracted by an evil one.  Try to hold out on those cravings for luxurious lobster (if not simply for the ridiculous price tag!) – since they travel backward this symbolizes setbacks when consumed for New Year’s – we certainly don’t need more of those!  Also, for you frugal foodies, take a day break from chicken; they scratch backwards, which can cause dwelling in the past.  In fact, all “winged” fowl could cause good luck to “fly away.” Not that I am superstitious or anything : )

Happy New Year!!!

Best Wishes from the Dairy-Free and Frugal Foodie (aka Alisa)

Comments (12)


  1. VeggieGirl says:

    Looks great!!

    Happy New Year, Alisa!

  2. Meg says:

    I really need to try parsnips. Thanks for all the recipe links!

  3. Ricki says:

    Great idea–I like all of the food symbols, but I think your coins are prettiest.

    Have a wonderful new year, Alisa! Much prosperity and happiness to you. (from one superstitious blogger to another) 😉

  4. anudivya says:

    That is quite simple and nutritious… Have a wonderful year ahead!

  5. Haha thank goodness I didn’t have any chicken on New Year’s, right? ;o)

    I DID have parsnips, though– love those things!

  6. Andrea says:

    Anyone would be “lucky” to find these coins on their plate! They sound delicious and look beautiful.

  7. MsPulp says:

    These are beautiful. I’m on it. BTW, black eyed peas were originally eaten by the slaves for good luck. They believed that if you ate “poor man’s food” that day, you would eat rich the rest of the year. Thus the reason it’s mainly a southern tradition.

  8. I love your photo and the symbolism of the “coins.” I have cut scores of carrots and parsnips but for some reason never made this connection. Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. alisa says:

    Chocolate Covered Vegan – Yeah, luckily there aren’t any holidays (that I know of) where chocolate (or oats, another of your favorites I believe?) are bad luck!

    MsPulp – Thanks for the update, I read a couple of different versions on the black-eyed pea tradition, but since I was born and raised in the northwest, I was totally in the dark on the symbolism!

    Sarah – I spotted the “coins” term for this style when I was cleaning out my pile of old foodie magazines last week (new year’s resolution started!). I think they were using it as a way to get kids to eat their veggies, but it sounded like a good new year’s tradition to me.

    Happy New Year to you all 🙂

  10. Amy Dumas says:

    Wow! That looks beautiful and delicious! I am going out to buy parsnips TOMORROW!
    Thanks for the great recipe!
    Amy :~D

  11. Thanks for the reminder. I always forget about parsnips and they’re such good little (big?) veggies. What a great idea to make “coins” out of them. I could use a few more coins right about now!

    Here’s to a healthy and happy 2009!

  12. Maggie says:

    These sound great! I’m a big fan of parsnips. The funny thing is that my husband ate two big servings of the succohash. It was way better than the herring, which he has to talk me into suffering through.

    BTW the post on Go Dairy Free looks great!

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