“Gold Coins” for Good Fortune and Health

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)

Cranberry Sauced Muffins

When I saw that my parents had leftover cranberry sauce after our Thanksgiving meal was complete, I snatched it up for my take-home care package immediately. I had been eyeing the Morning After Cranberry Sauce Muffin recipe that I discovered while seeking out good dairy-free leftover recipes for this post. Of course, it needed just a touch of altering to make it milk-free, and I knew my husband would want a slightly sweeter version.  I followed the recipe and used an egg, but I think this one would do just fine with applesauce or even some extra milk alternative (about 1/4 cup of either) subbed in for the egg to make it egg-free and vegan.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce - Ginger Muffins

Cranberry-Ginger Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup oats (rolled or quick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups of leftover cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, plain, or vanilla milk alternative (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (1/4 cup applesauce or even try pumpkin as an alternative)
  • Finely chopped crystalized ginger (optional)

Preheat your oven  oven to 400°F and grease about a dozen muffin tins (I had some overflow and needed 14).

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the milk alternative, oil, cranberry sauce and egg until well combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.  A few lumps remaining are okay; do not overmix. Fill your muffin cups and if desired, sprinkle little bits of crystalized ginger over top. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until they take on a light brown hue and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin (strategically dodging any remaining whole cranberries) comes out clean.

Yields 12-14 muffins