It’s traditional to serve foods with auspicious associations on New Year’s Day. Two options are presented here for your New Year’s Day Dinner main dish: a vegan lentil dish and a pork roast. Whichever you choose, I hope its symbolism of good things to come is realized for you in 2021.
It seems I’m ending 2020 with a small flurry of New Year’s-focused posts. I’m of the mind that, especially given the pandemic restrictions in place for many of us, it’s important to be deliberate about bringing a sense of occasion to holidays and milestones.
So, even if you’re welcoming 2021 on your own or only with the members of your household, as is the case where I live due to a province-wide lockdown, a celebratory meal can brighten these unusual times that are grim for far too many.
These two main dish options are based on foods that are thought by many cultures to bring good fortune. And we can all welcome that in 2021!
To learn more about foods considered to bring good fortune for the new year, see History.com’s article “9 Lucky New Year’s Food Traditions.”
Lentils for a Vegan New Year
It’s fitting to greet a new year with a lentil dish since these little legume orbs are considered a sign of prosperity in some cultures, notably Italian, signifying good luck as the next year arrives. The round shape of lentils evokes ancient coins, and of course there are countless lentils in a serving, so they augur well for the new year. Plus, they plump up when they cook, signifying increasing wealth.
It’s also fitting, in my opinion, to start a new calendar with a dish that’s full of colour and flavour, as a promise of a vibrant, joyful year ahead.
And, what better way to ring in another year than with food that not only symbolizes prosperity and provides a vibrant feast for the eyes, but is also nutritious? After all, it’s customary to wish others good health at New Year’s, so why not serve it up on a plate?
My Braised Lentils, Beets and Squash is a vegan dish, but would be welcome on any carnivore’s table as an accompaniment to meat, especially pork, its classic combination. \
See other Urban Cottage Life lentil recipes here.
A Pork Roast for New Year’s Day Dinner
Pork is said to bring good things for the new year for a couple of reasons. One is that pigs root forward, which is associated with progress. And another reason is their roundness, which symbolizes wealth.
Pork and apple is a classic combination, which led me to create this recipe for Caramelized Apple-Stuffed Roast Pork with Apple Butter Glaze in 2014. It’s a delicious and unusual recipe that can take pride of place on your New Year’s Day dinner table.
If you’d prefer an easier recipe, check out this one for an elegant pork roast.
See other Urban Cottage Life pork recipes here.